Reigning 2019 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Champions APIA Leichhardt Tigers have made minimal fuss in the off-season break as coach John Calleja has opted to stick with the same squad that earned his side the big prize at Bankwest Stadium when they defeated Sydney United 58 in the finale.
After recently uncovering its new logo for the 2020 NPL NSW season going back to basics with a traditional style adding a modern twist to it, Calleja has stayed true to the squad that gave their faithful so much joy gifting them the Championship in Sydney’s Inner West.
Three new faces have thus far graced the pre-season pitches at the Tigers with former Rydalmere FC player Mitchell Gibbs, ex-Sydney FC youth product Patrick Scibilio and dangerous marksman and another FC and Sutherland Sharks product Jeremy Cox all penning deals with the club. The club may look towards signing one more well-known recruit to finalise its squad.
In the re-signing department, one name that sticks out again is that of iconic club legend and the NPL NSW Men’s maestro Franco Parisi who has stated his intent in playing another year with the 36-year-old hoping to make it back to back Championships.
The likes of 2019 players such as the Symons brothers Sean and Josh, Ivan Necevski, Luke Turnbull, Themba Muata Marlow, Paul Galimi, Sam McIllhatton, Adrian Ucchino, Corey Biczo, Michael Kouta, Chris Payne, Lachlan Hughes and Dom Nasrabadi will once again call Lambert Park while the club has announced that their 2019 mid-season signing, midfield bulldog Nick Stavroulakis, has been appointed assistant coach as well as a registered player for the 2020 season. One player that won’t be there in 2020 will be journeyman Tynan Diaz who will likely feature with NPL 2 NSW Men’s outfit Mounties Wanderers.
The club has also continued its push in promoting and developing their young up and coming players by rewarding Camil Abouchaya and Nick Azzone first grade contracts. The club in recent seasons has produced some fine young talent and both Abou and Azzone will hope to gain as much experience as possible in stamping their claims as future senior stars.
APIA will open its 2020 NPL NSW Men’s campaign with a clash against newly promoted side North Shore Mariners at Lambert Park on Saturday 29th of February.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2020: Sean Symons, Josh Symons, Franco Parisi, Nick Stavroulakis, Ivan Necevski, Luke Turnbull, Themba Muata Marlow, Paul Galimi, Sam McIllhatton, Adrian Ucchino, Corey Biczo, Michael Kouta, Chris Payne, Lachlan Hughes, Dom Nasrabadi, Mitchell Gibbs, Patrick Scibilio, Jeremy Cox, Camil Abouchaya, Nick Azzone.