Brayden Sorge has been around the NPL for a number of years slotting in at left-back but the Rockdale Ilinden FC star understands that the 2020 season will see him utilised in possibly new positions.
“This pre-season has been a lot more intense than previous ones I’ve been through, a lot higher paced, more running etc. which has got us physically fitter and gives us a lot more at the back.
“It allows us to think quicker and to make better choices, when to break, when to sit back and so on and also in our recovery when getting back into position.
“It’s certainly keeping us on our toes.”
The transition from the defence into midfield and into attack appears smoother than previous campaigns.
“We’re taking our time a lot more, time to think about the best option to play instead of rushing it and going full-paced as we have in the past.
“We were guilty of trying to rush play and trying to hurtle forward but we are learning to look for the better option in setting up the play, having time to think about the best ball and in choosing the right pass.
“Its been working in pre-season so for (just a solitary goal conceded in regular pre-season games) so we’ll look to keep that going when the competition starts next week.”
Steve Zoric, Ilinden’s new coach, has been instrumental in bringing new tactics and, especially, the new fitness regime to the club.
“We’ve always had a tight-knit group here, the change-room has always been good, everyone has each others back and enjoyed a good laugh but with Steve coming in it has added that extra edge.
“He is making us run, work hard and with the higher intensity, everyone is enjoying it more and when that happens everyone benefits.
“It’s a combination of things but with Steve coming in, along with Gary, we have become a lot sharper all around the pitch.”
With increased competition for places this season and just 11-starting spots, Sorge knows that every player is competing for a spot.
“Everyone knows you’ve really got to work for your place and when you’ve got it, do everything to ensure you keep it.
“It’s great for all of us as the increased competition keeps us all on our toes and that’s good for the club as well as the players.”
Rockdale Ilinden kick-off their 2020 campaign at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday 1st March against Manly United at 4:30pm.
-By Micky Brock