TCS Interviews Bonnyrigg

The other week we had the pleasure of interviewing Nikola Pozder from Bonnyrigg White Eagles ahead of their 2020 season. Read below to find out what he had to say about the club, their goals and their plans for this season.

(TCS) –  First & foremost what’s the goal for this year? Finals? Promotion? Cup run?

(NP) – Obviously we’re Bonnyrigg, we’re not just any other club, and we always aim to be the best. Of course our aim is to get promoted and finish first hopefully. It’s a tough competition so we’ll be taking every team seriously and there’s a lot of challenges ahead so it won’t be easy but we know the battle ahead of us & we’ll be up for a fight for sure.

(TCS) – And the FFA Cup? Will the club be looking to go on a cup run this year?

(NP) – Yeah of course, the cup run will be something on our minds. Obviously promotion is the goal but the FFA Cup is something we’ll be looking to attack as well.

(TCS) – Thoughts about the new NPL NSW structure?

(NP) – I think the best thing to come out of the new structure is the introduction of the play-off. I think it’s great for football in general & brings a little bit more excitement to the competition. In terms of the other changes whatever FNSW thinks is the best structure for the game we’ll back that up 100% but definitely as a club we think the introduction of the play-off is the best thing that they’ve done for a long time & we applaud that regardless of what the situation is whether we’re 1st or 2nd or 3rd it doesn’t matter so we really applaud that.

(TCS) –  So just getting to the club championship, traditionally Bonnyrigg is a club that’s been stronger in first grade than in other grades. Do you see it being removed as a benefit to the club?

(NP) –  Well this year I think we’ve got a very strong U20 team, our U18 team is looking good as well so funnily enough I think it probably would have benefited us if there was a club championship but at the end of the day you get what you’re given & you’ve got to perform regardless so hopefully we’ll be up there at the end of the year.

 (TCS) – In terms of rivals who do you see your main rivals as this year?

(NP) – Look obviously you can’t look past Mounties. They’ve spent big, they’ve taken a few of our boys with them taking 4 former Bonnyrigg players plus a few in the U20’s. Obviously Mounties will be a tough challenge, Northern Tigers are always up there, Spirit as well, they’ve got a really good structure under coach Perkovic who sets them up really well, so I think those teams + the HAL academy teams will be the main contenders this season.

(TCS) – Looking for a bit of revenge against Hills this season?

(NP) – Yeah, look I think we were a little bit unlucky in that semi-final last year, on a different day that result could have been different, we lost our captain early then we lost Vrankovic too. We lost two important players in that one, had that game gone on for another 10 minutes I think we could have sneaked a goal but it’s alright, it’s not really about revenge at the end of the day we’ll take it game by game & hopefully by the end of the season we’ll be back where we belong

(TCS) – You’ve managed to retain a few players from the PL1 days, players like Vrankovic, Jimmy, Ray Miller. How are they settling in?

(NP) – I think we’ve got a great culture at the club, it’s something we’ve tried to build for years. Whoever plays for Bonnyrigg, loves Bonnyrigg. They don’t really leave here with a negative experience, it’s very rare that happens and if you ask those boys that you mentioned they really & truly do love the club. Obviously they all had offers to stay in the NPL1 but they decided to stay with the club & to try and get us promoted.

So obviously there’s something behind the club & the culture here so we so try & look after our players the best we can & I think it’s a testament to the club & to the players, the loyalty they have because unfortunately loyalty is a dying word in football.

(TCS) – Have the boys that have been at the club for a while formed a leadership group?

(NP) – Yeah of course, add to them Goran Subara who had a bit of experience overseas plus Nikola Zonjic & James McKenzie & I think we’ve got a really good core of senior players that understand the club & know what Bonnyrigg means.

(TCS) – Hows the gaffer going ahead of his first full season in charge of the club?

(NP) – Yeah he’s well, I think he’s brought professionalism to state league football that I think a lot of clubs don’t have. We definitely didn’t have it & I think him coming on board has taught us a lot of different things & obviously his work on the pitch is obvious with how the season turned around last year. Even the way we play football now is very attacking & hopefully we can bring that out on the pitch again this season.

(TCS) – Obviously last year you had a bit of a rough start before coming good with that 10 match unbeaten streak so any differences this year to hit the ground running?

(NP) – Look I think last season we were a little bit unlucky at the start because like it did this week it rained a bit & our first two games were away and that sort of put us off, a lot of little things like that seemed to put us off. I think we dominated most of the games we didn’t win last season & then in the end when Milan decided to leave & Sully came on board we were a bit more direct & the results turned with the results with the turn of gaffer. Regardless I think the results were always going to turn but obviously Sully had a big hand to play in that.

(TCS) – It was a good run at the end wasn’t it?

(NP) – Yeah it was, I think we were really unlucky not to take it all out, premiership & the title. Had it been a few rounds earlier I think we would have taken it all out so this year hopefully we right the wrongs.

(TCS) – Any new signings or promoted players we should look out for?

(NP) – Radovan Pavicevic has obviously arrived from Sydney Olympic. Once he gets to where he needs to be, where he was a few years ago he’s a player that could play in any PL1 team.

Jack Kuipers is a player not many have heard of but I think as long as he stays fit he’ll be a name on everybody’s lips by the end of the season. We’ve also picked up Aidan Taouil from Central Coast Mariners Academy as well.

Mun Soo-Gill has also returned to the club, Muny is Bonnyrigg through & through, last year unfortunately he didn’t sign because he wanted to have a year off but he’s back, he’s a bull-terrier you know? He just goes & doesn’t stop so he’ll obviously be very important to our team this season.

(TCS) – Obviously there’s always talk of a national second division. Do you see the club taking part in that either initially or eventually down the line?

(NP) – Look we’re a community club and I think over the past 30 years or at least since I can remember we’ve always been a club that’s been amongst the best in NSW & even when the ex-NSL clubs came down we still held our own against them. I think we’re a club with great traditions & a good community base behind us.

We’ve got a nice little stadium, obviously it could get a little bigger with an extended grandstand. That could be something that could force us into it, should this national second division come about but obviously we’d be interested & as I said earlier with the professionalism that Sully has driven into the club it’s a step that will help us make that next move forward.

(TCS) –Have you heard any murmurings about the NSD that we aren’t privy to?

(NP) – Look we as a club haven’t heard too much about it, we’ve heard exactly the same as what everyone else has heard. From our end we try to keep our head out of all those sort of stuff. But like I said if something was to pop up & we get approached we’d love to have a chat about it but at the moment we haven’t got into any conversation about it.

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