Momentum brewing at Rockdale City Suns FC
Year after year, the question seems to be will this be the season that the Rockdale City Suns finally fulfil their undoubted PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW potential.
In 2017, with the additions of former Socceroo and Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic, and the likes of Harris Gaitatzis and Brayden Sorge, this might finally be that year.
Paul Reid returns as playing-coach and he will be hoping to build on last season's fourth-place finish.
Now in his second full season with the Suns since taking over from Branko Culina midway through 2015, Reid says he never had any intention of hanging up the boots ahead of the new season.
" I feel I can still contribute on the playing side of things and when I feel I'm not, I'll stop playing. My assistant coach Matt [Ribarovski] and I spoke about it and he told me he'll definitely tell me when that time comes.”
There is no denying a sense of slight frustration in Reid's voice when he speaks about the club's 2016.
A strong opening half to the season was undone by a terrible run of form midway through the season – and in a competition with teams as strong as Blacktown City FC and Sydney United 58 FC – such a drop is unacceptable for a team dreaming of a minor premiership and beyond. Reid has made no secret that silverware remains the goal this season.
Player To Watch
It is not often that goalkeepers are looked upon to inspire a new level from a team but that is exactly what Rockdale will be hoping the acquisition of Ante Covic can achieve just that.
Reid says his mere presence has already inspired Suns' other senior shot-stopper David Bradasevic to take his game to a new level as he looks to retain his number one spot. If that can sweep the entire first-team, it could bring about the consistency Reid so desperately seeks.
James Temelkovski arrives at Rockdale City Suns after a strong season with Sydney United 58 FC in the under-20 competition last season.
The striker scored six goals in 21 games as an under-age 20s player last season and impressed Reid at the Maso Cup.
He faces a tough time to get into the first team, but could be one to look out for if he does.
"We have recruited really well; I think we have a stronger team than last season. We were disappointed with fourth last year and this season we are aiming to finish top and the players' mentality is the same as well." – Coach Paul Reid
Ante Covic (Perth Glory)
Brayden Sorge (Sydney Olympic)
Harris Gaitatzis (Sydney Olympic)
Jordan Figon (Sutherland Sharks)
Jonathon Grozdanovski (Blacktown City)
Michael Loupis (Sydney Olympic)
Dylan Macallister (Manly United)
Hristijan Tanoski (Wollongong Wolves)
Peter Makrillos (Sydney Olympic)
Aleksandar Lekoski (Hakoah)