HE is not expecting to work miracles but new Croydon coach Paul Newlands believes his side can push the leading sides in the Eastern Football League division 2 competition in 2013.
Newlands was appointed to the Croydon role last week after serving as assistant coach at Doncaster East this past season. The former Mitcham player has also coached extensively at junior level, leading sides to grand finals four times in six years.
Newlands said he would be making changes to the team's game plan and the club could face hard work to force itself back into division 1.
But he is up for the challenge and had his coaching panel already arranged before going for the job, his first as a senior coach. "I'm not expecting to work miracles," he said. "It will take a good couple of years of hard work but with the list we have and the recruits we hope to get it's not impossible for us to be competitive next year."
Newlands, who lives in the Croydon Hills area, named his coaching panel as former South Croydon reserves coach Glen Pemberton and past Croydon premiership captain Mark Doueal to join him for 2013.
Newlands said he hoped the club could have one or two recruits signed within the next two weeks. "We have a few players in mind who will complement our team and we will try to get them over the line," he said. "It's always a slog but we would be happy if we had one or two on board in the next two weeks."
Newlands said he saw great potential in the club and he looked forward to coaching at senior level.
In a statement about Newlands' appointment, Croydon president Darrell Grant thanked interim coach Angelo Lamanna and said the club hoped to keep him in a different capacity.
■ South Croydon has kept faith with Damien Franken, announcing him as its senior coach for the Eastern Football League 2013 season.
Franken became the acting coach when the club parted ways with Ben Delarue late last season. He led the side clear of bottom place so it could retain its spot in division 1.
Bulldogs president Stephen Quon praised Franken as the man to lead the club to division 1 prominence. "After taking over as caretaker coach of our club for the final six games of last season he demonstrated all the great qualities we value at South Croydon," Quon said.
"He has certainly earned his position as senior coach. Damien is a local product who lives within our community and fully understands what makes our club tick."
Quon said he rated Franken as "extremely hard working, well organised" who planned meticulously and was a great communicator. "I have no doubt he will raise the bar high and we will be a much improved club under his stewardship," Quon said.