Goulburn Valley Suns coach Peter Zois is keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of his home debut tonight, but he believes he has secured an ace assistant coach. Former Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets defender Shaun Ontong has teamed up with Zois and the Suns’ new brains trust is hopeful of delivering a second win of the season when Bentleigh Greens come to town.May 17, 2014 4:15am
Goulburn Valley Suns coach Peter Zois is keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of his home debut tonight, but he believes he has secured an ace assistant coach.
Former Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets defender Shaun Ontong has teamed up with Zois and the Suns’ new brains trust is hopeful of delivering a second win of the season when Bentleigh Greens come to town.
Ontong captained the Australian under-20 side in 2006 before his three-season, injury-plagued stint in the A-League and has since played with Zois at Oakleigh Cannons.
‘‘He’s got a good playing pedigree. He’s recently retired from playing at a young age like me and he sees the game really well,’’ Zois said.
‘‘He was a very smart player and he’s already been a big help and he will be a big benefit for us as a club going forward.’’
Zois’ first game in charge of the Suns turned into a nightmare when his side fell 3-0 down within the first 35 minutes of the game.
The coach said concentration was the key issue and while it might come down to individual and collective sharpness, Zois has not begrudged his share of the work load in correcting the errors.
‘‘The first goal comes down to concentration as a group
‘‘It’s a work in progress and it won’t click straight away. There’s no magic wand here.’’
Zois did not reveal his plans for tonight’s match, but confirmed a question mark hung over Kristian Sarkies and the match day squad would be much the same as last week.
The focus will be on remaining tight at the back and playing to the Suns’ strengths going forward.
‘‘I’m not saying anything new when I say we’re conceding a lot of goals. The scoresheets prove that,’’ Zois said.
‘‘You can defend aggressively or you can sit back, but we have to pick our moments. No one can be aggressive for 90 minutes.
‘‘They are one of the best ball-playing teams in the league, so we know they’re going to have a lot of the ball .
Zois said Suns leading goal scorer Craig Carley has stood out in training for his incredible work ethic and had also been impressed with what Stipo Andrijasevic, Daniel Chaabani and Hernan Espindola had brought to the table.
The Greens have lost their past two games and while Zois would love to make it three in a row for them, he knows his side is up against a well-balanced, well-organised outfit.
Stephen Hatzikostas, James Cumming and Wayne Wallace are the danger men.
‘‘They have a lot of depth and John (Anastasiadis) has done a great job with them,’’ Zois said.
‘‘Most of their players would fit into any starting XI, even on the bench, which makes them dangerous because they can change the game at any point in time.’’
Whatever the result, Zois said he was enjoying himself early on in his reign.
‘‘I won’t lie, it’s a big challenge and maybe even a bit daunting, but that’s what enticed me to take it on,’’ Zois said.
‘‘It’s almost a seven-day job at the moment, but it’s very exciting.’’
Hafizullah Mohaqiq was born in Afghanistan, spent periods living in Pakistan and Iran, before arriving in Shepparton two months ago.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Fairley Leadership Program met in Tatura on Wednesday, exploring ‘Water and our catchment’ at Goulburn Murray Water.
Road authorities have made little progress to fixing Echuca’s most dangerous intersections.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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