Mark Crittenden’s men will be fired up and ready to go in Round 1 of the 2022 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition, having been sitting as clear favourites when the 2021 season was cut short.
With a reputation for putting together a talented team with a professional culture and strong work ethic each year, there are high expectations for Blacktown City to do well this season and Crittenden is ready to step up to the challenge.
“We just start every season with the same ambition and that’s to win every game we play,” he said.
“That’s just been me from day one – that doesn’t matter what we do whether it be football, life in general, whatever, be a winner.
“That’s the way I’ve approached everything and that’s the way my boys will approach it.
“That won’t change and that’s been the same with me since I started coaching.”
While the core of the Blacktown City squad has been retained from last season, there has been some player movement which has left space for Crittenden to bring in some new talent to the team.
“Travis Major and Sean Rooney are no longer with us – Travis has gone to India and Sean has retired – so that’s a little bit different up front,” he explained.
“We brought in young Jordan Smyley and Jake Trew, two youngsters from A-League clubs, and then obviously we’ve also brought Mitch Malia back, which is a good signing for us, and we’ve just signed a young Japanese boy that plays up in the front third.
“Whilst we’ve lost a couple of strikers, we think we’ve brought in some pretty decent quality to replace them.”
With a strong and respected club culture, Crittenden places a lot of value on finding the right people to fit into the Blacktown City family.
Having experienced senior players to lead the squad and set the standard for young or new players, the expectations are quite clear in regards to work ethic and discipline at the club.
“We’ve got a couple of guys in Matty Lewis, Grant Lynch and Daniel Collins, they’ve been around a little while and they know exactly what’s expected,” he said.
“When the new boys come in it doesn’t take long to understand exactly what’s expected of a Blacktown City player and I’m pretty disciplined right from day one with them.
“These guys that have come in have come from good backgrounds and it doesn’t take them long to fit in and be a part of what we do.
“We do a bit of homework on them as well before we get them to make sure that they’re going to fit into what we do here.
“Work ethic is a big thing for us.
“We just want to work for each other, be strong for each other and that’s the way we’ve always been – nothing’s ever really changed under me, that’s my style.
“As long as they work hard for each other, hopefully, the results will come.”