Jack Edwards Reserve is the place to be this Thursday night as the Victorian National Premier League officially launches as Oakleigh Cannons FC hosts Avondale.
Both clubs finished in the top three last season and met in the semi-final – to which Avondale was victorious – making this an exciting contest to open the season.
The Cannons have strengthened their squad in the off-season recruiting the 2018 Gold Medallist Tyson Holmes from the Bentleigh Greens, as well as adding a Western Australian flavour to the side with Joe Knowles and Harley Orr.
In addition, the club has also kept a core group of its players as it hopes to contend for silverware in 2020.
“We’ve had a good pre-season the boys have done very well,” Wade Dekker said.
“We’ve gelled very well as a group, the news boys that have come in have got along really well with the guys straight away. Most of the core is still together from last year and not getting into that final last year really hurt a lot of us so we’re striving for that this year.
“January is always very intense there’s usually four or five sessions a week and practice games often. It is full on but Chris Taylor is great the way he manages work and soccer and us boys, so it’s manageable us guys have been in the system for a while so we know we have to make sacrifices, especially this year we want to do well so we’re willing to make the sacrifices and be ready to go.”
The Cannons will be looking to take advantage of its first five games being at home, with the side determined to start the season strongly.
“Last year was quite annoying in the way we started to say the least and that is definitely one thing we don’t want to do this year,” Dekker said.
“It won’t be easy we have a tough fixture in the first five games but most definitely it’s been a focus to make sure we’re structured and on fire especially tomorrow night. It’s been our main focus since we started it’s going to be a very hard game Avondale are a very strong team and have been for the last few years and so it’s massive.”
Oakleigh Cannons FC host Avondale in the opening round of the NPL Victoria season at Jack Edwards Reserve on Thursday 13 February.
Kick off at 7:45pm.