Hume City feels like it has unfinished business as it heads into the 2020 National Premier League season.
Hume is coming off its most successful season, including winning its first bit of silverware and making finals in three competitions, but the group is focused on setting the bar even higher.
Coach Nick Hegarty said there was plenty of motivation among the playing group early in the pre-season.
“We’ve tasted that first bit of silverware and we’re keen to shake things up again and taste some more.
“You always want to be better than the year before. It’s a good challenge.”
Hume won the Dockerty Cup, and made the quarter finals of the FFA Cup, losing to A-League Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in injury time.
They were knocked out of the NPL finals in the opening week.
“We’re kind of unlucky the way we finished the season against Central Coast Mariners the way we did,” Hegarty said.
“It feels like we didn’t close the season and that there’s still some unfinished business.
“The team hasn’t finished and hopefully we can keep going.”
Hume has kept the bulk of its playing group together, with 18 players from this year returning.
George Howard is the biggest out. It has added two players to the squad, Josh Bingham and Andy Brennan.
Bingham, who spent five years at the Central Coast Mariners, returns to Australia after spending last season in England.
Brennan joins Hume from fellow NPL side Green Gully.
He played five games for the Newcastle Jets between 2015-17.
Hegarty said he expected both to give them some more options in the attacking third.
“The two new guys we’ve attracted have added quality to the attacking third,” he said.
“We’re looking for them to create and score.
“It will create some more competition for spots. We’re lucky to bring in two guys who will fit in with the footy side of things.
“Personally, they are two great people, which is important.
“They’ve been a good fit so far and we’re looking forward to seeing them in Hume colours.”
Hume will also be boosted by the return of Will Hendon and Gideon Sweet, who missed most of this year with injury.
Hume City has been back at training the past few weeks, with a pre-season game already under their belt.
They will play two more games before Christmas, with a number of other games lined up for the new year.
“The game at the weekend blew out the cobwebs,” Hegarty said.
“Everyone is looking in good condition. I like to play some games early on to get fitness through games.”
Meanwhile the NPL fixture has been released. Hume City starts its season on February 15 against Altona Magic at home under lights.