While he’s been involved with the first team as Assistant Coach for a few months, for Steve Corica it was back to day one as Sydney FC’s Foxtel National Youth League Head Coach as the squad returned for their first day of training this week.
Linking up with their Championship winning Head Coach are a number of players returning from the successful 2013/14 season while a number of fresh faces also joined the mix as Corica set about the process of gelling his squad.
“It was great to get back out on the park with the boys for the first day,” Corica said.
“Monday was all about team building, we’ve got a few new boys and a few train ons as well so it was all about getting to know each other today.
“It was a light session to start and then in then in the next couple of weeks we’ll be working on shape and how we’re going to defend and attack. We’ve got a game coming up next week, our first preseason game on the 9th against Hakoah,” he continued.
“Returning is Anthony Bouzanis, Jacob Tratt, Aaron Calver, Themba Muata-Marlow, Dylan Caton, Max Burgess and Anthony Tomelic. Also from our train on group last year we had four that have come up which is Nicola Kuleski, Chris Zuvela, George Blackwood and Luke Babic, a goalkeeper.”
One new player, George Blackwood, has already taken acclaim after he was selected for Paul Okon’s Young Socceroos squad to compete in the U-19 Youth Championships in Vietnam.
Blackwood was entertained last year as train on by Corica, and the former Sydney FC captain highly rates the youngster who has already featured for the Sydney FC first team in a preseason friendly.
“We had him [Blackwood] as a train on last year,” Corica said.
“He’s very good on the ball, quite a tall boy, but very comfortable on the ball. He’s got good technique and can score goals and he’s quick as well.
“From last year to this year playing in the Premier League, I’ve watched him, and he’s filled out a bit more as well and I think he got his chance to make the U-20’s Socceroos when he played for the first team against Bonnyrigg,” Corica continued.
“Paul Okon was there at the time and rang me up the next day to ask about him. I think he’s one to watch this year.”
Corica earmarked some of his new arrivals to keep an eye on as he said it will take an ever larger effort than last season if the Sky Blues are to defend their Foxtel National Youth League Champions crown.
“There’s a few new boys to watch from last year,” Corica said.
“There’s Daniel Araujo from Blacktown, we’ve got obviously George Timotheou and Bai Antoniou from the AIS, and rom the ACTUS Jordan Tsekenis who’s a striker and is quick and can score goals as well and also James Andrew.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the new ones go,” he continued.
“It’s going to take a much bigger effort last year to defend the title. I think when you’re the champions everyone knows that, the teams that play you each time it’s in their minds ‘oh you’re the champions from last year we want to beat you’.
“So I think that’s what we have to try and overcome. Everyone is going to try and lift their game.”
Sydney FC Foxtel National Youth League Squad - 2014/2015
1. Anthony Bouzanis (gk)
2. Jacob Tratt
3. Themba Muata-Marlow
4. Aaron Calver
5. George Timotheou
6. Dylan Caton
7. Max Burgess
8. Chris Zuvela
9. Daniel Araujo
10. Anthony Tomelic
11. Nicola Kuleski
12. George Blackwood
13. Jordan Tsekenis
14. James Andrew
15. Bai Antoniou
16. Luke Babic (gk)
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