Bonnyrigg White Eagles claimed the Premiership last year with almost the last kick of the season, Robbie Younis securing the silverware in the 92nd minute of their Round 22 clash with Sydney Olympic.
Coach of the White Eagles Brian ‘Bomber’ Brown spoke about the rollercoaster ride that was that fateful last day of the regular season.
“There was so much emotion and from thinking we weren’t going to get anything to scoring with two minutes left and then realising the game wasn’t over was amazing.
“Since I’ve joined Bonnyrigg it’s been exciting and out of the three Premierships we’ve won, that was the highlight.
“Robbie’s late goal was one of the best moments I’ve had in football.”
The White Eagles couldn’t go on to take out the Championship and Brown says it was because the squad had too many similarities.
“We were a penalty kick away but I still believe we overachieved last season.
“It has nothing to do with the ability of the team but the fact that we had the wrong mix with too many of the same player.
“We didn’t have the penetration in the final third and other than Robbie we struggled.”
For a club like Bonnyrigg White Eagles, winning trophies and playing finals football is something the fans have come to expect. The Bonnyrigg coach understands that.
“We want to win the Premiership, Grand Final and go as far as we can in the FFA Cup.
“The players we’ve brought in will bring us that penetration and pace we were missing last year.
“I’m really happy with the squad with only a couple of spots to fill and if the right player comes across we’ll sign them.
The White Eagles have strengthened their entire squad and are looking stronger than last season.
“James Chronopoulis has come over, he’s got a point to prove and wants to win things and if we can get him fit he’ll be the best keeper in the league.
“Ray Miller is one of the best attacking midfielders in the league and the two Hyundai A-League boys in Reece Caira and Joel Chianese [have also joined the squad].”
The White Eagles have also signed two foreigners and Brown is excited by the quality and depth they provide.
“Yuta Kokado and Mun-Soo Gill have done nothing but good things so far for us.
“All the new boys fit in really well and have been working hard.
“They want to better themselves and go to the next level and they have the desire. It was the first thing that I was looking for, it had nothing to do with money for them.”
The White Eagles lost two key players and midfielders in Adrain Ucchino and Ken Chun from last year.
“They are two boys who have done a great job while at Bonnyrigg, two great lads and I’d love to have them but they both played a certain way and never really went past players and penetrated.
“The ones we’ve replaced them with will give us that.”
Adam Jenner and club legend Nikola Zonjic have been pinpointed by Bomber as two players to watch out for this year.
“Jenner has come back from a knee reconstruction last season and has really looked good while Zonjic is training better than I have ever seen him.”
Brown talked about his expectations of Aaron Peterson this season, someone he’d like to see step up.
“I’d like to see Peterson have a good year, he was good the first year he came to us but lost his way somewhat last season. We need to get him to focus on the right things.”
The Bonnyrigg boss has picked arch rival Sydney United 58 FC as favourites for the title with APIA Leichhardt Tigers also in the mix.
“Sydney United for top spot and then APIA, they’ve both signed top quality players, also Olympic and Blacktown will be there or thereabouts.
Last year Bonnyrigg was knocked out of the Westfield FFA Cup by Manly United and Bomber tips them to possibly cause a stir this season.
“They played better that night than they did all year.
“Paul Dee will have them pumped and they are the only one outside the big five clubs that standout and we play them first game.”
by Nikola Pozder