SURF Coast’s rise up the region’s soccer’s ranks could end at the Geelong Cup, coach Lindsay Falzon has warned.
The region’s newest side has astounded the sport’s Victorian community to earn consecutive promotions over its past two regular seasons.
Two recent cup final appearances in the pre-season have also coincided with Surf Coast’s emergence as one of the fastest-growing clubs.
But the 34-year-old coach does not expect the same heroics from the Geelong Cup tournament’s youngest line-up.
“As far as the cup goes, we’re going to experiment a bit this time,” Falzon said.
“I’m going to throw in a couple of kids and see how they go.”
Falzon nominated 15-year-old rookies Jack Peddler and Lars Halse along with Steven Russell, 16, for big roles in the round-robin format this month.
Surf Coast kicks-off the Geelong Cup with a 2010 finals rematch with Corio at Stead Park this Friday.
But redemption for the 1-0 loss to the home side was the last thing on Falzon’s mind.
“There are six games to be played and I want to get the most out of them,” he said.
“Out of these games we hope to find out where our players can play so when the season comes I don’t have to scratch my head.”
Surf Coast will play in a strong Provisional One competition this year.
It was only four years ago the same group of players was running around in the local Sunday league.
Falzon expected to select only three “experienced” players in the best side, with the rest of the squad 21 years or younger.
“We still don’t want to ruin all the hard work and go back down (a division), so it’ll be a tough year for us.”
Shunning his own team, Falzon has tipped Geelong Soccer and Sports Club to win the tournament under one proviso.
“I think Geelong will win it in my personal opinion because they are a very strong side but if North Geelong wanted to win it they easily could.”
Surf Coast and Corio kick off the tournament at 8pm before Bell Park meet Geelong Rangers clash at 7pm on Wednesday and North Geelong and Geelong at 8.20pm.
The Independent is a supporter of the Geelong Cup.