Manly United has moved quickly to re-sign the core of its squad with 12 players putting pen to paper to remain at Cromer Park for the 2019 season.
Goalkeeper Dylan Mitchell, defenders Jamie Lobb, Sam Wilson, Travis Oughtred and Kieren Paull, midfielders Joe Fox, Dominic Ferguson and Mitchell Rooke and attacker Scott Balderson have all agreed to contracts for 2019 with more to follow in the coming days.
Manly United is also proud to announce that exciting juniors Kye Conna, Finn Ashton and Jamie Glover will be elevated into the first-grade squad next season.
“It was important to secure the core group of players at the club as soon as possible as we look to regenerate the squad a little for next season,” Head Coach Paul Dee said.
“The players we have signed give us a very good backbone and we will look to lock down a few more in the next few days.
“It’s also exciting to see guys like Kye, Jamie and Finn come through into the first-grade squad. They have worked their way through the grades at Manly from the juniors and they are ready to take the next step. It sends a clear message to the players in the U20s, U18s and the youth league teams that there is a pathway at Manly United.
“We have also spent a lot of time with the youth league and senior coaching staff ensuring that the U20s and U18s teams offer opportunity for the next wave of young players coming through, which is very exciting at the moment.”
Dee and Technical Director Andrew Christiansen are currently looking at several exciting options to add to the attacking flair of the team following the retirement of Dylan Macallister.
“We have also had some very encouraging discussions with a wide range of players and we are confident that we will be able to add a little more quality to get back into the top five in 2019,” Dee said.
Meanwhile, Manly United attacking star Brendan Cholakian has committed to his 7th season at the club after agreeing to sign on at Cromer Park for the 2019 season.
Cholakian has been a mainstay of the Manly United front line and Head Coach Paul Dee was excited to confirm the 25-year-old would remain at the Club.
“Choc (Cholakian) is a key for us and to have him re-sign so quickly and with complete commitment is a positive outcome in our retention plans for 2019,” Dee said. “Choc offers an edge to our attack and will be crucial for our attacking plans next season.
“Off the field he is also one of the experienced players, having been Manly through and through for seven years, and is the type of character we need in the dressing room to get us back to the top.
“We brought through a few youngsters to give them a taste this year and have moved three into the first-grade squad for 2019 and we will need our experienced players to assist with that transition.”
Cholakian said: “I love it down at Manly United and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season training to help fight our way back into the finals in 2019. This will be my 7th season at Manly United and we have a good bunch of boys and facilities. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be playing my football.”