Penrith Nepean United coach Abbas Saad has been one busy man.
With the festive break coming to a start, Saad has had the tough task of putting together his team for 2008 but has had a number of obstacles that has made things that much harder.
?It hasn?t been easy for the club and things haven?t even started yet.
?The fact that there was uncertainty upon whether we were part of the NSW Premier League for 2008 made it that much tougher as a coach to approach interested players.
?During that process we lost four very important players in Brad Boardman (Sutherland Sharks), Mitchell Long (Wollongong Wolves), Ben Gough (Marconi Stallions) and Danny Wells (England Conference League).
?Then there was the travel and budget situation.
?We have a minimum budget to comply with which is nothing compared to some of our rival NSW Premier League clubs also the distance isn?t the best as I?ve had a number of interested players wanting to play for the club but have signaled out that Penrith is just too far to travel.
?We?re also competing with four other rival NSW Premier League clubs around the same vicinity.
?The likes of Sydney United, Marconi Stallions, Blacktown City Demons and Macarthur Rams has made it ultra competitive for every club in these particular areas.?
Saad has managed to thus far sign 15 players for 2008 and has left a handful of spots available for one to two possible A-League players.
?I?ve given five Under 20 boys contracts and have signed a few from last season?s squad.
?I?m delighted to have recruited former Sydney Olympic and Sydney United defender Ante Juric to the club. I know he will be a massive plus for our predominately young squad.
?I?ve also got a Scottish boy on a working visa at the moment too.
?I?ve left a couple of spots vacant for possible A-League targets I have but this is not one hundred percent.?
Saad, a former star striker, is currently finding it difficult in recruiting attackers for his new-look squad for 2008.
?The toughest thing right now is securing strikers for my squad.
?I?m looking around and trying hard in finding someone for this particular position but it?s been difficult.
?I?ve got a few Super League boys on trial in various positions plus the option is obviously there if we can recruit an attacker from the A-League.?
Penrith-Nepean United?s number one though is confident however that his squad will certainly compete much better than last season when the side finished with the unfortunate wooden spoon.
?I am quietly confident that we will do ok.
?I know I?ve had a few things that have worked against me but you can?t sit back and use that as an excuse.
?A new season brings together new expectations and I am confident that the players that I?ve signed so far will be more than capable of doing a job for us.
?I?m obviously focusing on trying to get local talent who are eager and up for making a name for themselves in this competition.
?I know this will be a massive challenge for me next season but I believe that with hard work we can achieve a goal in finishing mid-table which would be an enormous achievement for the club considering what we?re up against.?
Penrith Nepean United have stated that they will be on a two week break for the Christmas-New Years period but have since played a friendly match against Sydney United last Sunday where it finished 1-1.
Saad?s side will be eager to leave a decent impression as they play their final friendly game for 2007 against the Marconi Stallions at Valentine Sports Park this Friday at 7pm.