Not all ‘doom and gloom’ despite more hard roads ahead for La Fiamma

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Mathijs Travasso against Woodvale FC
Camera IconMathijs Travasso against Woodvale FC Credit: Russell Schneider

Ugle Fabrications La Fiamma have endured a tough few months but not all hope is lost as the Reds look to salvage the second half of their season.

The season began with a lot of promise, with strong performances in preseason friendlies and a new style of play with hopes of gaining promotion from the Amateur League third division.

But having sat inside the top five after the opening rounds, things unravelled, first through circumstances beyond their control, with several teams forfeiting away games against the Reds, meaning they barely got on the park.

Since then, they haven’t been able to recover from the loss of momentum which has only been compounded by availability issues with the Reds not being able to field their best 11 since April.

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Captain Lachlan Gray, who himself missed nearly a month while on holiday in Europe, admitted it had not been easy.

“It wasn’t a fairytale result on my first game back having to play 60 minutes in the reserves then back it up in the league,” he said.

“Having things out of our control and having our best players away has obviously had a massive effect on what we were hoping before the season began.”

However, while Gray admits they have had to reassess their target for this season, there is still plenty to play for.

“We know now where we are with the players we do have and the goal from here is pretty simple: just win as many games as possible,” he said.

“We’ve got nine games left. The result against Northern City was massively important and we want to try and finish in the mid-table and carry some momentum into next year.”

Gray has been able to see the silver linings in La Fiamma’s tough run, with young players like Ismael Khan and Mathijs Travasso being thrust into the senior side.

“I guess that’s a positive, is . . . (it’s) sort of accelerated some of these younger players along and given them a chance of knowing the level that is required, and there’s plenty of upside to them,” he said.

“And now the guys coming back that have been missing have to work to get their spots back.”

Gray has also taken comfort in the performance of the club’s women’s side and its youth sides.

“Even the women’s team is actually struggling for numbers at the moment but their attitude at the moment is fantastic,” he said.

“It’s not obviously all doom and gloom — our U14s team is undefeated and absolutely killing it, which is our future, and the 16s are doing OK as well.”

“It’s just an unfortunate thing that our top side has been struggling this year.”

Gray said it would be some time before all the pieces were back in place but he hoped to return to the game style they had worked on in the preseason which had brought early success.

“With our lack of players, it’s been difficult and we’ve reverted a bit to our form last year in scoring plenty but conceding even more,” he said.

“But as long as everyone sticks together and play for each other we can keep pulling results and do our best to finish with a big chunk of points.”

La Fiamma face Forrestfield United from 6pm at Salvatore Scuito Stadium Saturday July 29.

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