New South Coast coach Richard Lloyd is confident star striker Ricky Zucco will remain at the club next year in a bid to enhance his future A-League prospects.
Zucco scored nine goals after joining the Wolves on loan from Illawarra Premier League club Tarrawanna early in the season.
The firebrand had trials with the Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers this year and Lloyd believes it has provided Zucco with motivation to make the cut next season.
"He had a trial with the Wanderers and should get confidence from the time there," Lloyd said.
"Basically he was set a test from [Western Sydney manager] Tony Popovic where he was asked to work on a few things. We want to be part of that process.
"I don't think there's so much an issue about whether he can be good enough and hopefully it will only encourage him to stay on with us and get another chance [at the A-League].
"We saw a real focus from him during the season, he had a real contribution in helping the team to the finals."
Lloyd said the Wolves were yet to negotiate with Tarrawanna about formalising Zucco's contract in the NSW Premier League.
After taking over from Morgan, who has joined the Wanderers as National Youth League coach, Lloyd is more intent on shoring up the South Coast defence around captain Jacob Timpano next year.
The Wolves conceded 39 goals in 22 rounds last season, the second worst defensive record, only better than lowly-placed Blacktown Spartans.
The makeup of the NSW Premier League competition was finalised on Tuesday night, with South Coast included and Central Coast coming in for Parramatta.
Lloyd, a mainstay of the club during the National Soccer League days in the 1990s and last year's youth league coach, is confident of keeping most of the squad together in 2013.
"We've got a couple of key areas we are going to look at," he said. "But we are working on a limited budget and have some considerations to make.
"I think we'll keep most of the squad together and there are a couple of young players who can make the progression out of the youth league.
"If we can work on a few things in defence and control the ball a little bit more, I'm sure we will be more than competitive again."