John Kosmina: Brisbane City FC targeting NPL Finals
Brisbane City FC senior coach John Kosmina is returning for a fourth season in charge of the club with a clear aim – to lead his side to finals football.
Brisbane City has failed to make the finals of the National Premier Leagues Queensland since the inaugural season in 2013, but with his youthful squad having gained valuable experience last term, Kosmina has his sights firmly on making the top four in 2019.
“I’m positive about the [upcoming] season, and I was positive last year,” Kosmina said.
“We had an average age in the starting eleven – at the end [of the season] – of under 20. Our back four was a 20-year-old, a 19-year-old and two 18-year-olds.
“We played some good football and won some tough games, but we also lost a few games that we should have won, and a lot of that came down to individual errors.
“You’re going to get that with young players from time to time, but they’re a year older now and will have learned from those experiences.
“We want to make finals this year, but also we want to continue to work with our young players and turn them into good footballers.”
Despite having an incredibly young first team squad, those players will have to be on their toes as Kosmina has plenty of talent coming through from the double-winning under 20’s and the premiership winning under 18’s.
“We have a lot of good players in the squad,” Kosmina said.
“Some of the under 20’s have come up, some we’ve had to let go because they aren’t under 20 any more…but that’s football, that’s how it is. It’s not age group football any more.”
“We’ve kept in touch with those guys, because they are all good players, and maybe there will be a place for them down the track.
“It’s a tough game,” Kosmina added.
City’s youth sides were hugely successful last season, but Kosmina warned against complacency creeping in, saying the step up to senior football might not suit everyone.
“They benefitted from playing with the same players of a number of years. That team didn’t change.” Kosmina said.
“That’s why our under 20’s and under 18’s were so successful last year. They had played with the same players for three, four years some of them.
“Age-group football has always been like this. You play against the same players year after year, and then when you step up to senior football you could be an 18-year-old playing against a 24-year-old with a few years experience behind him.
“[The under 18’s and 20’s] played some good football. Good, technical football, but some of the teams they played against were a little naive.
“That won’t happen in senior football.”
One club that have managed to covert a strong youth program into success at senior level is Western Pride, with Kosmina admitting that the addition of a couple of strong players into an established set up made all the difference – a difference that he is hoping to make this coming season with some additions of his own.
“They did, but they added some quality players as well,” Kosmina said.
“Harrison Sawyer, Cam Crestani, came in and those players that were there played with each other for a long time before getting that mix right.
“We’re looking to bring in a couple of players as well, they wont be the secret ingredient, but will add to the mix and make the club successful.”
Success, as well as providing a strong pathway for young players to develop into, means one thing for Kosmina in 2019.
“I want to make the finals.”
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