Photos (Top to Bottom): Lino Sciulli, the Launceston City coach; Peter Savill, the former Leeds United player who Sciulli rates as one of Launceston City's best ever players; Sciulli (second from left in back row) as Launceston City's goalkeeper on the day they were pipped for the State League title at Wentworth Park; Lino Sciulli (third from left in back row) with a Launceston City squad at Olinda Grove; Launceston City at KGV Park, with Peter Savill second from the left in the back row and Liam Monagle second from the right in the front row [PlessPix]
Lino Sciulli, 46, is the coach of Launceston City, one of Tasmania's most successful clubs.
City have had a hard time of it in recent seasons following the retirement of key players, but Sciulli is determined to get them back on track.
I interviewed Sciulli this week about his involvement with the club and their prospects for the coming season.
Walter Pless: How long have you been with Launceston City as a player and as a coach?
Lino Sciulli: About 21 years.
WP: What were the highlights of your playing career?
LS: Winning trophies, and friends.
WP: Which was the best Launceston City team you played in?
LS: Early on, when Peter Savill was coach. We had some awesome players.
WP: What coaching experience do you have?
LS: I coached junior teams with my son in them, and one year in the State League when we lost the State-wide Cup.
WP: You eventually became a goalkeeper. How did that come about because you used to be a midfielder?
LS: I was getting a little old and slow and I saw it as an opportunity to extend my career.
WP: What do you think of the Northern Premier League as a competition?
LS: It’s okay, but it needs an influx of players. The youth program does seem to be working, though, with good talent coming through.
WP: In what ways could it be improved?
LS: We need to go back to State League, with possibly one or two teams from Launceston who can use other clubs as feeder clubs.
WP: How would you describe your coaching philosophy?
LS: We will see, I guess, but I’ll try and keep it simple.
WP: Who will win the Northern Premier League title in 2011?
LS: Launceston City. Silly question (chuckles).
WP: How will Launceston City go?
LS: Hopefully, well. We’ll just try and move up the ladder and see. Who knows?
WP: Have you got any new players?
LS: There are possibilities, but until they’re signed, no.
WP: Are there any exciting youngsters coming through at the club?
LS: Yes, plenty. There are some good ones from last year, and some under-16s coming through. Very exciting times for all clubs if we do it right.
WP: What are your aims in the game now?
LS: I would like to see Launceston City strong again and all the teams competitive.
WP: Who are some of the best players you played with at Launceston City?
LS: Peter Savill, Liam Monagle, the list could go on and on. I could write a whole page on that.