NSW PREMIER LEAGUE
South Coast midfielder Chris Price is intent on a happy "homecoming", when he takes on his former club Sutherland at Crehan Park tonight.
The Sharks have been one of the major players over the summer to emerge as one of the pre-season championship favourites.
But even with the new names on the teamsheet, Price knows better than most what to expect.
At 26, Price decided the time was right to return to his junior club at the Wolves, where he won a NSW Premier League crown in 2008.
"I've loved this club since I was a kid," he said.
"I never really wanted to leave, so it's certainly a homecoming for me.
"The club has done some rebuilding and I'm looking forward to being part of it."
Price reckons the Wolves' pace will trouble the possession-hungry Sharks.
Sutherland have secured Nathan Elasi and former Leeds United player Jamie McMaster from Marconi, as well as Brad Boardman and ex-Wolves defender Nick Littler.
The signings are more than enough to sound a warning to the competition.
But Price believes South Coast can pressure Sutherland into mistakes and make them pay.
"They'll be strong, they've recruited well," he said.
"They've been working a lot on the philosophy of playing the ball out from the back and maintaining possession.
"But we can play to our strength, with our speed and pressing them in the right areas, we're also quite good on the counter-attack and can use the ball."
A predominantly left-sided player who is also comfortable directing traffic in a central role, Price has a knack of success in his career.
A school teacher in Wollongong, he's also scored crucial goals, most recently in the 4-1 demolition of APIA Leichhardt in last year's Waratah Cup final.
"It's always good contributing and make it on to the scoresheet," he said. "I'd like to be in that position again with the Wolves, but I'm just looking forward to working with the boys and playing well."
The Wolves were second for much of last year, before finishing fourth and being eliminated on the first weekend of finals.
Price has dismissed a difficult NSWPL pre-season competition, where the team was winless.
"No one remembers what happens in the pre-season," he said.