Athena ready to defend title

The 2016 PS4 NPLWA QBE Night Series kicks off this Friday night at Inglewood Stadium with your Floreat Athena taking on Inglewood United in the late fixture (8:30PM).

Saldaris brothers sign for Athena

Floreat Athena has signed Bayswater City pair Chris and Jason Saldaris for 2016. Chris (defender) and Jason (keeper) were part of Bayswater’s PS4 NPLWA winning side last season, but thought it was time to move on. “For me it was time for a change, it’s always tough when you have to leave a good bunch of boys,” Jason said. Chris also said the decision was tough. “2015 was a good year with a good bunch of boys, going undefeated and coming second in the NPL finals,” he said. “It was very difficult to leave because they gave me the opportunity when they were performing week in and week out. I was there for three years with nearly the same bunch of boys every year but it was time for a change and it had to happen.”

The pair are both looking forward to the new challenge at Floreat, who were the big improvers last season. “I thought they conceded too many goals last season so hopefully with a couple of new signings hopefully we can tighten up the defence and challenge for the title,” Jason said. Chris said there are exciting times ahead at the Litis Stadium. “I’m very exciting about signing for Athena, they were a good team last year and this year we are going to become better and improve every week and challenge for the title,” he said.

Jason had a few offers from other clubs in WA and Victoria, but believes Floreat was the best place to be next season. Under the tutelage of Glen Grostate, Floreat performed well in 2015 and both players are looking forward to 2016 and working with him and new assistant coach Steve Burton. “I had a couple of clubs in Melbourne call me and a few of the WA clubs call too, but I just thought Floreat had the best plan going forward,” Jason said. “But after speaking to Steve at the end of the season, I was then contacted by Glen and we hit it off, and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.”

Floreat have lost Aryn Williams to Perth Glory, the defender shining in his A-League debut against Sydney on Saturday, and keeper Fraser Greenwood to Bayswater City. Coach Glen Grostate says he’s delighted to have secured the Saldaris brothers for next season to fill the void. “After speaking to Chris and Jason their attitude was first class, and they were both excited about joining our programme,” he said. “We had a good season in 2015, but we slipped up late in the season to just miss out on the runners-up spot, and Chris and Jason will be great inclusions, and we have more in the pipeline as we try to put that right in 2016.”

Chris was also contacted by clubs in WA but like Jason believes Floreat are on the up. “There were a couple of clubs in the NPL that contacted me, but I thought Floreat was the best fit for me, after speaking to Glen and Steve,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with the pair, they had a lot of boys missing at times last year and he had to bring in younger boys and for him it worked. So I’m buzzing to see how he will bring this squad together with a lot of us fighting for positions at training.””

(Article & image courtesy of www.footballwa.net)

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