SPEAK to anyone involved with Queanbeyan City FC this year and you get the impression anything other than a premiership winning season will be considered unacceptable.
Nor does it take long to become clear the disappointment of last season’s poor finish still stings.
After claiming the ACT State League title in 2010, Queanbeyan was bundled out of last year’s competition at the semi-final stage.
The side’s shock 1-0 loss to ANU denied Queanbeyan the opportunity to go back-to-back and worse, denied City another shot at arch-rivals White Eagles in the decider.
This year, the club has largely maintained its 2011 playing roster while adding former Canberra FC defender Jonny Ison and former Woden player Michael Milutinovic took its books.
The additions serve to give Queanbeyan’s backline a formidable look this season with Ison to team up with fellow former Canberra Cosmos Youth representative Danny Byrne in the last line of defence.
Up front, City will once again be relying on prolific goal scoring duo Ned Aleksic and last year’s Golden Boot winner Nathan Walker.
Between them, Aleksic and Walker have claimed the last two golden boot awards as the league’s top scorer in 2010 and 2011.
With Queanbeyan well covered at both ends of the pitch, City’s title charge this season will likely hinge on the side’s link men through midfield.
Filling that role will likely fall largely on the shoulders of underrated duo Zach Knight and Matt Ryan who will once again provide plenty of movement through the middle.
Since taking over the coaching reins in 2010, coach Vlatko Tomeski has worked tirelessly in fulfilling a three-year-plan designed to ensure Premier League promotion in 2012.
With those meticulous plans now set to bear fruit, the club appears well positioned to make its mark on this year’s State League competition.
Queanbeyan City FC 2012
Home ground: Riverside Stadium
Head coach: Vlatko Tomeski
Predicted 2012 finish:Premiers
Player movements. In: Jonny Ison (retirement) and Michael Milutinovic (White Eagles). Out: Danny Babic.