The Team: 2012 saw Bonnyrigg White Eagles completely dominate the regular season competition with a giant-killing run that saw the side finish first on the league ladder with seventeen wins from twenty-two matches. Brian Brown’s men netted fifty goals, and were well ahead of their rivals in a dominant campaign, only to fall short in the finals series where Marconi Stallions deservedly clinched the grand-final triumph.
The 2013 White Eagles squad remains an impressive one with only few changes made to the playing roster. Under the posts will see well known goalkeeper and former A-League shotstopper Matthew Nash return to the fold.
Once again, Robbie Younis will carry the goal scoring responsibilities with new signing Aaron Peterson expected to chip-in throughout the campaign to assist with the ‘goals for’ column on the league ladder.
Out of midfield, Tynan Diaz, Adrian Ucchino and Mitchell Long will pull the strings for the front line, meanwhile defensively, the line has been reinforced with the return of club favourite Vuko Tomasevic to the squad with Steven Hesketh; the former to add some priceless experience ahead of what promises to be a very competitive season.
Former Perth Glory National Youth League youngster Howard Fondyke is also another player that is sure to shake up the competition this year.
The Coach: Brian Brown’s men were relentless in the regular season last campaign, and the likeable White Eagles’ boss will expect nothing less than a repeat performance in 2013. Brown, along with his trusty assistant Cliff Pointer, are coherent with winning, and the two will start the season believing their side has what it takes to go that one step further and claim grand-final success this time around.
Brown’s experience in this competition is invaluable, and it is perhaps that experience that constantly sets the White Eagles as favourite at the start of each season.
Tactically astute, the Scotsman has the players at his disposal to, once again, take the league by storm this season.
Player to watch: One cannot look past last season’s Golden Boot winner, Robbie Younis. The striker was in sensational form, netting twenty goals over the course of the season. Once more, Younis will lead the attacking line and his goals will be vital for Bonnyrigg’s chances of adding more silverware.
The striker’s finesse and strength on the ball, mixed with a vicious left peg, have Younis as one of the most prolific striker’s in the history of the competition.
Younis, in his second season with the club, will again have the supply provided by the likes of Tynan Diaz and Mitchell Long, and the trio will need to be at their best against a number of hungry adversaries in the competition.
The striker is arguably the favourite to once again take out the Golden Boot award in 2013.
Rising Star: Midfielder Adrian Ucchino returned to Australia in 2012 and joined Bonnyrigg White Eagles in May of last season, playing an exceptional role in the side’s fine run towards the finals series.
The twenty-two year old returned to Australia with some fantastic experience obtained during his stint in Italy. The time spent at both Frosinone and Sangiovannese have made him a better all-round player. Ucchino last season showed his ability not only to cover the ball winning role in midfield but also his confidence and ability on the ball, playing his part in the assists department for his strikers.
Not shy to get forward either, expect to see Ucchino find the back of the net too this season – the midfielder is not shy to get forward and pull the trigger when given a sniff in the front third.
A special mention must also go to young gun Nikola Todoroski, son of one of the Premier League’s best strikers Mile, who will be one to look out for also.
2013 squad: Alex Mansueto, Adrian Ucchino, Howard Fondyke, Nikola Todoroski, Matthew Nash, Benjamin Spruce, Aaron Peterson, Vuko Tomasevic, Chris Tadrosse, Anthony Abi-Arrage, Tynan Diaz, David Gullo, Nikola Zonjic, Steven Hesketh, Bo Hyun Chun, Aleksander Canak, Robert Younis, Mitchell Long, Jordan Crighton, Nikodin Matic, Nikola Stanojevic, Vincent Veneri, Massa Tanaka