Chris Walsh back at the helm of Port United

In charge again: United coach Chris Walsh.
In charge again: United coach Chris Walsh.

CHRIS Walsh has returned for his fourth season in charge at Port United as he chases glory which has so far eluded him in his tenure at the Green Bloods.

After a disappointing finish last season, Walsh is looking to emulate the success of 2014, when first and reserve grade made the grand final.

Hopefully, the club goes one better in 2016. Reserve grade was soundly beaten in its last grand final appearance, before firsts went down in golden goal.

Star striker Daniel McGovern came close to snatching victory for United, but his shot hit the bar and bounced out.

United looked to feature at the pointy end again last season, with nine straight victories as the finals loomed, but Saints bundled Walsh's men out of the competition.

Six draws made for a stuttering campaign, and Walsh said he still had plenty to learn as coach.

Game management is an area which needs improvement for the team to do well in 2016.

"If we had have made those key tactical moves at the right time, we wouldn't have had six draws," Walsh said.

The loss to Saints still haunts Walsh, who said that United was too slow in adapting to the opposition's style.

"We kept running into brick walls," he said.

He's confident of another good season from the Dixie Park-based club. Walsh has most of last year's squad coming back to play, and hopes for some new faces in the pre-season.

Brock Longworth had a great season between the sticks last year. Walsh said Longworth would rise another level with some specialised keeper training under Michael Mikolajczyk.

Eli Wade was a standout at fullback, and Walsh predicted last year's players' player Jake Avery would be good again.

The likes of Brett Ervine and Eoghan Barltrop will again push for spots in the top team.

Gregg McDonald is Walsh's assistant coach in both grades.

United's pre-season heats up in February with another match against Adamstown Rosebud.

The Newcastle side is traditionally well into its season preparation, and are always a tough test for United.


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