Former Socceroo and Sydney Olympic legend Ante Juric is hoping the culmination of several years of building will see his team reach their peak this season.
Since winning the Premiership/Championship double in 2018, Olympic haven’t been able to replicate the success, but Juric explained that is definitely their goal for 2022.
“Olympic doesn’t change in terms of what we’re trying to do,” he explained.
“We always try and win things and be in the top five and then hopefully win the Championship.
“That doesn’t change in terms of goals, but we’ve got a new team and we’re still building with this revitalized team from the last year or two.”
With a focus on improving some small things from last season and using their new talent to bring some extra impact, particularly in the front third, Olympic are real contenders for the trophy.
“We dominated a lot of games last year, but we didn’t finish,” Juric said.
“Hopefully, with the inclusion of a couple of players there, maybe Sam [McIlhatton] and Roy [O’Donovan], even Mat Cordier, hopefully that will improve our top third.
“With a new season other teams would have improved so we just need to keep working hard on the right things and being energetic and then hopefully defensively we stay strong and in attack, we improve and score.”
While talent is key to bringing Olympic’s goals to fruition, something more important has been creating a positive culture within the club.
With several coaching and personnel changes over the years prior to Juric’s appointment as manager, a goal of Juric’s has been to set about on a new era of respect and selflessness that will lead the club back to glory.
“I’m a big believer in playing for each other and being selfless and respecting each other and that’s probably most important,” he said.
“That’s why we brought in certain players because I think they’ll follow that and that’s more important to me than anything.
“Usually success comes from that as long as they’re decent players, and they are, so that for me is something I think we’ve changed over the last two years since I’ve come in.
“I think we were losing our way a little bit in terms of that potentially coaches, potentially certain players, but I think we’ve turned the leaf in terms of that and it’s a new it’s a new era, we’d probably call it because there’s a lot of new youngsters in there, a lot of players under 23.
“Now we’re probably past the building stage because for the last two years we’ve tried to bring these guys in and now it’s time to excel with the players we’ve got.
“Culturally I think we’re in a very, very good place.”
-By Madeline Riley