Cockburn City: Into 2016
Report by Jonathan Cook
Infographic: Adrian Petrilli
It didn’t take Cockburn City coach Scott Miller a great deal of time to adjust his thinking about the capacity and capabilities of his young squad.
One of five former Perth Glory players coaching in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA this season, Miller started his career at Dalmatinac Park when he was a junior with a Spearwood side that carried the same ethnic moniker.
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He’s been around long enough to be cautious when necessary and when to let the players off the leash.
An early QBE Night Series win over Subiaco, a narrow defeat to revamped Inglewood United and victory over Floreat Athena spoke a great deal about the players at his disposal, even before a draw with Perth Glory and odd-goal defeat to champions Bayswater City.
“They’re really enthusiastic and they have no fear,” Miller said. “I was probably trying to protect them from a hiding from an Inglewood or Floreat or Bayswater and they didn’t need any protecting. They wanted to have a crack and if they cop a hiding here and there they’ll take it. It means you can be a bit more aggressive in your approach.”
Former coach Marc Anthony’s departure to Balcatta also left a hole in the Cockburn squad as several players followed suit. But there is not a hint of animosity from Miller. He remains good friends with Anthony, who he assisted during his Cockburn reign, and wishes him well for the season ahead.
“We lost nine or 10 players from the first team,” Miller said. “We’ve lost nearly all our experience.”
The onus now is on players like Euen Grant, David Araya, Liam Murray, Harry O’Brien and Cameron Edwards to lead the way. Miller has brought in Ali Gholami, from Perth Glory’s youth team, and has also turned to former State League players Reuben Tristao and Angel Andres.
Tristao and Andres have brought experience and a positive influence on the younger players.
But despite the new additions, Miller is aware of the talk and hearsay regarding his team, his club.
“It’s impossible not to hear the outside talk saying we’re going to be down there,” Miller said.
“It’s fine. How do you react to that? Some people hide in the corner but these boys are going to give it everything they’ve got.
“Some of their desperation in defending shows you that they want to play the pretty stuff but when it’s time to chuck the body on the line they won’t be shy.”