THE Goulburn Strikers have made their most decisive move ahead of the 2013 season, signing UEFA certified coach Robin Caufield.
It seems Caufield’s introduction has already made a positive impact two sessions into the pre-season.
“These are the best training sessions I’ve had in years,” captain and club secretary David Albrighton said.
“It’s awesome to see the enthusiasm from the players returning to old form, we’re drawing the best players back to play rep football and that’s encouraging for all involved in football in Goulburn.”
The Strikers hope to make inroads into the State League Two Capital Football competition after a hit-and-miss 2012 campaign.
The squad from Goulburn was slow out of the blocks last season but finished the year with a flurry of wins.
It’s no surprise then they’re confident of their chances come 2013.
The club has every coaching position filled and has lured plenty of numbers to its selection trials thus far.
If the signing of Caulfield wasn’t a big enough enhancement to a club looking to reassert itself as a powerhouse in the ACT state leagues, the appointment of Tim Wilson, the General Manager of the Wollongong Wolves, to Strikers Technical Director is.
The off-field position of the club is equally adept, Albrighton says.
“You add this to the many years experience of our other coaches Jerry Evans, Darell Orton and Arj Stovelar and we have a bright and growing future ahead,” he said.
“The tantalising prospect of having both of these men involved in the club in 2013 is exciting for all concerned as players build their skills, parents are assured with confidence and other coaches also learn a thing or two.”
Albrighton played down the apparent rift between the Strikers and the Southern Tablelands Football Association.
“It’s never been ‘Us versus Them’ as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
“It’s about the greater good for football in Goulburn and we have worked together with the local clubs and STFA for over 11 years now.”
Albrighton pointed to the Strikers history of donating more than $10,000 back into local football, including $6000 for field maintenance, upgrades and junior development as proof the relationship between the two organisations was stable.
The Strikers supported John Coppolino’s under 9/10 development squad to the tune of $1000 last year, money that assisted in kitting them out.
“To say we are not supportive, for mine, is a beat up,” Albrighton said.
The Strikers secretary says the club was shown resounding support by locals and have recently offered an olive branch to the STFA.
“We have formerly written to them (STFA) offering to represent them in the NSW Branch Championships, and would welcome the opportunity to adopt any rep teams that numbers permitted under the Strikers banner in Canberra at no cost to the STFA”.
At the time of going to press, Albrighton said he had not yet had a response but was expecting one shortly and hoped it would move the two entities in a positive direction for football in Goulburn.
“To compete for players in the same segments is ludicrous, but with our long established relationship with Capital Football we have gained in principle approval to enter more rep teams as warranted by demand,” he said.
“With our current infrastructure and newfound technical experience we are well poised to commit ourselves to further assisting Goulburn’s footballing community, specifically and most importantly local juniors”.
Strikers trials will continue tomorrow night at Eastgrove from 6.30pm. Under 13s, under 19s girls, all-age men and all-age women will all be moving into their final week before breaking for Christmas and the new year.
Any information regarding trials can be directed to David Albrighton on 0408 429 965.