Joeys on mission
Saturday, 3rd May, 2014
By Ethan James
St. Joseph’s begin their quest for a fourth consecutive soccer premiership when they take on West in the opening round of the Community Credit Union Premier League tomorrow.
But if they were feeling any pressure they’re certainly not showing it.
The senior squad was in a relaxed mood at their final run on Thursday night.
“We probably haven’t had a full pre-season and it normally takes a while for people to come out,” St Joseph’s captain Jyh Stubing said.
“We get on well as a team and I think the games at the end of the season in Adelaide really give us further confidence.
“I think we’re definitely just as strong as always but we’ll find out as the season progresses.”
The 27-year-old has taken over from Matt Muscat as skipper in the only big change to the senior squad.
Muscat played the second half of last season but has decided to take a break from the game to properly recover from injury.
“It was a bit of a shock when they told me that I was captain,” said Stubing, a St Joseph’s junior.
“But it will be great to lead some of the younger guys... hopefully I’ll be able to do it well.
St Joseph’s vice president Tim Earl predicts that a number of junior players will step up.
“Luca Napoli, who is just 15, is a solid and confident player at left back,” he said.
“But looking at all the teams, I think A Grade will be quite interesting to watch this year.”
In the other top grade encounter, Celtic take on Alma.
In his return to senior coaching, Goats mentor David Bearman is pleased with the way his side has handled themselves in their trials.
“We mixed our team up to give some of the younger guys a go and we were happy with what we got out of the games,” he said.
Alma toppled Celtic 6-1 in their final pre-season match.
“You can’t read too much into results from a friendly... Celtic have been big improvers under Dave Deacon,” Bearman said.
“The key for us is to get a good start in and go on from there.
“We also need to play a simple game and keep the ball as long as we can, which hasn’t been a trademark of Alma in recent years.”
The Goats have bolstered their stocks with a number of signings.
Ex-West skipper Terry Delbridge is one major addition, while Bearman said a “call to arms” had attracted many former players to the club.
“None are too old and they’ve kept fairly fit as well,” he said.
The Broken Hill Soccer Association has raised adult entry fees to $4, while children aged 12-17 pay $2 on Friday and Sunday and get free entry on Saturday.