It will be a totally new squad made up of fresh new faces as the Blacktown Spartans commence its rebuild for the 2015 PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 season.
Ben De Haan will have the difficult job of rebuilding the squad from last season with only four first team survivors.
“Club captain Carlos Saliadarre, Greg Kondek, Luka Dukic and Mitchell Long all stayed at the club and not only showed that they’re great footballers and professionals but great people also and they will be true leaders for the young players we have.”
The Spartans were pipped for the title in a dramatic final day of football that saw the Bonnyrigg White Eagles crowned Premiers.
It was a dark day for the club as they were trounced 7-0 to staunch rivals Blacktown City FC who ran away with a Championship title to further rub salt in the wounds of the Spartans side.
De Haan stated to Football NSW that the club has adopted a different path for the up-coming season.
“We want to finish as high as possible on the ladder.
“We’re trying to restructure the whole club through the youth system by giving the young players coming through an opportunity to play first team football.
“We aren’t looking for immediate success this season but rather to build a young team of loyal players that we can keep at the club for the future.”
Having lost almost his whole playing team, De Haan discussed his views on the season ahead.
“We’ll obviously lose the experience factor with the young team we have but it’s all a bit of short term pain for some long term gain.
“There isn’t huge pressure on us to have to win every game as we’re in a development stage.”
The club has had to dip into the transfer market to fill in the gaps of departed players.
Amongst new arrivals are former Western Sydney Wanderers National Youth League player Josh Da Silva, Marconi Stallions’ Japanese import Shu Sasaki and the return of club junior Josh Tanner.
“Youngsters Jordan Crighton from the Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Daniel Fogarty from APIA Leichardt Tigers have been good additions to our teams also.”
The Spartans boss has also been impressed by the youngsters coming through the system as he hopes to blood them into the first team squad.
“We’ve got a good young team and talented juniors coming through, like Ben Tosi for example who played for our 18’s, a few games for the reserves and now a standard first grader.”
De Haan says it will be a fight between two teams at the top.
“Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Sydney United 58 FC should fight it out for the Premiership.”
The Spartans mentor says there could be a few surprises this year but one team has really caught his eye.
“There are about four or five clubs that could be a shock this season but Manly United looks really sharp, they’re a good bunch of young boys.”
Notable Signings – Josh Da Silva, Shu Sasaki, Josh Tanner, Costa Andricopoulos, Jordan Crighton, Daniel Fogarty
-By Nikola Pozder