Geelong coach Steve Laurie at Geelong Soccer Club Picture: Mitch Bear
Geelong coach Steve Laurie isn’t mincing his words. Anything less than promotion will be a failure in 2016.
Laurie and right hand man Toby Paterson have added seven new faces to the squad for next season with most coming from leagues higher than Geelong in State League 2.
With that investment comes pressure to perform. It’s something Laurie is confident he can handle.
“We certainly need success this season. The Geelong Soccer Club board, as good as they are to deal with, will not accept anything other than success this season and I totally understand that,” Laurie said.
“But to be brutally honest — and not to sound arrogant because I’m not — if I don’t feel the pressure then I don’t deserve to be in the job because that is when I perform my best.
“Promotion, we need promotion. It’s that simple and anything less than that … I won’t be happy with.”
Star striker Sean McIlroy, classy Ross Harvey and promising Morgan Filer and Tom Robb all joined the club last week.
Geelong recruit Ross Harvey. Picture: Christopher Chan
They join Dulie Delic, Stuart Webster and Brodie Paterson, who committed to the club last month.
There could be even more to come with a number of players to trial with Geelong through the pre-season cup.
A cup run in the Dockerty Cup and potentially the FFA Cup was important too, Laurie said.
“They are huge cups. The FFA Cup can potentially be a big financial thing for the club if you get a run in it,” he said.
“It’s going to come down to how the boys are feeling with injuries. We try and look after the lads.”
Recruit Sean McIlroy. Picture : George Salpigtidis
Laurie said he and Paterson had headhunted quality players that were prepared to commit their long-term future to the club.
“You don’t just go and sign (any player). You want players that need success, that want success and you need to know them personally so you know they can handle pressure,” he said.
“I was always taught … by (ex-England manager) Peter Taylor, who was a real mentor of mine … to plan like you’re playing one league above.
“That has always stayed in my mind. I haven’t singed players to hang around for one season and do well in Division 2.
Former Ranger Tom Robb is now at Geelong. Picture: Peter Ristevski
“We want a build a club where boys hang around to play four or five seasons.”
Laurie said the club, which is in the process of getting a new facility at Stead Park, was now getting players calling him asking if they could play for the club.
He said the new club rooms featured a corporate hospitality area, four new change rooms plus a reception centre.