Georgies hoping to make it three

(Mark Avellino)

Harper Sercombe

Caroline Springs George Cross is hoping to make it three in a row as it begins to wind up for the Victorian Premier League 1 season.

The club has been promoted rapidly over the last three years, from state league 1 in 2021, to the tier of soccer below the top flight National Premier League for the upcoming season.

While the bar, stakes and challenges are set to rise again when the club takes to the pitch on February 10, coach Eric Vassiliadis said he is ready to go.

“I’m looking forward to what’s going to be another challenging season, coming off a couple of really successful ones,” he said.

“But this is now one step further, there’s definitely been some changes to the squad so we’re working really hard in the preseason to embed some of the new boys we’ve signed but also to think about readjusting what we have to do to make sure we’re successful this year.

“I think it’s important that we continue to reflect on the things that we’ve done well and bring more of those and the things that have caused us harm or risk to try and continue to reduce those things.

“But importantly we’ve had a core group of players that have been together for some time, so I think they’re well and truly on board, it’s just about making sure that we bring some freshness, some new ideas, some new energy into the group on and off the park, that includes coaching staff and players.

“That’s been the focus, to try and refresh the squad a little bit, continue to build some hunger but making sure that we’re not really going to change our DNA too much.”

Some of the players that Vassiliadis is excited to see in the red and white stripes include Nikola Jurkovic, Liam O’Connel, Russ Currie and Ko Sawada. He said there are more players that the club are talking to that could be in the squad by the time match day one rolls around.

“There’s definitely some really experienced high quality players that have come in,” he said.

“But I also think through this pre-season we’ve really unearthed some good young talent that’s played a big role through the pre-season.

“That being said we definitely want to make sure we’re still moving forward in terms of the pipeline of players coming through.”

While a promotion into the NPL would be a fairy tale finish to the Georgies’ campaign over the recent years, Vassiliadis said he knows fairy tales don’t always come true.

“We are just working with all of our resources, with all of our people to try to maximise the opportunities of winning the next game,” he said.

“If we could achieve something magical like a back-to-back-to-back we would etch our names into some sort of folk law, that is an amazing aspiration. But I’m pretty sure that there’s 13 other clubs looking at doing something similar.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun, I know that much, we’re going to enjoy it and hopefully things fall our way.”