New player-manager has a clear vision for the Red Devils

NEW Ballarat Red Devils player-manager James Robinson says the region’s homegrown talent will get every opportunity to lead the club into the Victorian National Premier Leagues competition.

Robinson has been busy familiarising himself with his new surrounds and yesterday outlined his vision for the future.

The Red Devils are confident they will be part of the elite state-based competition in 2014, with licensees to be announced by Football Federation Victoria in early February.

Robinson, an A-League championship and premiership-winning player with Melbourne Victory, said everybody would get a chance to stake their claim for a spot in the senior side.

“Everyone is going to get a chance,” Robinson said.

“It’s a clean slate. The guys are just out there to play football and we’ll go from there and build from there.

“The application and attitude from the boys has been first class.

“You couldn’t ask for more.

“We are going to be stepping up in class, there’s no two ways about it, but predominantly we want to be Ballarat boys and that’s the long-term goal.

“That’s why I am giving every Ballarat boy a chance.

“We are stepping up in quality and a step up in quality always demands ourselves to challenge it.”

Robinson’s arrival will add plenty of class to the Red Devils’ playing stocks, but the 31-year-old says his main duty is to serve as head coach.

“I’m a head coach first and then I’m a player,” he said.

“That’s the way I approach it because the team is the bigger picture, not myself.

“(The club) has got a history and we want to build upon that so it’s not tearing everything down, it’s about the foundation we have.

“Can we build on that? Can we raise the levels? Can we challenge each other?

“Can we create an environment that is going to be producing players that are going to go to the A-League, go to play overseas and represent the national team?

“They are the goals that we have got to set ourselves, because if you don’t set them, where is the kids’ dreams going to be?”

Robinson said there would be an open trial session at the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility on Saturday, January 25 between 10am-noon, where any player could come and push their case for a place on the senior list.

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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