Balcatta: Into 2016
Report by Jonathan Cook
Infographic: Adrian Petrilli
There is a distinctly Cockburn City feel about Balcatta this season that Marc Anthony hopes will translate to a positive campaign on the pitch.
Promising young defender Jonathan Corness and the likes of Conor Kavanagh, Feisal Zaw and Eamon McNelis are among several Cockburn players to have made the move up the freeway to Grindleford Reserve.
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Former Cockburn boss Anthony prompted the player movement after he joined the Balcatta coaching staff following the 2015 campaign.
“I had seven or eight fantastic years at Cockburn and I really do love the club; they’ve been absolutely fantastic for me,” Anthony said. “I just felt it was the right time for a change.”
Anthony, a former Celtic and Perth Glory midfielder, said the arrival at Balcatta of several players he worked with at Cockburn was paying dividends.
“The idea of bringing in Cockburn players was to help me adjust as well because they relate to the players and they know what I’m trying to achieve,” Anthony said.
“The reaction from all the players has been great and they’ve taken on board the style and structure I want us to play.
“We’re trying to be a good football team, playing possession-based football. I want us to be a team that has more of the ball rather than just playing from back to front.”
The prospect of relegation for at least one club in 2016 has not been lost on Anthony, although he expects his side to be looking up the table at the teams to catch rather than worrying about those below.
“I’m really looking forward to the season starting and trying to prove a few folk wrong,” he said.
“I’d be happy if we finish in the top half.”
Rather than having concerns over the departure of Brazilian striker Gustavo Catarcione to Perth, Anthony is confident teenager Cameron Teece can trouble opposition defences.
“We lost Gustavo to Perth and everyone said ‘what I nightmare that’s going to be because you’re never going to replace him,’” Anthony said.
“But Cameron Teece is a very good player and I have 110 percent faith in him. He’s a very, very talented boy, and if he keeps progressing and he listens and he’s got a good head on his shoulders, I think he’ll do very well in the game, to be honest.”
Anthony also expects Zelfy Nazary to play a key role this season.
“He’s a real clever player with good touch, vision and passing ability and he’s really impressed,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to do before we know where we’ll finish. But there are a lot of good signs.”