Green Gully coach Arthur Papas has had plenty of selection headaches ahead of Friday night’s blockbuster NPL season opener against Bentleigh Greens at the Kingston Heath soccer complex.
The Cavaliers have constructed one of their deepest squads in years, a cover for injury and ensuring spots in the line-up are much harder to earn than last season.
“We really found ourselves short at times throughout last season,” Papas said. “The squad has definitely got more depth than last year.
“It puts us in a position where we can manage situations a lot easier.”
In addition to a swag of quality new recruits, Green Gully will have Matthew Breeze and Nick Krousoratis back fit and firing.
Breeze only managed to play 60 minutes last season after being struck down with a season-ending knee injury, while Krousoratis was the team’s leading scorer before a groin injury hampered his second half of the year.
“It’s like having an additional two signings,” Papas enthused. “I really hope for their sake they can keep themselves on the field because they’ve got so much to offer.”
It will be a tough 2017 initiation for Green Gully. If getting Bentleigh on the road first up isn’t challenging enough, the Cavaliers face four more away games to follow, before their first home game at Green Gully Reserve.
Papas is not looking too much further ahead than the Greens – a game that pits two finalists of last season, both on amazing FFA Cup runs.
“What better test to have in round one,” Papas said.“It’s something we’ve been aware about, but we don’t over-think it either.
“It’s a new season – they’ve got to prove themselves; we’ve got to prove ourselves.
“We’re happy to go there in round one, and let’s see where we’re at.”
Green Gully will again be skippered by central defender Daniel Jones, who has had an impact on the club over a long period.
“He’s a club legend,” Papas said. “He’s been part of very successful Green Gully teams and led the team remarkably well last season.
“I trust him a lot in the way he goes about leading the team and the way the team respects him as well.”