Adamstown have added the experience of former Magic goalkeeper Nick Hartnett and ex-NSL striker Tallan Martin to their young squad for the 2019 Northern NSW NPL.
Rosebud, using a squad rebuilt mostly with under 20s recruits in their first campaign under coach Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, were the surprise packets of last season at the halfway point, sitting sixth and just four points outside the top four on 14. They finished 10th on 20 points after a string of red cards damaged their hopes.
Celebrating 130 years in 2019, Adamstown will be out to defy the odds again with a largely unchanged roster.
Robbie Turnbull has returned to Weston but Cansdell-Sherriff has turned to Martin, 36 next year, to provide experience.
Martin played for Newcastle, Wollongong and Football Kingz in the old National Soccer League and Valentine in the NNSW State League before spending the past six seasons with Thornton in the second division.
“He’s got the experience and the knowledge,” Cansdell-Sherriff said. “He’s a good senior player and I’ve worked with him before and know him really well. He’s someone to hold the ball up and help us build.”
The coach has also brought in Hartnett, who is on the comeback from a knee injury. Hartnett will boost Rosebud’s goalkeeping stocks, which already include Benn Kelly, who finished second in the NPL player of the year count with 13 votes in 2018.
“He’s shown us glimpses of what he’s capable of in the four weeks of training before Christmas,” Cansdell-Sherriff said of Hartnett. “He’s very good on the ball and has great hands, so he’s going to be a great addition.”
He hopes to have Luke Vallone back from US college for an eight-game stint. Vallone scored five goals in five games for Rosebud this year.
They have also recruited Josh Williams (Maitland), Drew Grierson (Hamilton) and Manoli Papas (Lake Macquarie) from under 20s squads.
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