A new season is set to get underway for Western NSW FC on Sunday and with some new recruits and the promotion of some handy under 20s youngsters, they'll be looking to improve after a successful 2020.
After Western was relegated from NSW NPL3 at the end of 2019, the Central West-based team contested NSW NPL4 for the first time and after while the competition was suspended for several months due to the pandemic, they returned to action to claim 12 points from 10 games, just five points off the finals.
During the off-season Western has recruited two new players from Sydney, Tatsuya Sato from Illawarra Premier League team Cringila Lions and Hurstville City Minotaurs defender Hemza Arshad.
Western coach Mark Rooke believes his two new signings have shown promising signs during the off-season.
"Hemza was one of the first guys to come to us. He's a defender and he looks like he's pretty decent," he said.
"[Tatsuya] came to us through Hemza. He's a Japanese player and looks pretty tidy on the ball and looks like a good little recruit. Hopefully he's got some goals in him because he's playing in that number 10 role.
"He played with Cringila Lions last year, down in the Illawarra Premier League. We're lucky enough to get him and he seems pretty decent, so he'll be a good recruit."
Western's opposition on Sunday evening is Western Rage (formally called Granville Rage), with the match to be played at the home of Football NSW, Valentine Sports Park in Glenwood.
Rooke doesn't know too much about the Sydney opposition but believes that they've had a massive overall in terms of the squad.
"Every year is normally a different challenge with those guys. From all reports, they've certainly got a brand new squad and what that entails is difficult," he said.
"I think they've retained four or five of their regulars guys and brought in a heap of new guys. The first few weeks of the competition is sussing out what everyone's got.
"We're going into the first game a bit blind about what they're going to bring."
Sunday's match between Western NSW FC and Western Rage gets underway at 6pm, with the under 20s kicking-off at 4pm.
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