Illawarra and South Coast, born, bred and developed local players will form the core nucleus of the Wollongong Wolves Football Club First Grade team striving for 2018 premiership glory in the NPL 1 Men’s Competition.
Wolves First Grade coach, Jacob Timpano said the squad was predominantly built around players from the local region.
“We’re putting together a very competitive, versatile and highly skilled squad,” he said.
“The talent we have available across our region is exceptional and we will be one of the very few teams in the NPL Men’s 1 Competition that has such a high percentage of true, local representation.”
Club captain Chris Price (Milton Juniors), Justin Pasfield (Lake Heights Juniors), Michael Robinson (Kiama Juniors), Peter Simonovski (Berkley Juniors), Josh Macdonald (Unanderra Hearts), James Baldacchino (Shellharbour Juniors), Taylor McDonald (Wolves junior), Ethan Kambisios (Figtree Juniors) all cut their teeth as local juniors, while Brendan Griffin grew up on the beaches of Coalcliff and Steve Hayes relocated from Canberra to kick start his career with the Wolves, making his first grade debut as an 18-year-old.
Already 10 of the squad identify themselves as proud local products, with the possibility of perhaps a couple more to sneak in before the signing window concludes.
“It’s crucial we continue to provide opportunities and pathways to all our local players, up and down the entire coast and right across our region, and give them the chance to represent at the highest possible level,” Mr Timpano said.
“We take great pride from the number of players our region continues to develop and nurture. I have absolutely no doubt our boys this year are going to make plenty of people sit up and take notice.
“We can’t wait for the season to kick off proper.”
Securing the services of the local players, complementing the recent re-signing of Nick Montgomery and Yuzo Tashiro, leaves the Wolves with only a few spots left to finalise the squad for 2018.
Negotiations are well advanced with a number of players with additional announcements expected to be made over the coming weeks.
Speculation continues to mount as to who may fill the final visa spot available, with some interesting approaches already made directly to Wolves coaching staff and management.
Wollongong Wolves CEO, Chris Papakosmas commended Mr Timpano, Nick Montgomery and the football department as a whole, for their efforts.
“They have assembled a great squad with the perfect mix of local talent, youth, experience, professionalism and passion,” he said.
“We’ve got leaders right across the park and players who have been there and done that, who are the perfect mentors and examples for our young ones coming through.
“We are building something very special here and 2018 is going to be the Year of the Wolves.”
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