Werribee City is keen to get off to a strong start in the Victorian Premier League 1 competition which kicks off this weekend.
The Bees had an up and down 2023 season in the state’s second tier and it’s something that coach Domenic Barba is hoping for a bit more consistency this year.
Barba said he and the playing group can’t wait to get the season underway.
“It has been a really strong pre-season,” he said. “We’ve recruited really well and hopefully the team will come together and get that real consistency.
“Naturally it will take some time do that, for the group to come together. They’ve done enough in the pre-season to look like they will kick into action sooner rather than later.”
Barba said the club had put some real investment into resources for both on field and the coaching group.
He said they had been lucky enough to attract some quality players to the club, to help strengthen their squad.
“We’ve got some good talent and there’s an improvement on where we were in 2023,” he said. “We’ll look at that level and try and get better results.
“We’ll have a very different squad. We were fortunate enough to attract some quality players and the club is heading in a different direction.
“The club wants to get into the top tier.”
Barba said youth would be at the core of what they do this season, having built a strong group based on some young players.
He said if they could keep the group together, they could lead the club for many years to come.
“We have a really balanced team with a strong core of younger players,” he said.
“We’ve got quality young players and we want to have success and be competitive. We want to see that development and achieve both.
“You can see it in the way they’ve gone about it in pre-season. Some of the more experienced players could be fighting for their spots.”
Barba, who is in his second season in charge, said the group would also benefit from some more consistency in use of their home ground.
Last year they’re ground was out of action for a large part of the season, meaning they played a run of matches on the road in the back half of the season.
The Bees start their season on the Friday night against the North Geelong Warriors.
Barba said it was like a derby for them, with the Warriors being one of their closest neighbours in terms of location.
“It will be a tough one,” he said. “They have come down this season.
“We want to start the season really well and put our best foot forward. We’ve got new players and new coaching staff including a former Australian goalkeeper which is pretty significant.
“The club has done really well with the right investment in players and fairs.
“It gives us a fair chance to do well during the season.”