2014 senior squad announced
Moreland Zebras are delighted to announce it’s senior 2014 NPL1 squad and coaching staff.
Danny Gnjidic remains as senior coach and he’s very pleased with the squad assembled for 2014, especially since 90% of the squad was retained from last season.
“We’re happy with it,” the former Zebras striker said.
“The real plus is that we’ve managed to keep probably 90% of the squad- we lost a couple of boys for different reasons. Most of the players were happy to stay and the Club were happy to keep them given not just their performance but their attitude and character both on and off the field.
“We had to ensure we kept who we wanted from our squad and look to add to that from outside the Club and we’ve added some depth, which was a concern for us last year.“
Former Zebras defender Paul Della Rocca remains as assistant coach and is joined by Pete Roberts as Gnjidic’s second assistant.
Gnjidic believes Roberts, an ex-Port Melbourne and Heidelberg defender, will be a handy addition to the coaching team bringing a wealth of experience in Victorian football.
“Pete’s knowledge of the local game in regards to opposition teams and players and all that sort of stuff is a big plus and on top of that Pete is someone who is a student of the game.
“He’s keen to develop his knowledge and his experience as an assistant coach now and I think he has already made a difference making an impression on the lads with his manner and his attitude to his coaching, so he’ll be a big plus for us.”
This season, however, will differ from previous years with the new National Premier Leagues being introduced. Four more games have been added to the schedule with new opponents and the chance to get promoted into the top tier and take on Victoria’s best- it’s something that the Club and Gnjidic is excited for.
“It’s something that has been a long time coming.
“From being at the launch on Wednesday night, the feeling and the excitement is there across everyone that is involved in the game and I think the game would benefit for it in the long run.”
With the likes of Whittlesea Ranges, Brunswick City, Kingston City and the newly formed FC Bendigo having NPL applications accepted, Gnjidic expects this season to be a tough.
“There will be a lot of the unknown with the new teams that have come in, like your Whittelseas, your Kingstons, your Brunswicks and the regional teams. But they will be keen to make a good impression and they’ll be tough teams to play against.
“The clubs that were State One clubs last year and that was a challenging league in itself- there was no easy games in that league. Your George Cross, St. Albans, Box Hill will all benefit from last year and Richmond comes in as well and I think they will be one of the teams to beat as well.”
“It’ll be a tough league, a very tough league and there will be no easy games, especially early in the season.”
In saying all of that, the senior’s and the Club’s aims are to get promoted.
“Yeah it was our aim last year where we probably weren’t as well gelled as we are 12 months on because we’ve managed to keep most of our squad, so the players are a lot more familiar each other and obviously with me and (Paul) Della (Rocca) and Pete Roberts as an assistant,” Gnjidic said.
“We really want to push for the top two, we believe we’ve got the squad to do that, but it won’t be easy by any stretch.”
The Zebras’ season kicks off on Monday March 17 against Bulleen Lions at the Veneto Club with the Under 20’s getting underway at 6.30pm before the seniors kick off at 8.30pm. Get down to the Veneto Club and support your mighty Zebras!
2014 NPL1 Squad:
Nick Kalambokis, Robert Armellini, Pasquale Vizzari, Adam Centofanti, Angus Martin, Mario Piraino, John Crivelli, Danilo Bonilla, Nikola Kostadinoski (GK), Alex Stojanovski (GK), Bradley Murray, Mile Medjedovic (C), Jack Turner, Evan Batsis, Simon Tolli, Joshua McMonagle-Ihasz, Joel Nikolic, Scott Robson, Nicholas Symeoy, James Papadimitriou, Liam Brian.
Head Coach: Danny Gnjidic
Assistant Coach: Paul Della Rocca
Assistant Coach: Pete Roberts
Goalkeeper Coach: Phil Peladarinos