ENERGY, enthusiasm and make like a microwave - that is what Western NSW FC coach Mark Rooke wants to see from his squad if the National Premier Leagues 4 competition resumes.
Though no firm return to play date has been set by Football NSW, Rooke is hopeful the coronavirus shutdown will soon end.
He can't wait for his squad, who played two games before season 2020 was put on hold, to resume training then make a return to competition.
And when they do, he wants them to show energy, he wants to see enthusiasm and he wants his squad to make like a microwave.
"It's all about energy and enthusiasm when people come back. No matter whether it's the same amount of games or different games, we have to hit the ground running when we do," Rooke said.
"It's a bit like a microwave, heat it up straight away and get going and get those wins early on and make sure we're at the top end of the competition."
Last season Western NSW managed just three wins and two draws across its 26 National Premier Leagues 3 games to finish 14th.
It meant they were relegated to NPL4 for season 2020, but with a handful of new recruits, Rooke is confident his squad can push for promotion.
He said his desire to do so has "certainly intensified" during the shutdown.
"I am so keen to get back and I know the group of players we've got there and I know what we can do for this season, it's just how we come together," he said.
"I just hope people have been doing the running programs I set out so that residual fitness is there and we can get on to other things.
"The guys that are there are certainly capable of reaching that semi-final area. It's a matter of fitness, getting on the park."
Initially the NPL4 competition had 22 rounds scheduled for 2020 and 12 clubs vying for the premiership.
Just what the season will look like if given the green light to resume, and if all 12 of those clubs will be part of the competition, remains to be seen.
Rooke knows there may be challenges, but feels the fact clubs have dedicated soccer grounds they call home could still see plenty of matches played.
"No-one really knows, it's about venue availability I suppose," he said.
"In the olden days there was a lot of sharing of venues with cricket and other sports and we would've really struggled to get fields, but as it stands now, pretty much everyone in our comp don't have cricket pitches in the middle and are their own venues.
"It's still a matter of ticking off with councils when we can use them, but if everything goes okay you'd like to think we continue on and play our competition.
He said mid-week matches would be "difficult", but the side will still have to travel regardless as Western prepares for a season full of unknowns.
Western's firsts side currently sits ninth on the ladder with a win and a draw from its two completed matches. The under 20s are 11th and under 18s 12th.
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