White City Aim for Top 6
White City Football Club is set to embark on an exciting time both on and off the field for Season 2014.
The season will see the club celebrate its 65th anniversary; along with celebrations throughout the year White City will be looking to induct players and officials from the successful championship sides of 1993 and 1994, including Vojo Gluscevic, Bradley Hassell, Jovan Dacic and Bradley Armour.
On the field, the club is looking to build on last years performance with Head Coach Robbie Saraceno leading the side for a 3rd consecutive season.
Saraceno told that he was relatively pleased with the side’s performance in the 2013 season.
“I thought it was quite good. We knew it was going to be hard to come back from the State League and we just wanted to cement our spot in the Premier League. I think finishing 10th plus a spot in the Coca-Cola Federation Cup Final was a good reflection on the team.”
With the first round of the 2014 season just over a week away, Saraceno is aware that the team needs to work on their defensive abilities.
“We definitely have to improve defensively and stop leaking goals like we did last year. If we do that I think we have a real shot at making the Top 6 and that is our aim this year, to make the Finals.”
Joining the Woodville based club this season is Dejan Radojic from Melbourne, Stephen Payne from Northern Demons, Goalkeeper Joshua Negren, Nemanja Bijelic from Serbia and veteran Chad Bugeja, previously at Adelaide Blue Eagles. Saraceno gives credit to the young Reserves players who have elevated in to the Senior team this season and is looking forward to giving them a run on the park.
With former striker and 2013 Golden Boot winner Lloyd Owusu now located in New South Wales, the side is with out their primary goal scorer for the season ahead.
“We will have Robbie MacDonald up front, he will hopefully have the chance to score more and Chad is a proven goal scorer, so we will be looking to him to put a few more away.”
Saraceno and Captain Michael Keens are eager to participate in the Coca-Cola Federation Cup for another year, having made the Final in 2013, both noting however that their Round 1 fixture against Para Hills Knights will be a challenge.
“We treat any competition seriously and try to win anything we possibly can. Playing Para Hills and not having been able to beat them in a few years, we will have to do something we haven’t done in a while to get through to the next round.” Said Saraceno.
Keens is also aware of the challenge.
“Para Hills is always a tough game for us and after last year making the Final you don’t want to go backwards. You want to back it up and get as far as you can.”
Put bluntly, Keens feels that his side underperformed in the 2013 season considering the players in the squad’s capabilities but the Coca-Cola Federation Cup provided the opportunity to show what the team was able to achieve. Unfortunately consistency was not a strong point and this is to be addressed this season.
“I think the team needs to work on its consistency, especially our start to the season. Last year we started poorly at home so if we win our home games then we have a base to build on.”
Saraceno tips Adelaide City, MetroStars and Adelaide Blue Eagles as the sides to watch in 2014 with Western Strikers as the surprise package of the competition, commending Head Coach Frank Tibaldi for the work he is doing with his squad.
Keens nominates MetroStars, Campbelltown City, Adelaide Blue Eagles and Adelaide City, with a mention to Croydon Kings who he believes will be improved on last season and newly promoted side West Adelaide.
Progress at White City extends to off the field with the club currently in collaboration with the City of Charles Sturt to embark on a redevelopment of the facilities at Frank Mitchell Park. In addition the club has developed South Australia’s first App for Smartphones; found in the App store under ‘White City FC’. The App provides results, fixtures, news updates, sponsors, club information and events.
The club is also pleased to launch the Warriors Football Institute. A specialist coaching program working with Junior players in 10 week terms through out the year. The program is skills based training and sees former club players providing guidance to up and coming football stars.
White City FC plays Para Hills Knights at Frank Mitchell Park on Saturday 15 February in Round 1 of the Coca-Cola Federation Cup, kick-off 7:00pm.
White City FC meets MetroStars at TK Shutter Reserve in Round 1 of the 2014 National Premier Leagues Season on Saturday 22 February, kick-off 7:00pm.