Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Kyabram Phoenix enters new era

Kyabram Phoenix Football Club will make its Regional Premier League debut on Sunday.

March 19, 2014 4:28am

Kyabram Phoenix Football Club president Simon Fiske is looking forward to the 2014 season which will see the start of a new era for the club.

Sunday will mark the start of a major new chapter in the history of Kyabram Phoenix Football Club.

After a huge amount of background work and recruitment since the end of last season, the club will field a Regional Premier League team in the Goulburn North East Football Association for the first time.

Club president Simon Fiske said stepping up to play in the RPL was a move the club had to make to move forward.

‘‘We had to ensure there’s a pathway for our junior players to move into senior football,’’ he said.

‘‘As it was, with just a reserves team and no RPL side, we’d lose our best 16 and 17-year-olds to other clubs once they reach that age.’’

To take the step up, Phoenix has appointed former Shepparton under-18 coach Shaban Mehmet to coach the RPL side and oversee the reserves team.

Fiske’s desire to move the club forward and Mehmet’s coaching reputation and contacts have brought several exciting young prospects across to Kyabram from Shepparton-based clubs, where in some cases they were not getting regular first team football due to the number of import players used.

Fiske said he was not concerned about results in the RPL this season and just expected to see maximum effort from the young Phoenix team.

‘‘We’ve got some talented young players who just want a chance to show what they can do at RPL level,’’ he said.

The Phoenix women’s team also has some new recruits under new coach George Triainidis, who previously led Shepparton United’s women to six premierships in 10 years.

Phoenix under-16 girls premiership coach Kevin Christy has rejoined the club to coach the girls team this season and will also assist Mehmet with the reserves.

Carlo Meola will take charge of the under-14 boys, while Blake Corso and some of the club’s senior players will run the under-12 side.

‘‘It’s taken a lot of work in quite a short timeframe to make all this happen,’’ Fiske said.

‘‘I’ve got a real passion to see soccer work in Kyabram and I’m really looking forward to seeing the season start now.’’

Preparations and recruitment for the new season have been difficult for all GNEFA clubs due to the hurried formation of the new Goulburn Valley Suns club that debuted in the National Premier League on Saturday.

From this week Phoenix is training at Northern Oval on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm and any new players are welcome.

GNEFA has brought the start of this season forward and will play three rounds of matches in the RPL, under-17 boys and under-16 girls competitions at single venues on one day before reverting to regular rounds.

Kyabram Phoenix will start its season on Sunday at McEwen Reserve. The action starts at 9am, with the last match of the day a stand-alone RPL match at 5pm.

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