Brindabella Blues has entered their fourth year in the Capital Premier League (CPL) competition aiming to go one better than in 2022. The Blues reached the Grand Final last year, losing 1-2 in extra-time to Tuggeranong United, after coming last the year before, but the team excelled significantly expressing their extensive capabilities.
The CPL is the second division of Canberra Football and sits below the National Premier League with the team finishing top promoted. The CPL competition possesses young footballers with a number of priorities which can limit the full abilities of teams that compete during the campaign.
Blues’ coach Ray Junna has set goals for his team to become the exception and strive to meet their full potential for the remainder of the 2023 campaign.
Junna has had plenty of experience in top level coaching. Coaching teams such as Canberra United, Canberra FC, Central Coast Mariners and now at Brindabella Blues, Junna brings a lot of experience and knowledge to the Blues side.
Due to CPL competition players not being paid, commitment is not expected from them, therefore Blues regularly get very limited players at their training sessions each week, however the coach expects his team to excel.
“Because they’re not getting paid I can’t ask them to commit, if I’m giving them petrol money then they’d turn up,” Junna revealed.
“I think we’d be disappointed if we don’t end up in the top four this year. We’ve had a bit of a slow start, but pre-season had a bit to do with that.
“Once we get on a run, we’ll be hard to stop. We’ve just got to get the run started.”
Brindabella is a big community focused club that has a lot of volunteers and community footballers. The Brindabella Blues President is there on match days from 8 o’clock in the morning to 6 o’clock at night.
Blues started off as a small club and has now become a community club with over 1,000 registered junior and senior players.
The club culture at Brindabella is substantial, centering on the establishment of goals and their achievement through a realistic approach.
“When you say club culture a lot of people try to associate it to an AFL or A-League club,” Junna commented.
“You can’t get that at a community club, it’s unrealistic. As long as everyone gets along, so community based would be us in a nutshell.”
The Blues had tough opponents throughout the competition which challenged the young squad. Through these challenges, it has given the players confidence to come out stronger.
Every game presents a valuable learning opportunity for the young players on the Blues’ team, which hopefully the players can build on and move forward with.
“It’s going to take us some games to find our feet. But I understand all that and have no sort of qualms against the players or club about it cause that’s just what it is,” Junna said.
Ray Junna’s Brindabella Blues CPL squad look forward to the remainder of the 2023 campaign with high hopes and expectations to finish as a top four side for two consecutive years.
The Brindabella Blues will take on Wagga City Wanderers this Saturday 24th June at 1500 at Calwell 2 Field.
Words: Shania McCormack