STATE LEAGUE SOCCER
RETURNING Morwell Pegasus coach Dale White is “desperate for promotion” in 2013 as the State League Division Two south-east club continues its quest for premier league football.
White is back on deck after a two year hiatus and has brought an English entourage with him, having secured several key signings across the park.
Former Manchester City junior Pierce Morrison replaces the departing David Schowberger between the sticks and fellow Englishman Maquinn Smith has been impressive at centre midfield throughout the preseason since signing from Dandenong.
English centre back Matthew Turnbull will shore up the defence and Rob Rufell has the ability to add a spark to the midfield engine room.
Churchill premiership player Luke Cheney will relish his role up front alongside Dandenong recruit Jack Dover, and White believes he has the troops to make a tilt at the second division south-east title.
“The aim for me is to get the club promoted (to division one) for the first time in its history,” White said.
“I think we’re capable of having a crack; I don’t think we’ll win every game, but we’ll be up there fighting.”
A mixed preseason saw a shambolic Pegasus lose 3-1 to Fawkner Blues last fortnight only to bounce back with an 11-0 flogging of fourth division side Croydon City Arrows, which contained former Melbourne Victory striker Danny Allsopp.
“The preseason has been quite scratchy to be honest… I guess that’s due to the many ins that we’ve got… it took a little bit of time to settle in,” White said.
“We were just terrific (against Croydon); I put a lot of pressure on people before the game… and we went out and certainly responded… it could have been 20 (goals).”
With a strong list of about 15, White said the club would need some luck on the injury and suspension front to offset a lack of top grade depth.
While he had not planned on returning to coaching this season, White said he answered the call out of respect for the club and its president Tom Thompson.
“I still think there’s unfinished business at the club,” he said.
“I’ve got a love for the club and they’ve always done right by me so I just wanted to come back and have another crack.”
Pegasus’ first round opponent is Malvern City at Ronald Reserve on Saturday and White is hoping for three points first up.
“I know they’ve got two or three ex premier league players playing for them so it certainly won’t be easy… but I just think with our pressure we’ll be looking to get three points,” he said.
The game kicks off at 7pm.
INS AND OUTS
Ins: Pierce Morrison (GK), Matthew Turnbull, Rob Ruffel, Marquinn Smith, Luke Cheney, Jack Dover (Dandenong), Steven Maselli (Churchill), Hayden Ross-Shultz (returning).
Outs: David Schowberger (GK) Jamie McGeoghegan, Scott Webster, Maximillian Etheridge, Nicholas Agetzis, Adam Ahmadzai, John McCluskie, Thom Lino, Shane Tagliaferro.