Stallions building ahead of season

Dylan Vella (Ljubica Vrankovic) 338854_04_39

It’s been a promising start to life at Spring Hills under new coach Sal Paglia.

Paglia arrived at the club with a goal to return the club to FV State League 4 west after the club was relegated following last season and early signs are pointing in that direction.

“It’s been going really well, we’ve put a blueprint in place, a program to set up the preseason and we’re about four weeks into that and it’s looking good,” Paglia said.

The club took its first major stride during the preseason last week, passing Tullamarine with ease in the first round of the Australia Cup.

The Stallions defeated the state 5 north team 4-1 earlier in the month.

“It’s great for the club, great for the players that have come in, the existing and new ones,” Paglia said.

“At the same time it’s a bit of a milestone for the club after some success in our preseason games and to get over round one. We’re really happy with where we are at the moment.”

It’s not just Paglia that has made a good first impression at the club with new recruit Chris Duncan scoring three goals and assisting one.

“We’ve brought in a couple of experienced players, Chris Duncan is one of them, he came from Barnstoneworth United, he was the fourth top goal scorer in the league (state league 4 west) last season and he’s been our experienced front man,” Paglia said.

“We’ve got some experience around, we’ve got some youth and we’re just trying to find a happy blend between the two.”

Results haven’t just been positive in the Australia Cup, with three wins in practice matches happening in the build up to the cup game.

“The good thing is we’ve played against some teams that are in higher divisions and we’ve actually beaten them,” Paglia said.

“But it’s not all about the wins, it’s about the unity of the squad, we’re a new squad that has come together.

“But the wins are important, they bring confidence within the group and give us a bit of direction. Including the Australia Cup win we’re really on a good path at the moment, but we are five weeks away from the season, we’re still building those blocks, building the foundations and at the moment our preseason looks really good.

“It (promotion) is the long distance goal, but I think we’ve got some things that we need to work on to get right first before we go for promotion. We’re building a team not just for the short term but we’re building for the future.”

Harper Sercombe