Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Johansson eager to lift Numurkah off bottom

Numurkah will have a team in the Regional Premier League within three years, if new coach Mark Johansson has his way.

DAMEN FRANCIS January 1, 2013 4:05am

Mark Johansson is set to embark on a three-year plan as coach of Numurkah Soccer Club’s open men’s team, which he hopes will take the club to the top.

Numurkah will have a team in the Regional Premier League within three years, if new coach Mark Johansson has his way.

The goal is the final step in a three-year plan, which will begin this year.

The Knights fielded a team in Goulburn North East Football Association division one men’s competition last season, but struggled to compete and failed to win a game.

Johansson acknowledged the enormity of his task, but is not shying away from the challenge.

“After watching games last year and being at a recent social game with Shepparton Street Soccer, there are some good players there,” Johansson said.

“From what I’ve seen in the past, their fitness has let them down. This year (the plan) is to get fit and reduce the deficits of the losses.

“I know we’re not going to go out and be world beaters, but I’m looking to make the team a lot more competitive than what they were.

‘‘If we can be competitive and work hard at training, our rewards will come.’’

It is a message Johansson says has been drummed into him throughout his career, which has spanned more than 30 years as a player, coach and referee.

Growing up in Sydney, Johansson represented Australia’s military team as a goalkeeper as a young man and had several coaching appointments, before moving to Shepparton seven years ago.

He has spent time as coach of Tatura’s open women’s side and been a long-serving referee.

Johansson has already spoken to several players about joining the club, including his brother, Jody Seymour, a former state league one player in Sydney, who has moved to the area.

Three other experienced players have been approached as the new coach looks to add a strong spine to the existing group of players, such as Alistair Head and David Mollison.

The latter is among a new crop of young players Johansson considers the future of the club.

In terms of shape, the Knights are likely to line-up in a 4-4-2, but Johansson floated the possibility of employing a 4-5-1 or even a 5-3-2 as he looks to ensure his side is competitive in every game.

Knights president Russell Brown confirmed Nick Bakogianis and Leanne Rawson would remain at the helm of the club’s open women’s team this year.

Open men’s pre-season training starts at Numurkah Showgrounds on Sunday at 5pm.

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