Nick Dimovski has set about creating a new look Sutherland Sharks outfit in the off season, with plenty of new signings, an invigorated team culture, and an emphasis on playing a dynamic style of attacking football.
Over the break, Dimovski has recruited well with A-League talent Nick Sullivan, NPL NSW Men’s stalwarts Jason Madonis, Nikola Taneski and Michael O’Neill joining the club, alongside Harry Callahan, Mark Rodic, Lachlan McDonald and most recently Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu.
There has also been a number of talented players retained at the club including goalkeeper Antony Bouzanis, James Andrew, Chris Lindsay, Lachlan Everett and young-gun Gabriel Contigiani.
In the process of recruiting the new players to the club, there has been plenty of thought as to who would fit the culture that Dimovski is trying to build.
With big goals for the season, and even bigger goals for the future of the club, Dimovski explained that attitude and values were two incredibly important facets of his recruitment strategy.
“Like all teams we’ve obviously got a goal to make the top five and one of the things this year when we’ve done the rebuild was when we were looking at players we wanted to make sure it wasn’t just players that had the ability, it was players with the right mindset players, with the right values as human beings,” he explained.
“We try and pick good people first and then try and help their football to make them better players.
“Sutherland Sharks is a family orientated club that cares for its players and wants players here with the right attitudes and when you get them you can then develop the right culture within the club.”
One of the Sharks biggest recruits this season is former Sydney Olympic captain Jason Madonis, who Dimovski had nothing but praise for.
“You need people like Jason in a team, because they bring so much to it, so much,” he said.
“I’ve told everyone I believe Jason Madonis is the best Sharks signing since Jacob Tratt.
“He’s not only a good player, he’s a top kid.
“He is so good in the change rooms, he’s a natural born leader.
“I’m hoping success is going to follow him around because he’s a great kid and he deserves everything he achieves in the sport because he puts so much time and effort in off the field as well to get it right on the park when he’s playing.”
While the Sharks’ goals for the season are clear, the pre-season has been full of challenges due to the current climate with the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions.
“It’s the most unusual of preseasons, but we have been working on developing our attacking brand.
“We want to be on the front foot and we want to be playing an attacking brand of football this year and we’ve been working on that in preseason but there has been the challenges obviously of COVID which is I’m sure the same as every other club.”
The Sharks are set to kick off their season against Marconi Stallions at 6:00pm on Saturday 5th March at Marconi Stadium.
-By Madeline Riley