Westside Strikers aiming high

Westside Strikers' Shavaan Khan. picture Mark Wilson

Tara Murray

Westside Strikers have their sights set on promotion in Football Victoria state league 4 west.

Playing their second season in the division, the Strikers have set their ambitions high according to president Sam Raniolo.

They finished fifth in 2019 and are hoping to build on that.

Raniolo said the side had responded well after a challenging year which saw the state league 4 season not go ahead.

“We are going to give it a good crack this year to try and get promoted,” he said.

Raniolo said they had managed to keep most of the 2020 playing group together, with a few key additions to help strengthen the squad.

Former A-League player Manny Muscat who was the club’s marquee signing last year, won’t be pulling on the jersey after retiring.

Raniolo said he had been able to make an impact in his short time at the club.

The Strikers have started the year well, with a number of early wins on the board.

They made the fourth round of the knockout FFA Cup for a second successive year. The side forfeited its fourth round match, with a number of key players on the sidelines with injuries.

The Strikers came away with points in their first two matches against Barnstoneworth United and Truganina Hornets respectively in state league west 4.

They faced Melbourne University on Friday night in their round three clash.

The Strikers lost 1-0. having conceded in extra time. The Strikers played one man down later in the match, after Paul Muscat was red carded in the 78th minute.

“We started off a little slow in round one, before having a good win in round two,” Raniolo said.

Overall Raniolo said the club was in a good position.

“We have 27 junior sides this year, “ he said, “It’s fantastic after what happened last year.

“There’s a lot going on, as we’re in the process of moving into a new premise into Taylors Hill.

“Our current location is being redeveloped. We’ll be back at Brookside next year.”