WORLD Cup fever has its downsides – just ask Hanwood FC.
Two of the club’s most important players will be out of action for the entire tournament, after leaving Griffith earlier this week for the trip of a lifetime in Brazil.
Andrew and Daniel Quarisa, along with reserve-grader Luke Papandrea, have swapped Hanwood’s blue and white for the green and gold of the famed Fanatics support group, and aren’t expected back until HFC’s bye week in late July, meaning they could miss up to six Billabong Cup games.
Coach Anthony Agresta admits it will be tough to replace them.
“Daniel at the back is always solid – you don’t have to worry too much about him,” he said.
“And Andrew gives us that spark and bit of creativity in attack.
“They’ll be two hard guys to replace but we’ll have to nut something out.
“We knew it was coming so we’ll just have to try and get through without them.
“I’m still tinkering with it a bit – there’s a few different options.”
Andrew’s absence could see Joey Schirripa handed a different, more attack-focused role, while Agresta said the likes of Joe Catanzariti and Adam Close could also fill his position in the final third.
While one of the competition’s most consistent defenders, Daniel Quarisa will be far easier to replace, given Hanwood’s healthy stocks at the back.
“I’m still confident with the squad – there’s plenty of depth in reserve grade, and those boys aren’t doing too bad. We can cover them,” Agresta said.
Adding to the headaches, Kyle Greaves will also miss Sunday’s clash with West Griffith after receiving a red card against Leeton last week.
While the ladder might suggest the Magpies will be cannon fodder for Hanwood, Agresta isn’t so sure.
“From what I’ve heard, they’ve been unlucky in a couple of games,” he said.
“I know they’re a young side but I saw some of their imports at the nine-a-side knockout and they looked very tidy.”