ALARM bells are not ringing for Yoogali Soccer Club despite an 8-0 pumping at the hands of ACT National Premier League champions Canberra FC at the weekend.
In fact, the heavy loss may have been a blessing in disguise for coach Sante Donadel, who now knows exactly what the GDFA title-holders have to work on ahead of the new season.
Donadel took a side missing "three or four" first-grade players to the nation's capital for the friendly and were overwhelmed as the hosts went on a scoring frenzy in the second half, blowing out their 2-0 lead they held at the break.
But he is now wise to his side's weaknesses in transition after they were exposed repeatedly by the classy Canberra FC, who qualified for last year's National Premier Leagues finals and lost 2-1 to eventual winners Sydney United 58 in the first round.
"Our fitness levels probably weren't that good but the boys kept on running. They were just very well-structured," Donadel said.
"Our problem was when we turned over the ball, they attacked pretty quick and we couldn't cope with that.
"That's how they scored their goals. It wasn't like they got through us real easy.
"When we had men behind the ball, we held them out and held our shape.
"I didn't want to lose by 8-0 but that's what happened. I got a fair bit out of it, knowing what we have to work on.
"We're not going to play against a good team like that in the local comp, but we might in the State Cup. That's when we have to make sure we're set to go."
It was Yoogali SC's first friendly match of the pre-season with the club hopeful of lining up another on March 22 following next weekend's Real Juice Cup.
YSC won the inaugural knockout last year and have retained GDFA best and fairest Derek McKechnie - but the competition's golden boot, Dane Ballard, has returned to Scotland.
Donadel said the club has not brought in a replacement for the prolific marksman and is not on the lookout for one.
"We're losing an out-and-out striker and he'll be hard to replace but our depth is probably better than last year," he said.
"We might need to do a bit more thinking (tactically) against certain teams instead.
"I'm not ruling it out, if we do need a striker and we're in trouble, trying to get someone. But at the moment we're not even contemplating it."