Parramatta FC pulled off one of the great escapes last season to retain their spot in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s after gaining promotion in 2014.
But this season, Franco Consentino is hoping for a smoother ride than the rollercoaster that was 2015.
The Eagles will have to contend with the exit of former captain Patrick Gatt and Matthew Clowes but Consentino has managed to bring in former Sydney United 58 FC captain Ibrahim Haydar, as well as Ante Tomic, Tomi Mijic and Josh Sama.
The additions have Consentino positive about the season ahead.
“I think the first season up in a new division is always the hardest year. You have to adjust,” Consentino said.
“You have to stick with a lot of the team that got you up but this year we’ve been able to bring in some extras and we’ve managed to keep others.
“I think the boys we bought in should give us that little bit more, plus the experience we picked up will be a bit help too.
“There were a lot of games we were drawing and losing by the odd goal, so now we have to turn those draws into wins and those losses into draws.”
Consentino said the side had shown good form in pre-season but said he was not paying too much attention to results prior to round one.
“We’re just hoping to finish mid-table if possible. I think we’ve improved on last year and we’ve got some extra stability in the team, so I think that’s a good goal,” he said.
“I’m hoping we stay clear of the bottom two or three like last year.”
Player to watch: Josh Symons
The Parramatta defender will take over the captain’s armband following the departure of Patrick Gatt.
How quickly him and new boy Ibrahim Haydar can develop a good understanding at the back will be crucial to Parramatta’s success this season.
SQUAD: Luke Turnbull, Daniel Di Ruocca, Mitchell Davidson, Joshua Symons, Tomislav Mijic, Daniel Gullo, David Gullo, Daniel Rezo, Gosue Sama, Marco Sama, Ante Tomic, Tomislav Borovickic, Andreas Vais, Luke Grima, Andre Schroeder, Frank Martey, Joshua Gersbach, Tom Mallet, Ibrahim Haydar, Aram Tayebi Derazkala