Ballarat City FC is in talks with a candidate to fill the role of first-choice goalkeeper for the fast-approaching National Premier League 2 West Vic season.
There is a sense of urgency in search with City FC’s season opener against Brunswick City on Sunday, February 5.
Ballarat’s new premier soccer entity needs to fill a vacancy left by Aaron Romein, who has moved to St Albans in NPL Vic.
Ballarat signed former Young Socceroos squad member Alex Baird as a replacement in November.
The 22-year-old joined from St Albans with impressive credentials, having had time with Derby County and Newcastle United youth teams in England, Dundee in the Scottish Premier League and Gateshead in the English Conference.
Unfortunately, the move did not work out and Baird has parted ways with the club.
Ballarat head coach Danny Gnjidic said the signing did not work out as the club had hoped.
He said Baird had a change of mind.
Gnjidic said while it was unfortunate, City FC did not want players on its list if their heart was not in the club.
He said when putting a squad together, everyone had to be fully committed.
Gnjidic said while Ballarat did have a couple of emerging young keepers in its ranks, it was hoping to secure a frontline keeper.
He said Ballarat was fortunate to have a high percentage of homegrown talent on its books.
“It’s a great group. They want to be here. They’ve bought into the program.”
Gnjidic complimented his predecessor James Robinson, who is coaching Brisbane Roar in the national youth league after three seasons in Ballarat, for the work he had put into developing the squad.
Gnjidic is confident that as a fresh voice he can build on what had been achieved.
MEANWHILE, Sebastopol Vikings will begin its Football Federation Victoria men’s state league 4 west season under new head coach Corey Smith on Saturday, March 25.
Finals and play-offs are scheduled for September 16-17 and 23-24.
The division will also feature Altona North, Balmoral, Bell Park, Golden Plains, Melton Phoenix, Newmarket Phoenix, North Melbourne Athletic, Point Cook, Surf Coast, Truganina Hornets and Western Eagles.
Bannockburn-based Golden Plains and North Melbourne have been promoted from division five and Western Eagles relegated from division three west.
The season fixture is still to be released.
Vikings finished sixth last year with 10 wins, five draws and six losses.