MORNINGTON has joined the chase to sign gun forward Dejan Radojicic from Casey Comets.
He has been targeted by Mornington head coach Adam Jamieson who sees Radojicic as the man who could become part of the most lethal strike force in State 1 next season.
Radojicic was Comets’ leading scorer last season and rumours of turmoil at Comets Stadium are circulating freely along with suggestions of a high player turnover.
English striker Josh Hine recently agreed terms for a second season at Dallas Brooks Park while Scottish striker Liam Baxter agreed terms last week despite being linked with newly promoted NPL1 outfit Eastern Lions.
Baxter was one of Mornington’s visa players last season but he is expected to be granted residency early next year freeing up another visa spot.
Jamieson has also bolstered his defence with the signing of former Melbourne Victory teenager Reece Caldecourt who hasn’t played for the past few seasons.
Caldecourt, 22, is a former Box Hill United, Casey Comets and Nunawading City junior.
“I’d been playing since I was three and I got a little bit burnt out plus my job (at NAB) was taking up a lot of my time so I decided to concentrate on my professional career,” Caldecourt said.
“I think I’ve had enough time off now and from what Adam (Jamieson) told me I think we’ll have a good shot at going for promotion next season.
“I just got back from a holiday in England and Ireland and we agreed terms last week so I’m really looking forward to getting back into it.”
Caldecourt’s preferred position is in central defence but he also presents Jamieson with a full back option.
Attacking midfielder Sammy Orritt is expected to trial with Langwarrin.
Orritt is a predominantly left-footed player who may fill the gap left by David Stirton’s departure.
He has spoken to Langy head coach Scott Miller and his assistant Jamie Skelly and he’s keen to start training at Lawton Park in early November.
Last week Langwarrin announced that it had become the first NPL club in Victoria to be given a five-star ranking by Football Federation Australia under its National Club Development Program.
Langy is the first club on the peninsula, the second club in Victoria and the third club nationwide to be awarded the national body’s top ranking.
The national program is an online development platform that allows clubs to answer a series of questions relating to various aspects of their football involvement including governance and capacity, female participation, inclusive participation, facilities, meeting demand, community citizenship and football experience.
In player news Thomas Ahmadzai has ended his second spell with Langwarrin.
Ahmadzai and Langwarrin never entered into negotiations for next season as the Brunswick-based midfielder is deciding whether or not to join a club closer to home or stop playing.
Langy has agreed terms with Callum and Luke Goulding and former Melbourne City teenage defender Lucas Portelli.
Mornington spoke to both Ahmadzai and Luke Goulding but they rejected overtures from the Dallas Brooks Park outfit.
Attacking midfielder Jordan Templin has been rumoured to be heading overseas but Dandenong Thunder is keen on the former Malvern City and Bulleen player.
There’s now doubt about the status of veteran Boris Ovcin who assumed that he was no longer required and had retired.
There’s no official word from Langy to that effect so Ovcin could still pull on the boots next season.
Langwarrin last week appointed Mark Negritas as its NPL under-18s coach.
Negritas had been coaching the Metro under-20s at Casey Comets winning the title in 2018 and coming runner-up this year.
Just a few weeks after being named 2019 Ben Caffrey Award winner as Langy’s best NPL junior Taylan Unal has left the club and joined Eastern Lions under-18s.
Unal easily won the league top scorer award with 44 goals this year as his team won the NPL under-15s championship.
In NPLW news Football Victoria announced last week that it had created a second division in the elite women’s competition.
The federation polled member clubs about the timing of the introduction of this new league which kicks off next year and will comprise Boroondara Eagles, Casey Comets FC, Eltham Redbacks, Galaxy United, Melbourne Knights, Melbourne Uni, Preston Lions, South Yarra, Southern United and Whitehorse United.
FV also released the 2020 competitions calendar and next year’s league season for NPL2, NPLW and State League competitions kicks off on the weekend of 22 March.
The Dockerty Cup gets underway in February.
In State 2 news Peninsula Strikers teenager Jai Power will trial with Dandenong Thunder’s under-20s next month.
Strikers president Adrian Scialpi and new senior coach Paul Williams were both supportive of Power having an NPL try-out.
“I’ve known Jai since he was a kid and he’s a wonderful young man and a wonderful player,” Scialpi said.
“I’ve told him to put his best foot forward because he deserves a chance at that level and he knows that the door at this club will always be open for him.”
Strikers arranged a barbeque yesterday (Monday) at Centenary Park for players and coaching staff to discuss plans for next season in an informal setting.
Some player departures are assured and it seems certain that midfielder Grant Lane has worn Strikers colours for the last time while fellow midfielders Danny Brooks and Jordan (Kaka) Avraham have been rumoured to also be on the move.
Brooks and “Kaka” look set to trial with Langwarrin next month.
Towering defender Michael Hoogendyk could switch to State 2 rival Berwick City to link up with former teammates Kris and Paul McEvoy.
Strikers have been forced into a coaching change at NPL under-14 level.
Former Springvale White Eagles junior coach Sasa Djurovic had been appointed in September but has been forced to resign after Melbourne Victory offered a spot in its junior program to his son Nikola.
That entails travelling back and forth to training and matchdays four times a week which made it impossible for the coach to honour his commitment to Strikers.
The club hopes to interview candidates for the vacant position this week.
In State 3 news Frankston Pines is considering striking up a partnership agreement with the Victorian Multicultural Sports Association, a Fijian community group keen to get involved in local soccer.
There have been three meetings and a number of phone conversations so far to discuss what each party has to offer and Pines head coach Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor is upbeat about the prospects of forming a partnership.
“They are looking to get involved with us and throw their support behind us and there also is the prospect of bringing players here from Fiji while we supply coaches to go to Fiji and conduct clinics,” Taylor said.
“They run lots of programs here primarily in schools and we’ll be able to host a lot of their competitions at Monterey Reserve.
“I can see a benefit for both parties as there are quite large numbers of Fijians in Casey, Dandenong and Frankston.”
In State 4 news newly promoted Somerville Eagles announced on Friday that Scott Morrison had been appointed senior coach for next season.
Morrison and star striker Dave Greening were joint senior coaches this year but Greening has decided to step away from that role although it’s understood that he intends to keep playing next season.
Morrison will be assisted by Stan Packer and Stuart Mitchell will again be in charge of goalkeeping coaching.
Morrison and Mitchell worked together at Rosebud Heart and Mitchell assisted Matty Morris-Thomas at Seaford last year.
Morrison has identified the players he wants to sign from other clubs but has refused to name them at this stage.