Fluss gets tough on Melrose defence

HARDER, meaner defence will be the key to Melrose FC chances next year, according to re-appointed coach Josh Fluss.

Fluss said he would demand a better defensive effort from his top-tier next year.

“I want to improve defensively and structurally big time, but more so defensively,” he said.

“We conceded too many goals, especially when we’re a team that scores a lot of goals.”

Melrose FC scored 65 goals last season — the third highest total.

But it also conceded 38 goals during its 22 matches.

The former Park Rangers were knocked out of the cup play-offs in the semi-finals by eventual champions Wodonga Diamonds, after dominating much of the play.

Next year will be Fluss’ third year in charge of Melrose FC.

He managed to take them to the semi-finals this year and last year they were beaten by Albury United in the cup.

“This year we finished in fourth spot, and then lost in extra-time to Diamonds in the semi-final,” Fluss said.

“We certainly didn’t under-achieve, but I don’t think we over-achieved.

“We were probably in the ball park for where we were at, but it would have been nice to go a bit further, especially with the way we went out in the semis.”

But the highly rated keeper also hoped to retain the services of one of his star players being pursued by Hume League football clubs.

He hoped key playmaker Kade Rixon would pull on the boots for Melrose FC again and that reports he might swap codes were not true.

“I think he’s weighing up his options at the moment,” he said. “He might have had an offer from Walla or Jindera to play football.

“But we believe he’ll still possibly be playing for us next season.

“Maybe not full-time during the year, but maybe at times when we need him, he’ll come back and have a kick.”

Melrose FC will begin training on Tuesday, January 7.

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