Singleton Strikers welcome new coach Brendan Slade ahead of 2020 NewFM Northern League One season

MEET THE COACH: Singleton Strikers leaders Todd Geddes (club president), Brendan Slade (first grade coach) and Warren Gillespie (club secretary) pictured at the Royal Hotel, Singleton on Sunday.

MEET THE COACH: Singleton Strikers leaders Todd Geddes (club president), Brendan Slade (first grade coach) and Warren Gillespie (club secretary) pictured at the Royal Hotel, Singleton on Sunday.

There's a theory that Brendan Slade is no stranger to the round ball game.

The mathematics certainly back that up.

The 47-year-old, who grew up in Stockton, started playing the game at the age of six before entering the mentoring world at the tender age of 23.

Therefore the incoming Singleton Strikers first grade mentor has already spent more than half his life time within the coaching fraternity.

"Coaching against Singleton, you saw the quality they had," Slade told the Singleton Argus at Sunday's meet the coach day.

Slade's coaching resume includes memorable stints at NPL club Broadmedow Magic, Wallsend Reddevils and the Lambton Jaffas.

"I love football so when you can't play anymore you then coach," he added. "I love the game 24/7 and my wife knows that."

IN DISCUSSION: Will Brendan Slade (newly appointed Singleton Strikers' first grade coach) be the man to end the club's 28-year-old premiership drought at top level?

IN DISCUSSION: Will Brendan Slade (newly appointed Singleton Strikers' first grade coach) be the man to end the club's 28-year-old premiership drought at top level?

Slade helped rebuild Cessnock City's line-up from the bottom of the table to second position before venturing to Belmont Swansea United; assisting a strong line-up which claimed back to back grand final victories by defeating Cooks Hill 3-2 in September.

"The coaches over there (Belmont Swansea) were fantastic and the training sessions were fantastic," he reflected. "In fact, they were the closest I've seen to the NPL standard.

"The way you play is the way you train and they trained really well."

While the Belswans had yet another season to remember the Strikers' 2019 campaign was far from memorable.

The squad was boosted by Jake Barner and also added returning cult hero (and Albanian striker) Klaudon Ahmataj for a brief period.

Sadly this would not be enough as the first grade side finished in the bottom three while no players were able to lock down a spot in the NewFM Northern League One team of the year.

YEAR TO FORGET: The Strikers pictured following a tough 4-0 loss to South Cardiff in Round 18, this year.

YEAR TO FORGET: The Strikers pictured following a tough 4-0 loss to South Cardiff in Round 18, this year.

However Slade was still impressed by the Strikers' performance in their 1-0 defeat to Belmont Swansea.

"Like Belmont, Singleton also has ex-NPL players from the Nicols' boys to the Cox brothers so these guys are quality players and I always said to myself that I wanted to coach that side one day," he admitted.

"It was a bit of a drive but when the opportunity came I took the opportunity with both hands and ran with it.

"This side can definitely play finals football for sure.

INCOMING: Todd Geddes (president) welcomes first grade coach Brendan Slade with Warren Gillespie (secretary).

INCOMING: Todd Geddes (president) welcomes first grade coach Brendan Slade with Warren Gillespie (secretary).

"Sure, depth has been the issue at the Strikers so that's the first thing I want to build on. "I brought a side from last to second place the year we took over but we lost to Cooks Hill in the semi-final.

"The key is to try to stack the first grade side with quality players. "Once you get quality players together and put in the effort it really helps a lot."

The Singleton Strikers look to have retained a majority of its first grade players ahead of the 2020 season bar Ahmataj.

The names of certain recruits have already been raised in discussion nevertheless Slade's primary focus is on improving the current list.

"The other chemistry I see here in Singleton is the mateship," he concluded.

"Jordan Phelan just said to me that he wouldn't play for any other club due to the quality of the club and the committee is great."

"So when it all comes together you get success."