MOVING ON: Lake Macquarie confident of returning to Northern NSW NPL.DEMOTED Lake Macquarie are confident of competing for an immediate return to the Northern NSW NPL despite not having a coach in place for 2015.
The Roosters finished last and were relegated this year in the inaugural NPL under Gary Rowe, who told the club almost two months ago he would not return next season. Rowe has since taken the job at now first-division rivals West Wallsend.
Lake Macquarie have been trying to find a replacement, but Hamilton assistant Phil Koina and former Maitland and Adamstown head coach Anthony Richards have rejected approaches.
The Roosters have lost left back Dan Clements to Rosebud and goalkeeper Nathan Archbold to Broadmeadow, but leading goalscorer Sam Walker and captain Tom Walker are among those who have resisted offers from NPL clubs to stay with Lakes.
President Mary Cooper said the club was buoyed by the loyalty of the Walker brothers and other players from this year’s squad.
‘‘We are fortunate that we have players who believe in us and that we can get back up in one year,’’ Cooper said.
‘‘It is difficult finding a coach and we are interested in anyone who wants to be part of the club, although they have to be the right person for the job.’’
Elsewhere, the club who have taken the Roosters’ place in the NPL, Maitland, have signed former North Queensland Fury striker Alex Read.
A former Valentine and Lake Macquarie player, Read has spent the past two seasons in Queensland.
Hamilton have added Central Coast Mariners Youth striker Tom Spencer to their roster. He joins Matt Harper (year off), Simon Mooney (knee reconstruction) and Jesse Cook (Jets Youth) as replacements for keeper Brad Swancott (Jaffas), Dave Hodgson (retired) and James Monie.
Adamstown, who have a trial match against the Mariners Youth side on Sunday at Tuggerah, have added Roger Dowdell (Maitland), Owen Littlewood (Magic) and Jack O’Toole (year off) to the recruitment of Guy Bates, Stuart Musialik and Matt Paul.
Lambton have secured Queenslander and former Jets Youth player Josh Sansucie.
Weston, meanwhile, have called a meeting of all 2014 players tonight after the shock sacking of head coach Steve Piggott on Saturday night.
Piggott steered the Bears to second place and a grand final berth in his first and only year at the helm.
Former head coach Trevor Morris is tipped to take over and will address the players tonight.