Onions target top five finish this season
Flanagan's Onions captain Keston Lewis has targeted a top five finish as they kick off their campaign against champions Devonshire Cougars tonight at Goose Gosling Field.
Having narrowly survived their first season in top flight football, the predominantly expat club will not settle for the simple task of survival, and have set their sights on loftier goals.
Onions finished the campaign in eighth spot, above only the two relegated sides, and will be looking to make a move up the ladder this time around.
Among the notable results they achieved last year were home wins over North Village and Somerset Trojans, and an away draw to both Village and Wolves.
“We definitely want to make the top five this time around,” said Lewis. It doesn't make sense to keep the same goals every year, so we are aiming high and even for a Dudley Eve spot if it is available for us.”
One key area of concern for Onions last campaign was their lack of strength in depth, a problem that was further exposed through injuries or overseas commitments.
The dilemma seems to have been rectified with the arrival of added reinforcements, including midfielder Alex Hunter from BAA's Corona League team, to provide cover in key areas of the park.
They will need to call on their experience from last season as they play three of the big four in the opening month, starting with the Big Cats.
They follow that up with a trip to Bernard Park to clash with the Rams, and then return home to lock horns with Lewis' former club PHC.
“Depth was our main issue last year, so these players coming in help us and gives us a few other avenues and ways to play against different teams,” he added.
“We have been coming along well in the training, we have a few more good players coming in this season so we are prepared for the new campaign.
“Players coming into the team is always a bonus given our position that sees players either injured or off island for whatever reason.”
Lewis also revealed the differences between playing for Onions and domestic powerhouse PHC.
“Being at PHC was about winning trophies and training three times a week in order to be prepared and the pressure, whereas this group of guys are family oriented and have work commitments and can't do so many sessions per week.
“When we do practice it is really intense, so the two environments are different in different aspects.”
Onions take on Cougars at 9pm, which is preceded by a First Division clash between BAA and Devonshire Colts at 7pm.
Tomorrow's opening day fixtures will see the game of the day at St John's Field between Dandy Town and Village as both sides look to get their title challenges off the ground.
Wolves welcome PHC to Devonshire Rec, Southampton Rangers host St David's in the visitors return to the top flight at Southampton Oval, while Trojans make the long trek to Wellington Oval to lock horns with Hamilton Parish.
In First Division action, Paget and Robin Hood battle at Southampton Oval, St George's play Somerset Eagles at Wellington Oval, Boulevard host X-Roads at Police Field, and Young Men's Social Club travel to Malabar to face off against a new look Ireland Rangers squad.