As Chris Zoricich begins his 3rd year in charge of our Mens Premier squad, we managed to grab a spare 5 minutes to get Zoro's thoughts on what is shaping up to be a very unique season.
How did the squad keep fit during the lockdown and how much communication did you have with them?
During the first 2-3 weeks we kept contact fairly minimal apart from sending a monthly conditioning program to follow.
As we got more info on what each level of lockdown looked like and possible dates of return to training we ramped up the contact mainly through sending video footage and documentation re our Playing Style/Philosophy.
How much experience and lessons can you take from last year's exciting title challenge to this season?
Hopefully we can learn from the experience and become stronger when it matters. I felt we dropped off the pace due to a number of factors one being not having enough depth in the squad when we had a few injuries and a few players returned to the US. We have certainly bolstered our numbers this season with a strong young squad of 27 players
Any new players we need to keep an eye on?
Most players have returned from last season which is a good sign. New signings include an experienced Left back from CUFC/ACFC Takuya Iwata also Futsal White Stephen Ashby from TKU. Ronan Wynne returns after a stint with the Wellington Phoenix where he had an outstanding ISPS Handa Premiership season.
A lot of our players gained invaluable experience in the NL with Waitakere. Gerard and Dane also had outstanding seasons with our younger players also breaking into the senior squad. Vincent Best Zac Zoricich and Hayden Aish were all regulars in the squad with Brad Thomas and Luke Jerkovic regularly training with the first team squad. I’m hoping these boys along with Bradley Wilson become regular first-team players this season for us!
How do you see the development team progressing?
Along with the youngsters we currently have in our first team squad we also have a number of schoolboys involved in our Development squad. Although they have school commitments it would be great to see a couple of them breakthrough into the first team squad at some stage this season. It may prove more difficult given the shortened season but we will endeavor to give them as many training sessions alongside the first team regulars as possible as part of their development.
You have a large squad this year which comes with benefits and challenges, how are you going to manage them all?
With great difficulty!
It all depends on how they react. At the moment the energy is good and work rate is very pleasing. If everyone is playing to their capabilities there will be some tough decisions to be made. A good problem to have?
We know you don't make predictions but .....confident of a good season?
We have assembled a pretty young squad and if they can play to their potential and gain confidence it bodes for an exciting season!