Cootamundra Strikers Captain-Coach Josh Purtell with sons Addison & Lewis.

A promising pre-season had given coach Josh Purtell plenty of hope of an improved showing by the Cootamundra Strikers in 2020. This year’s Football Wagga season couldn’t come quick enough for the town’s soccer community, but both players and supporters alike will have to wait a little while longer to erase the pain of a tough 2019.

Success was limited to a lone win over Tumut in First Grade, while Reserve Grade went one better, managing two victories. The appointment of the classy Purtell, along with good mate Aaron Kemp to coach the First Grade side showed the club’s intention of turning things around and improving results on the field. Purtell said impressive numbers had attended training since November and ensured the squad had plenty of depth with a good mixture of new players, young local guys entering their first year of senior football and the return of some experience in the form of Dylan Berkrey, Brent Farnsworth & Steve Armstrong. Former Kiama First Grader Scott Schofield had also signed on, coming to the club with an excellent reputation.

The tough and dedicated pre-season Purtell and co had implemented was evident in the Strikers only trial in late February, where a 3-1 loss against powerhouse Wagga United, was a far cry from the 8-0 drubbing they received from the same opposition 12 months earlier. Purtell is yet to hear from Football Wagga as to whether the competition will commence at all this year, but said some players had home work outs they were keeping on top of in the hope a miracle occurs and restrictions are lifted. Purtell said his main message to all involved within the club was to stay at home and stay safe.