City’s defensive group is set to be very similar to last year, and centre-back Curtis Good said the sense of familiarity and consistency at the back will be key heading into the 2020/21 A-League season.
"It's a very important thing to have (consistency and familiarity), especially when you’re talking about the back four and the goalkeeper,” he said, “The longer you play together and the longer you train together, the more you start to get on the same wavelength and it makes the job at hand a lot easier."
Although last year City finished second on the table and made it all the way to the final game of the season, it still conceded the equal most goals of any top six team. Good said that a big factor in this was the way the team played but acknowledged there is still plenty of room for improvement defensively.
“Conceding that number of goals was probably due to the way we want to attack by running the ball in transition, we have to be better there and also at set pieces,” he said.
“We fixed it up towards the end of the season but early on we conceded a lot of goals from those set pieces, so it’s important to continue to build on and work on that.”
Although Patrick Kisnorbo has now taken the reigns as head coach, Good said not much has changed from what was instilled last season by former coach Erick Mombaerts.
“He's kept the same foundation and the same way of thinking as last year but then built on it as well and taken it to the next level,” Good said, “Everyone's bought into what we are trying to do."
Having spent over eight weeks living in a hub last season in order to finish the season, Good said he was glad to be home and that being away for so long had been an interesting experience.
"It’s a tough one, on one hand I enjoyed the experience of being away with the boys but on the other hand it was also difficult,” he said, “It definitely made the Grand Final loss a lot harder, after all that we achieved it would've been nice to go all the way."
While that loss was nothing short of heartbreaking, lessons have been learnt, valuable experience was gained, and the focus is now on the 2020/21 season.
"Everyone is really hungry to take the next step this season,” Good said. “It was great to see a few of the younger boys get to have a taste of it and that's where we want to get back to.”
“Coming so close helps fuel the fire."
The 2020/21 A-League season will kick-off on December 27, less than two months from now, and preparations are well and truly underway.
“Everyone is working hard together and it’s always good to have everyone in the same frame of mind, nobody is cutting corners or anything like that,” Good said.
"It's a great feeling around the group at the moment and we are all pushing each other which is what you need.”
There are a number of new faces around City Football Academy, including attacker Andrew Nabbout and midfielder Aiden O’Neil, and Good said these new signings have bought into the City philosophy and didn’t take long to find their feet at the Club.
"All of the new signings have fit in seamlessly really,” he said, “It's a credit to the coaching staff and the way we are trying to play.”