The Wollongong Wolves will be hoping a return to the famous name with which they enjoyed so much success in the National Soccer League days will propel the club forward into a new period of success.
First, they will have to overcome a mini injury crisis that has struck Coach Jacob Timpano’s squad before a competitive ball has even been kicked.
The Wolves – who competed as South Coast Wolves last season – snuck into the top five with a tremendous run-in last time around and have strengthened their side with former A-League goalkeeper and Wollongong local Justin Pasfield, as well as versatile defender Kota Kawase.
“Last year the boys did a great job of creeping into the five which was a huge achievement,” Timpano said.
“Pasfield adds a lot of experience and leadership to the squad, which we have lacked a bit, and he’s a big addition for us.”
But injuries have already struck with Ricky Zucco still recovering from a broken leg, Darcy Madden breaking a leg during pre-season as well as a serious knee injury suffered by James O’Rourke which will keep him out for the season.
“We’ve been a bit unfortunate with injures, but that’s the way it goes,” Timpano said.
“You can’t really plan for that, but we’ll bring up Danny Lazareski (defender) and Brett Wilson (forward) from the youth team.
“They’ve been a part of the youth team for a couple of years and done well for the club and I’m all about giving the local lads the chance.
”Hopefully they can take it.”
Adding to the excitement of the new season for Timpano is returning to the club’s original name of the Wollongong Wolves.
“That’s obviously how the club started and there is a lot of history here,” Timpano said.
“We’re a proud club and we want to do the best we can to represent this region as well as possible.”
Player to Watch: Justin Pasfield
The Wollongong boy is back where it all started and ready to help the Wolves to what will hopefully end in at least another finals campaign. More than his shot-stopping ability, Pasfield’s real benefit to the side will come in his organisational abilities.
SQUAD: Justin Pasfield, Kota Kawase, Darcy Madden, James O’Rourke, James Baldacchino, Chris Price, Brendan Griffin, Peter Simonoski, David Stojic, Brett Wilson, Daniel Collison, Danny Lazarevski, Ben Zucco, Ricky Zucco, Nicolas Bernal, Sam Matthews