FC Bendigo has sights on winning start in NPL

FC Bendigo coach Steve Martin is confident about a first-up victory in Sunday's clash with Avondale Heights in the National Premier League.

Bendigo will play at the State Football Centre in Melbourne.

"We believe that if we can bring the positive attitude that we’ve had in training over the past few weeks, we’ll be very competitive and can come away with a win," Martin said.

The FC Bendigo squad will be led by Trent Waterson in its historic debut.

A 2-1 win against Goulburn Valley Suns in Shepparton was a highlight of the new club's pre-season.

Despite being together for less than a month, Martin insisted the squad had gelled well and was eager to play.

“We’ve had our core group of boys together for about two weeks, and we had about 85 per cent of the squad available for the practice game against Goulburn Valley Suns.

“It’s a unique set of circumstances being a brand new team, but since we’ve been together, I can’t fault the attitude and endeavour."

Midfielder Matthew Breeze has played for English sides Peterborough United and Worcester City.

Waterson is one of several home-grown talents on the pitch.

Jono Ryan, Zac Kinsman, Josh Naunton and Finn Huzzey have starred in the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League.

Striker George Slefendorfas was a Golden Boot winner in the New Zealand top flight.

An experienced defence is led by Martin and former Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart-listed goalkeeper Sebastian Mattei.

Avondale Heights is in its 30th season.

Sunday's match is at State Football Centre in Thornbury from 3pm.

FC Bendigo squad: Sam Beesley, Alon Blumgart, Matthew Breeze (UK, visa), Aaron Cohen, Ryan Davidson, Finn Huzzey, Zac Kinsman (BASL), Amara Kromah, Steve Martin, Sebastian Mattei, Josh Naunton (BASL), Jono Ryan (BASL), Tom Shaper, George Slefendorfas, Trent Waterson, Chris Xerri. 

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