THE fate of Langwarrin triallists Sammy Orritt from Mornington and Jordon “Kaka” Avraham from Peninsula Strikers will be decided after Saturday’s clash with Melbourne Victory.
Langy gaffer Scott Miller wants to see how they perform against the third-tier NPL outfit in a friendly that kicks off at 11am at Lawton Park.
Another triallist, Strikers forward John Prescott, flew back to England last weekend and won’t return until next month but Miller will make a call on all three after the Victory game.
Should he want to sign them it then becomes a matter of agreeing terms.
It emerged last week that Scottish striker John Baird will not be returning to Lawton Park and it looks likely that the journeyman goalscorer will head to Western Australia with his family.
Baird is currently seeing out a short-term deal back in Scotland with Raith Rovers.
Meanwhile rumours of player movement at Peninsula Strikers continue and State 2 rival Berwick City seems to be the destination of choice for some of the players mentioned.
If Langy doesn’t agree terms with Prescott he could join Michael Hoogendyk, Oscar Marsden and Danny Brooks in a move to Jack Thomas Reserve.
Big “Hoogs” isn’t locked in though as Knox and Brandon Park have shown interest.
“Brooksy” may pursue a move to NPL3 and Springvale White Eagles could be an option but Berwick is reported to be keen on signing him.
“Kaka” and teenage winger Matt Harrington continue to be linked to Mornington while midfielder Grant Lane is set to join Boronia and goalkeeper Colin McCormack has stepped away from the game due to family and work commitments.
Former president and long-serving player Trevor Johnston has ended a 25-year association with Strikers and has joined the coaching staff at Berwick City under head coach Gerry McDonagh and assistant Shane Duhau.
It’s believed that Johnston was keen on a coaching position at Strikers but was not interviewed.
Strikers president Adrian Scialpi is adamant that the club is developing a senior squad which will be successful and he is keen to oversee a development pathway that feeds from the junior club into the senior club.
“We aim to provide our junior NPL boys with a readymade pathway to senior football,” Scialpi said.
“We want to have our own home-grown factory if you like where we can produce our own senior footballers.
“But we also recognise the need to attract talented players from outside the club.”
Strikers’ pre-season training gets underway this week and a number of new faces are expected to be at Centenary Park among them former Langy and current Pines midfielder Nick Simmons.
Some former Strikers’ juniors who have been playing with NPL clubs are also expected to train.
State 2 rival Skye United is keen on signing striker Travis Ernsdoerfer from Frankston Pines and the former NPL youngster has trained with the newly promoted club.
Skye confirmed some pre-season fixtures last week as its preparations for 2020 got underway in earnest with 48 players training on Tuesday and 42 on Thursday.
Skye will play East Brighton at John Paul College in Frankston on Saturday 18 January at 1pm and 3pm, Mazenod at Brandon Park Reserve on Saturday 8 February at 1pm and 3pm and Casey Comets at John Paul College on Saturday 15 February at 1pm and 3pm.
Kick-off times are provisional and are dependent on weather conditions so please check club social media announcements closer to these dates.
In State 4 news former Peninsula Strikers and Skye United head coach Billy Armour is the new boss at Endeavour United and his assistant is well-known local soccer identity Billy Rae, who has coached at Skye United, Peninsula Strikers, Seaford United, Frankston Pines and Langwarrin.
Armour has joined the list of clubs chasing the signature of veteran Somerville Eagles striker Mark Pagliarulo.
He was Somerville’s leading scorer this year with 26 goals in 18 games, two behind league Golden Boot winner and former Pines striker Christopher L’Enclume of White Star Dandenong who played two more games.
“Pags” has attracted interest from Skye, Baxter, Rosebud and White Star and his soccer future is uncertain.
“Somerville’s a quality club in fact it’s one of the best I’ve been at and I’ve played senior football for a lot of clubs especially back in Scotland,” he said.
Frankston Pines emerged last week as another candidate to sign the big Scot and contacted him to invite him to train at Monterey Reserve.
“I haven’t met with any clubs yet so it’s more than likely that I’ll make my mind up after Christmas,” he said.
“I do feel a sense of loyalty towards Somerville seeing firsthand the work that goes on behind the scenes and what they have achieved in such a short space of time.
“That makes me want to stay and help them out on the pitch.
“I had a great return goal-wise last season and I really enjoyed my football there.
“Winning the club Golden Boot was the icing on the cake especially when nobody thought I had it in me to win it.”
The fallout from the recent resignations of three leading members of the senior coaching staff continues and although the players and committee are united in wanting Scott Morrison, Stan Packer and Stuart Mitchell to return it’s only a remote possibility.
“I have so much respect for ‘Scotty’, ‘Smitchy’ and Stan who are all good lads and a huge loss to the club,” Pagliarulo added.
“But on the other hand I have so much respect for Craig (Bozelle, vice-president), Luke (Mulder, president) and Zach (Peddersen, director of football) after seeing how hard they work for that club and how much they love the club.
“But these things happen in football clubs and everyone moves on.
“It’s sad for the club and the team but both parties will come out of this learning lessons and there’s no bad blood between any of them, it’s just one of these things.
“I would love for things to change and the coaches to come back but I don’t see that happening.”
Somerville reserves coach Dave Greening left last Friday for a holiday in the UK and will return to Melbourne in late January.
There was a school of thought that getting Greening to accept the senior coaching role would smooth the waters at the club but that hasn’t happened.
Last weekend Somerville announced that a group of players had committed to the club for 2020: Ash Scholes, Nathan Brown, Nathan Grimshaw, Eric Manhanong, Damian Garcia, Stephen Curd, Jarryd McMinimee and Kadison English.
The search for a new senior coach and senior assistant has started and applicants can contact director of football Zach Peddersen on 0400 026 912 or email him at email@example.com.
In State 5 South news Aspendale Stingrays have had a few new faces at pre-season training among them Tom Lonsing, ex-Dandenong Thunder under-18s, former South Springvale and Brighton player Daniel Ogon, Lachlan Mutimer who last played for the Stingrays at under-16 level and former Stingrays junior Quinn Carter who was with Dingley Stars last season.
Alex Griffiths is back in training after a year off due to an ACL injury while Matthew Self may be promoted to senior keeper as Jack Lindsay is trialling with South Springvale.
New State 5 outfit Mount Martha is holding trials at Toorak College, Mount Eliza on Tuesday 10 December and Thursday 12 December from 6.30pm to 8pm.
The club hopes to assemble a competitive squad made up mainly of under-20s with the reserves primarily composing last season’s under-17s and under-18s.
“We have a few from last year’s under-18s who we will be looking at pushing straight into the seniors,” head coach Chris Sanderson said.