Tigers FC have started off their season strongly which has sparked hope that their National Premier League (NPL) 2023 campaign might end in ultimate glory. Their latest match saw them forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Canberra Olympic, after leading 2-0, but they look forward to the rest of the season with high hopes.
A draw against Olympic saw both teams’ level on the top position of the ladder which both may look at as a missed opportunity to secure the first position.
Tigers were Premiership winners in 2021 and were winners of the Capital Football Federation Cup in 2019 and 2021, earning a place in the Australia Cup Round of 32 on both occasions.
Last year however, Tigers finished sixth on the table, being only two wins away from securing a place in the 2022 finals, let down by an NPL record ten draws across a frustrating campaign.
The 2023 season has seen a much improved team take the field though under new Head Coach, Jimmy Kanaridis, who joined for the 2023 season after being the NPL Youth Technical Director for Monaro Panthers.
Kanaridis has extensive coaching experience, from being Technical Director at Monaro, Belnorth FC and Belconnen United. Moving back n to a hands-on role, Kanaridis has proven his coaching skills throughout the beginning of the new season.
In addition to a new coach, Tigers have signed some outstanding new additions to their squad. From players like Niko Kalfas with great attacking skills, to Marko Milutinovic with overseas and interstate experience, to Aidan Milburn a courageous defender, Tigers look like a strong component in the 2023 campaign.
“We just got a brand new team and are trying to get everyone together,” Kanaridis revealed. “That’s the basis of it at the moment…I thought our pre-season was really good and we have started the new season well.”
A few setbacks are keeping Tigers at bay currently; however it is not affecting their playing style and ability to show their full strengths.
Tigers are building towards a strong side which will increase their chances of playing finals football . The new signings have allowed Tigers to reset their game plan and shift focus onto a new one.
“We have a couple of niggling injuries at the moment, which is not helping,” Kanaridis revealed. “But apart from that the boys are going well, going really well I think”.
Kanaridis’ has belief in his side to continue to do their best and work on what is not going right week in and week out, but they are set to move forward after their draw to Canberra Olympic and will continue to strive for the top position
“We’ve got to keep getting more and more consistent each week and let the footy handle itself,” Kanaridis stated. “We’re going to refocus, reset, get back into it and look forward to the next week and coming out better and stronger.
“If you don’t take chances, you’re not going to win games.”
Tigers latest match in the NPL competition will be this Friday evening when they host Tuggeranong United at the Australian Institute of Sport with a 7pm kick-off. The match will be shown live on BarTV Sports.=
Words: Shania McCormack