Coast is clear for Miron Bleiberg
Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg will bank on the success of the A-League club’s youth team to help ease in a period of transition next season.
United’s 2010/11 campaign ended on Saturday night after a 1-0 defeat to Central Coast denied them a place in Sunday’s grand final against Brisbane Roar.
The match marked the dawn of a new era for the club, with five first team players already leaving the club and possibly more to follow.
With the likes of Jason Culina (Newcastle), Dino Djulbic (China), Steve Pantelidis (Indonesia), Bas van den Brink (South Korea) and Zenon Caravella (Adelaide United) all on their way out of the club, Bleiberg is not hitting the panic button.
Instead he believes United’s youth team, which has secured back-to-back championships, will help provide a new generation of paying talent in the coming seasons.
“Overall I’m proud of what we’ve done, we had a good year,” Bleiberg said after the loss to the Mariners.
“We had a good generation for a young club.
“I think you can see all the other clubs doing reports or in-house inquiries or whatever, for this club I think we run it like an oily machine.
“We’ve got one generation of players, a lot of them were unwanted by other clubs, they found a house here and now they are going to greener pastures.
“A few players will stay and that will be the core of the team and we have a young team that have been champion for the last two years and we will let them express themselves and we will continue.”
While Gold Coast have attracted criticism for drawing consistently poor crowds to their Skilled Park base, Bleiberg said the club had contributed in other ways by producing several “memorable” games for the league.
He said it was sad to lose a bulk of his core playing group but took pride in the fact Gold Coast had helped resurrect some careers as they reached the finals twice in their first two seasons.
“A lot of our players were unwanted, Glen Moss was unwanted by (Melbourne) Victory, Panta was unwanted, Dino was unwanted, Anderson was unwanted in Brazil, Bas van den Brink, Zenon was unwanted, we can go on,” he said.
“With all due respect, what these guys achieved is marvellous. You can write a movie about it, you’ve got Ocean’s 13, now you’ve got the unwanted 13.
“We are happy we help these guys to resurrect their careers and they going now to make big mega bucks somewhere.
“But the team that will stay, look, we’re definitely going to play beautiful football next year because the youngsters are all good footballers.
“Whether it will challenge for the top it’s yet to be seen, if not we call it transition year.
“But it’s worth the investment and I’m looking forward to it.”© AAP 2013
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