Goulburn Valley Suns have secured the bulk of its senior side from last season.
Ahead of Craig Carley’s inaugural campaign as playing coach, the striker has been on a signing spree announcing experienced players Cody Sellwood, Matt Lelliott, Rob Hughes and Jordan Montagner will remain at the club, while Adam Gatcum and Billy Marshall have joined from Cobram Roar.
‘‘I’m delighted with how everything is going so far, the boys have been tremendous,’’ Carley said.
‘‘All the boys have been working very hard and buying into the culture, the playing style and we are looking forward to establishing a firm identity on how we want to play.’’
The Suns start their pre-season matches on December 16 against Altona Magic at McEwen Reserve, but they will enter the new campaign without captain Jamie England and former playing coach Nick Kalafatis.
That duo, along with Geordie Lelliott, who is heading home to the Northern Territory, Lewis Coyle, goalkeeper Monty Al Gazaly and Shaun Kane have all departed.
But the revolving door has not slammed shut just yet, with Carley still casting an eye on potential recruits ahead of the National Premier League division two season, which starts in February.
‘‘We have lost a little bit of experience, but I feel we have the right calibre of players to step up and take a leadership role,’’ Carley said.
‘‘In saying that, we are hoping to bring in a few more players, but we need to ensure that our core nucleus is from Shepparton, I am a firm believer in developing and helping the region.’’
The Suns will partake in six pre-season games, but Carley is adamant his side needs to build the required fitness base before working on specific game styles.
‘‘It is a step by step process, we have to get the players into the right physical levels and as pre-season games approach we will work on how we set up, defend and attack for the season ahead,’’ Carley said.