The Team: Rockdale City Suns failed to deliver in 2011 following their fine first season in the NSW Premier League in 2010. Always a difficult side to break down defensively, especially at home, the Suns lacked the creativity and self-belief in the final third to make a serious challenge last season.
Despite the early season setbacks, the Suns did finish the season strongly under the guidance of Wally Savor, finishing only five-points outside the top-five.
Expectation in 2012 is that the Suns do make a serious challenge for finals football. Despite losing a number of experienced campaigners from last season including the likes of Paul Dee, Adem Kir, James Monie and Mirko Jurilj, the Suns have added some strong names to their playing roster this season.
Paul Kohler?s experience will be vital, especially around the young players, meanwhile the additions of Takuya Muruyama, Hussein Jasli and Nathan Jagelman certainly do add pace and flair to the squad.
The late inclusions of former Sydney United young gun Tomislav Cirjak along with Sydney United youth keeper Ryan Norval and ex-Newcastle Jets youth player David Talevski.
Captain Peter Apolevski will again lead his beloved Suns, and his job will be an important one in guiding the newly promoted youngsters through their first season in Football NSW?s top flight.
The Coach: Wally Savor made the jump from the Rockdale City Suns Grade-20 side midway through last season following the departure of Lee Sterrey at the club, and the former Socceroo defender has proven he does have a bright future in the coaching ranks ahead of him.
Savor led the Suns to what seemed an unlikely eighth place finish following the Suns start to the 2011 campaign, a run that included some very impressive displays by his side.
Savor?s playing experience ? having played at an elite level and voted one of the greatest Socceroos of all time ? stand the Rockdale City Suns club in a good position to challenge for finals football.
Player to watch: Much expectation surrounded striker Jason Naidovski following his arrival at the Suns last season, though a difficult season all-round for the club culminated in a lengthy goal scoring drought for the burly front man.
Despite the early season setback, Naidovski showed his strengths late on in the campaign and his overall ability cannot be questioned. A deadly finisher in front of goal with a strong capacity to hold off his marker and create chances, expect Naidovski to show his true worth in 2012.
Rising Star: Roberto Speranza is another fine emerging talent in the NSW Premier League this season. A tremendous 2011 for the Suns? Grade-20 side, the imposing figure who has exceptional touch on the ball, equally impressive vision and a no nonsense attitude offers coach Wally Savor much versatility across the backline or even in midfield.
The young talent also possesses a fine set-piece delivery, an asset to the club following the departure of Adem Kir following last season.
Rockdale City Suns Squad 2012
1. Ryan Norval
2. Takuya Muruyama
3. Giorgio Speranza
4. Tomislav Cirjak
5. Pece Cvetanovski
6. Josh Lawson
7. Pece Apolevski ?
8. Paul Kohler
9. Nathan Jagelman
10. Jason Naidovski
11. David Talevski
13. Jin Kim
14. Daniel Slaveski
15. Adrian Karakolevski
16. Anthony Perri
17. Sash Tirovski
18. Daniel Mitwali
19. Marino Musumeci
20. Roberto Speranza
21. Ricky Perinich
22. Aaron Liddell (GK)
23. Askin Oygur
24. Sean Thomas
Coach: Wally Savor
Ins: Paul Kohler (Sutherland Sharks), Takuya Muruyama (Bonnyrigg White Eagles), Pece Cvetanovski (free agent), Daniel Mitwali (Kfarsoum FC), Nathan Jagelman (Marconi Stallions), Hussein Jasli (Sutherland Sharks), Jin Kim, Daniel Slaveski (Bankstown City), Ryan Norval (Sydney FC youth), Tomislav Cirjak (Brisbane Roar youth), David Talevski, Ricky Perinich (Sydney United)
Outs: Paul Dee, Sash Trajcevski, Shay Spitz, Dominic Hudap, Jeffrey Issa, Adem Kir, Itsuki Hasegawa, Steven Veleski, James Monie, Mirko Jurilj, Dion Shaw