TOP CLASS CITY-ZENS: Mildura City young guns Nicholas Mazza, 18, and Simone Palamara, 14, are raring to go for the 2017 S-League season. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
By MITCH RODD
MILDURA City believes it can be the team that topples the all-conquering Irymple Knights.
City has been a powerhouse in the Football Federation Sunraysia (FFS) S-League in Senior Women’s and across junior grades over the past few years.
The only piece of the puzzle missing is a Senior Men’s title.
Co-coach Simon Trembath said 2017 could be the season to take out the elusive title.
The new S-League season begins tomorrow night when Three Colours and Mildura City compete under lights. All other games will be completed on Sunday.
Mildura City lost to Knights 3-0 in the recent Rudi Horvat Knockout Cup final.
Trembath, however, believes he has the depth and talent in his squad to win the title.
“A premiership is definitely the aim,” he said. “We’ve got really good depth that we’ve perhaps lacked for a few years, it’s probably the best squad we’ve had for a while.
“Irymple has been the standard bearer for the past few seasons, and no doubt they will be tough opponents again.
“This year though, with the squad that we have, we think we can give the men’s premiership a real shake.”
An important player for the team is the returning Tom Knight, who will be a key defender throughout the season.
City’s Senior Women’s side, the reigning premiership winners, won their Knockout Cup final 5-0 against Nichols Point, including a hat-trick from Melissa Bailey.
Mildura City teams played in finals in every grade, winning Under 16 and 14, while two City teams faced off in the Under 12 final.
Trembath was pleased the club’s junior system was producing the next crop of senior players.
“Those opportunities have been there for a few years and those players have made that transition into seniors, which is vital for the future of our club,” he said.
“It’s great to see that the young guys and girls who have been coming through our junior system for years are now taking that next step up.
“Simone Palamara is 14 and she’s already become a really important member of the senior women’s side.
“The women’s team has done a great job of developing girls and bringing them into senior teams. Sometimes beginning with playing roles off the bench is a good way for them to get that exposure.”