Danial Cummins has returned to the helm of the APIA Leichhardt Tigers and will be looking to recreate his Premiership winning success of his 2017 season coaching the side.
Having taken time out of the game due to work commitments, Cummins was reappointed as head coach of the Inner West side in November 2021 and is eager to get started on his 2022 campaign, with high ambitions for the season ahead.
“First and foremost, I want to stay the season and to stay the season means we need to be winning – so expectations are top two,” he explained.
“It’s tough because it’s been a difficult preseason with COVID and injuries, but that’s where we should be and that’s where we’re working towards.
“What I’m going for is to get a bit more mobility.”
“I want to be pressing a bit higher and I want to move the ball a lot quicker than what they did last year.
His understanding of the league will likely prove advantageous, having experienced success during his last time coaching at APIA.
“I think you need three things in this league,” he explained.
“I think they need to be fit, they need structure and there needs to be team culture.
“If you look at the league since 2014, if you concede less than 20 goals you win the comp, so it starts with defence.”
While there are several new faces in the squad that will have a big impact on APIA’s performance, there are some familiar faces that Cummins is expecting to reach new levels and hopefully make the difference to see APIA finish the season on top.
“We’ve bought really well up top, we’ve got some really young fellas that are good, but if we don’t defend and keep clean sheets, then we won’t win the league,” he said.
“Walter Scott’s been new to the squad, he’s come out of the A-League, I don’t think he’ll be here long… he’s been really impressive.
“Jack Armson in the centre of the park has been good, I really like him and he’s been really helpful and we’ve got young Matt Cahill up top… he comes from Central Coast.
“So they’re three that have joined us that I’ve been really happy with.
“There are some experienced boys that have just, I think, turned up and are doing really a good job.
“I think Themba [Muata-Marlow] is the best I’ve seen Themba – the best I’ve seen him since I’ve been here.
“I think [Michael] Kouta has come along quite well, I think the rest for Ivan [Necevski] has been really good, that’s helped us.
“We’ve got that good blend of experience and youth coming through.”