More games and more grades mean Wagga City Wanderers are building for a bigger and brighter second season in the state league.
The local franchise was officially granted a licence in a new 12-team competition when Football NSW announced its ‘declaration of leagues’.
Wanderers director Martin Loy said their inclusion means it’s “all systems go” for 2016.
“I think one of the most pleasing things is that Football NSW have gained a lot of confidence in us because of the professionalism of our organisation,” Loy said.
“A lot of the feedback they’ve got from other clubs is – don’t be too worried that these guys haven’t won a lot of games because they probably should’ve won more than they did and they’re probably the most professional club in the competition.”
The Wanderers won one game in their debut season in the state league two competition.
A restructure has led to one state league, incorporating the Wanderers, eight of their rivals from 2015, and three teams from a higher league – Nepean FC, Bankstown United and St George – playing a 22-game season.
The Wanderers will hold trials for prospective players on November 7 and 8.
“As it stands right now, the level of interest is extreme compared to what it was last year,” Loy said.
“There’s been a noticeable improvement in the level of support from the local clubs and the community, because they’ve got a better understanding of what we’re doing.”
The addition of an under 18 team, alongside the under 20 and first grade competitions, is a benefit rather than a risk, according to Loy.
“If you’re 14 or 15, you’re looking at under 20s thinking it’s a long way away, but all of a sudden there’s an under 18s side so it’s just created a really good pathway,” he said.
“I actually think we’re going to be reasonably strong in the under 18s. I think there’s some talent in the local area that we didn't tap into last year.”
Loy said planning for next season is much further along than this time 12 months ago.
“Where we were starting last year, we had no money, we had no players, no nothing,” he said.
“Now we’ve got our sponsor contracts locked in, we’ve got our licence awarded, we’ve got a base of players already and we’ve got our coaching staff organised.”
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