The Sutherland Sharks are gearing up early for the 2017 NSW Premier League season by agreeing to terms with 14 players and snaring the signature of former APIA Leichardt and Melbourne Victory striker Nathan Elasi. It’s a happy home coming for Elasi who spent his youth career here at the Sutherland Sharks and scored 13 goals in 49 matches for us over the 2013-2014 campaigns.
Joining Elasi is a host of Sharks players returning from the 2016 NPL side as well as a few new faces in Blair Brown and former Wigan Under 21 and Leeds under 23 starlet Patrick Antelmi.
After an exciting pre season campaign where the Sharks lost just once, their NPL season was frustrating for the most part. Some encouraging signs were shown towards the back end of the season where wins against the Wollongong Wolves and Bonnyrigg White Eagles showed the ability within the squad.
Sharks midfielder Josh Da Silva speaking exclusively to sutherlandsharks.com.au said that the promising results at the end of last season showed that the Sharks can mix it with the big teams and made it an easy decison for him to come back. “ Sutherland is home for me so re-signing with them was an easy decision. I’m excited about the upcoming season because I feel towards the end of last year we really came together as a team and showed we deserved to be in the top. With a few extra additions I believe we will really contend not only for the title but for the FFA cup as well which is definitely something we want to go far in as a club”. Da Silva was one of the Sharks best last year and will be looking to improve on his 6 goals from midfield last season.
At the other end of the field, the Sharks are happy to announce the re-signings of defenders Nicholas Littler and Matt Gordon. Both mainstays of the Sharks defence, they were at their dominant best at the end of the season. Littler’s goal scoring ability became another threat to his already rounded game. Gordon was ever present in the 2016 season and showed his consistency and tackling ability on several occasions.
One players that Sharks fans have on their lips is talented central midfielder Chris McStay. The son of legendary Scottish and Celtic player Paul McStay, Chris came into his own in the second half of the 2016 NPL season with some dominant displays in the midfield that was highlighted by some crunching tackles and touches of class. Chris says that he was delighted to re-sign with his local club but emphasised that the boys need to hit the ground running “It’s great to re-sign with my local club Sutherland Sharks. We have a squad forming with a great blend of young and experienced players. It is important that we prepare thoroughly throughout preseason as the league is highly competitive, so we want to get off to a good start. I am really looking forward to getting back on the park to face the challenge of bringing some silverware back to Seymour Shaw”.
Leading goal scorer Tomohiro Kajiyama also returns in what is a huge boost for the Sharks 2017 aspirations.
Also re-signed is Under 20’s captain Claudio Fabiano, goalkeeper Niki Loe, veteran midfielder Steve Kayes, Mr Fix It Callum Fitzpatrick, midfielder Pat O’Shea and Jeremy Cox.
Nathan Denham (2017)
Matt Gordon (2017)
Nicholas Littler (2017)
Takuya Murayama (2017)
Tomohiro Kajiyama (2017)
Chris McStay (2017)
Josh Da Silva (2017)
Jack Press (2017)
Nathan Elasi (2017-from APIA Leichardt)
Claudio Fabiano (2017)
Callum Fitzpatrick (2017)
Pat O’Shea (2017)
Jeremy Cox (2017)
Niki Loe (2017)
Steve Kayes (2017)
Patrick Antelmi (2017-from Blacktown City)
Blair Brown (2017)