Recruit to help lift a growing standard

BETTER than Dan Summers.

That is the wrap being put on Twin City Wanderers newcomer and assistant coach Matt Gray.

The former Fulham junior will move to the Border early in the new year as part of a role that will see him play in the centre of the park for Wanderers and bring an even higher level of professionalism to the club.

Twin City will also welcome back super boot Zac Walker after a stint in the youth division of the A-League, Matt Hasler from a lengthy suspension and Zac Betts.

In the off-season they have also picked up another English import Luke McHugh and Josh Zito from Cobram United.

But Wanderers will be without the 2012 competition star player Jason Gilbert who is set for a 12-month work placement in Britain.

David Afonso is back at the helm at Kelly Park for next year.

He was also in charge when a teenager Walker smashed the magical 50-goal barrier in the competition in 2010.

Afonso is making no apologies for the rating of Gray above this year’s star player and golden boot winner.

“On paper it is an outstanding squad,” Afonso said.

“My job will be blending all the elements and coming up with a win-loss record that reflects the quality of players at our disposal.

“I rate Gray above Dan Summers.

“Matt is a centre midfielder so it is a slightly different position but his talent would be superior to Summers.”

Pedro Afonso and Gray will act as technical directors at Twin City, charged with having the club reading from the same play book.

“Development is very high on our list and the above players are helping coach junior teams with a view to the future,” David Afonso said.

“Matt and Pedro will be helping all grades so that as players come through the age divisions they know exactly what the system is, what role they play.

“We have made no secret of the fact that we want to be the benchmark in the competition.”

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