By James Ward
Adamstown Rosebud have received a huge boost with Shane Cansdell-Sherriff to come out of retirement to again pull on the boots but it is up front that the player-coach wants his side to make the most improvement.
Adamstown finished last in 2019 for the first time since 2007.
The equal most successful club in Northern NSW history with 12 top flight premierships, Adamstown haven’t won league silverware over the last two decades but the club will hope to end that drought this campaign.
The Rosebuds had a promising pre-season, advancing to the final of the annual Heritage Cup, showcasing some exciting youngsters across the tournament who are set to make their mark in season 2020.
Cansdell-Sherriff, who made more than 350 appearances with Shrewsbury Town, Tranmere Rovers and Burton Albion in the lower divisions of English football, will play as well as coach bringing a wealth of experience to the backline.
But while Cansdell-Sherriff’s inclusion will hopefully secure Adamstown’s defence, it is scoring goals that is most important in football and the Rosebuds will need to improve on their 20 goals from last season. The club have also lost top goal-scorer, Connor Heydon, to Weston Workers.
Attacker Luke Vallone impressed in pre-season and will be a livewire for Adamstown while Daniel Eisenhaeur will hope to have a big year between the sticks after earning the number one spot.
Adamstown lost a number of close games last year and showed glimpses of their prospects. But finding that winning formula will be the priority for Cansdell-Sherriff and his squad.
“The thing to take away from last year is we lost a lot of games by one goal. And we had key moments where we could have won the games. So the biggest thing for us is to score the goals,” Cansdell-Sherriff said.
“I think we have a more balanced side this year. We’ve brought a couple of players in who can score goals.
“We’ve got our own objectives amongst ourselves. It’s all about getting better each week as we do have a younger squad and putting in good performances.
“We’re in a good place and I believe there is a lot more confidence in the team than this time last year.”
Much of the squad tasted the disappointment of being handed the wooden spoon last season and will be eager to impress during the new campaign when it resumes following suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adamstown will be buoyed by their pre-season improvements and acquisitions but will need a source of consistent goals.
A mid-table finish or higher is on the cards if they can click this year and turn those narrow losses into points.
Adamstown Rosebud F.C
Player-coach: Shane Cansdell-Sherriff
Captain: Luke Rutledge
Last Season: 11th
Ins: Callum Gabriel (Newcastle Jets Youth), James Lowe (Boambee Bombers), Louis Townsend (Maitland), Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (year off), Tristan Esquilant (Weston), Tyson Cummings (Lake Macquarie), Yuki Yakushinji (Japan)
Outs: Ben Higgins, Benn Kelly, Chris Berlin (Lake Macquarie), Connor Heydon (Weston), Finley Beasley, Judd Duncan (year off), Liam Ryan, Matthew Sokulsky (Hamilton Azzurri)