Coaches Corner

Welcome to this week’s edition of Coaches Corner.

This Friday marks a significant day in our pre-season preparations when we go head-to-head in a friendly against the Melbourne Heart.

This will be the first real test for our squad, against the team we are scheduled to play in Round 1 of the 2011/12 A-League season.

The match will be a good experience for the squad and our coaching staff to gain a valuable insight into Melbourne-s playing style and form. Hopefully we-ll learn what to expect for the season ahead.

Although we still have a long way to go this pre-season, I-m pleased with the progress we have made. There has been a supreme amount of effort put in by everyone and all players have consistently performed well. I believe this definitely showed in our 3-0 win against the Broadmeadow Magic last Thursday night.

Unfortunately we have a few more players out injured this week, including Chris Payne and Nikolai Topor-Stanley, but they should be back sooner rather than later. Kasey Wehrman however is still facing a fair few weeks of recovery before he-s able to join us on the field again.

We received some great news over the weekend with Jason Culina cleared by his specialist to resume full training. He had his first run with the team today at Ray Watt Oval.

This week we-re also pleased to welcome back our very own Young Socceroo. After a month training and playing overseas, Ben Kantarovski returns to join the boys on Australian turf just in time for our match against Melbourne.

A big congratulations to Ben and the rest of the Young Socceroo-s for their efforts overseas, even though the team didn-t qualify for the second stage of competition they played well and should be proud of their achievement.

In regards to our ever-soaring membership, I could never have imagined the impact that such high numbers could have on the players.

It seems as the numbers continue to rise, so too does the determination and excitement of the squad, who seem only too keen to repay our loyal supporters with a successful season.

Branko Culina