ILLAWARRA PREMIER LEAGUE
Incoming Fernhill coach Julio Miranda has ideas about how to rejuvenate the Illawarra Premier League club, but says it's the network of coaching staff which will hold the key to the Foxes' fortunes.
The former Cringila mentor ended a one-year hiatus from coaching to accept the top job at Ray Robinson Field in 2013 with a mandate to help Fernhill scale the IPL ladder. Miranda replaces Alan Boyle.
He has wasted no time in setting up his backroom staff with former A-League striker Dez Giraldi taking over Youth Grade responsibility, while Grant Hughes has been enlisted as conditioning coach.
"I wanted to get back into it, but it was going to be with the right coaching staff and people," Miranda said.
"I'm really stoked the Youth Grade coach at the moment is Dez Giraldi.
"His experience at a high level is going to be very beneficial to the young guys and to myself too.
"I've had experience in coaching for a few years, but the level he's played at will mean he has plenty of ideas."
Fernhill have been grouped with Cringila, South Coast United and IPL new boys Woonona in the round robin stage of the Fraternity Club Cup, which kicks off later this month.
Miranda has focused on promoting youth talent at the club for his first season at the helm and has drafted Matt Birkin (Port Kembla) into the squad.
He said he had been working feverishly on getting his players to be more organised behind the ball.
"The main thing for me is to try to get a good group of players that are going to be receptive to what I want to do," he said.
"I've tried to make them understand that each player should have a role within the team."
Meantime defending Fraternity Club Cup champions Dapto Dandaloo have been handed a testing draw in the annual pre-season tournament.
The Fury have been grouped with Wollongong United, Tarrawanna and Albion Park.
Last season's league and grand final runners-up Bulli will be expected to progress from their quartet which includes Wollongong Olympic, Coniston and Port Kembla. The tournament kicks off on February 22.
Several IPL clubs will be in action over the weekend in trial matches with South Coast United hosting Hurstville Zagreb today, while Bulli, Wollongong United and Dapto Dandaloo will all entertain opponents tomorrow.
Bulli play Woonona at Balls Paddock (2.30pm), Wollongong United tackle Bankstown City at Macedonia Park (4pm) and the Fury will be matched with Woden Valley at Lakelands Oval (3pm).
The Youth Cup pre-season tournament begins on Monday with Football South Coast splitting the nominated IPL and District League sides into four pools of four teams.
The South Coast Wolves will also ramp up pre-season preparations against APIA Leichhardt at Macedonia Park tonight kicking off at 6pm.