Lions keen to go further

Plenty Valley Lions are hoping to improve on last season. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 347374_12

Tara Murray

The Plenty Valley Lions have brought in reinforcements as it aims for the top two in the FV state league 4 north.

After a fourth placed season last year, the Lions know they need to be a bit more consistent if they’re to close the gap with the top few sides.

Coach Dave Winton said they were keen for the season to get underway. Winton leads the side along with assistant coach and team manager Emmet Sheehan.

“The pre-season has been very positive and very long as usual,” he said. “We’ve had some really challenging games and we’ve done enough to get to the fourth round of the FFA Cup.”

Winton said they had a large squad this season as they wanted to make sure that they had all bases covered.

“We have brought in some players and have about 20 players,” he said. “We lost about four players and bought in half a dozen players.

“Last year was frustrating for us. We had three season ending injuries in the first two weeks of the season.

“There was also the post COVID travel bug and about five players decided to go have ouzo in Greece.

“We got through the season and it gave people some opportunities but it made us really conscious about having more depth.”

Winton said they would welcome back a couple of those players who were ruled out for most of last season and they would be like new recruits.

He said the squad had grown the past two seasons going from a young squad to a squad that had played a bit of soccer together and put together a credible season.

Winton made his aspirations for this season clear.

“The plan is certainly to be in the top two,” he said. “We want to be as high as we can.”

The Lions kick off their season on Saturday against Docklands Athletic.

It’ll be a busy start to the season with the Lions fourth round FFA Cup match to also be played that week.

The side won through to the fourth round in a penalty shoot out played in high 30 degree weather.

Winton said while the state league competition was their main focus, they want to go as far as they can in the knockout competition.

In other state league 4 north round one matches, Greenvale United is on the round against the Moonee Valley Knights.

In state league 5 north, Meadow Park faces Heidelberg Stars, Tullamarine will play Melbourne University, Doreen United will take on Keon Park and Roxburgh Park United will play the Moreland Eagles.