After a long break, Football NSW Men’s League Two is finally back and the stakes are at an all-time high.
With eight promotion spots up for grabs, it’s anyone’s game this year as all the clubs have their minds set on taking the next step up.
Every game counts this season and has set us up for what will undoubtedly the most anticipated year in League Two history.
New faces are a plenty in League Two, it’s time to see how the teams look for the 2022 season.
Bankstown City FC
Last Season: 2nd
A side with big expectations that has the squad that is very capable of achieving big things in 2022.
After a competitive chase for top of the ladder last year, City, led by coach Shane Cansdell-Sheriff, are hungry to go one better this year and secure top spot along with a long finals run.
The side’s captain and main man Nikola Todoroski is back for another season with a good amount of the core group of players from last year.
James Mckenzie is set to a play a massive role at the back as he joined Bankstown from Bonnyrigg White Eagles, along with Michael Stojanovski and former NPL NSW Men’s attacker Jonathan Gorzdanovski who both arrive with NPL NSW Men’s experience.
Jair Fernandez could prove to be a difference maker in between the sticks as the talented keeper looks set for a big season
Braden Cheng along with Robert Deasy will also prove to be big players for the squad as will Tai Smith and of course the class of Ante Tomic.
Let’s not count out set piece specialist Huseyin Jasli also.
Bankstown have high expectations for themselves this year but are a side to watch as they go for it all in 2022.
2022 Squad: Daniel Bakrdanikoski, Braden Cheng, Robert Deasy, Ngor Deng, Robert Di Meglio, Jair Fernandez, Daniel Geroski, James Gorgovski, Jonathan Grozdanovski, Jeffrey Issa, Huseyin Jasli, James Mckenzie, Jacob Navan, Dimi Petratos, Tai Smith, Thomas Stefanovski, Michael Stojanovski, Nikola Todoroski, Ante Tomic.
Bankstown United FC
Last Season: 4th
Bankstown United have had an eventful off-season, after finishing off last season in fourth they look set to remain in the top four race in 2022.
United were dealt a massive blow with striker Mitchell Cross, Blake Tuxford and Eros Beragmin all departing.
The trio were crucial for United last season; however they’ve recruited impressively with Emilio Martinez and Alex Boyadjian joining with an abundance of top-tier experience.
Boyadijan arrives with a point to prove as he looks to fill in the hole left by Cross, as Martinez will enter as an x-factor in the middle of the park.
After surprising many with their output last year, they are continually looking to improve and will be a tough team to go against at any time.
With a much-anticipated season ahead of them, United will feel confident of their chances and look set to continue to make waves in League Two.
2022 Squad: Amar Adilovic, Kallie Bangura, Ethan Bowmaker, Alex Boyadjian, Raimond Coletta, Mathew Cook, Stefan Dubocanin, Mitchell Edmunds, Corey Freeman, Tyron Geany, Mouhamed Hamdache, Dalibor Malesevic, Emilio Martinez, Ali Nasreddine, Oscar Felipe Nieto Rava, Sean Robertson, Alejandro Salgueira, Isaac Schipp, Kristian Sekutkoski, Daniel Slane, Branko Vidakovic, Steven Wright.
Canterbury Bankstown FC
Last Season: 11th
Although the ladder may not reflect it, the Canterbury Bankstown showed plenty of promise and were in the midst of their best football before the season ended.
After leading the league in draws last year (6), this is a side determined to improve on finishing out games and has placed faith in youth players in order to get the job done.
The side will be without Evan Patramanis and Steven Georgiou in 2022, however they’ve stacked their squad with an explosion of youthful players in order to replace the departed.
Cian McNamara, Nathan Piggott, Angelo Pezzano, and Luca Trinco all look set to inject some much needed youth into the first team.
Along with these youngsters, they’ve added Ahmad Ismail, Gabriel Lopez and talented attacker Nathan Manno.
Manno brings plenty of experience for his age and is a genuine goal-scorer threat who will push to be one of the best strikers in the league.
With an emphasis on promoting and building their youth up, the Berries could turn a few heads as they chase promotion.
2022 Squad: Shaqil Ali, Jake Bradshaw, Gino Cerasoli, Christopher Dionisopoulos, Brent Flavin, Josh Gersbach, Andre Guzman, Leandro Guzman, Ahmad Ismail, Justin Ivanovic, Christopher Katsaros, Bonmyeong Koo, Gabriel Lopez, Lachlan Mailey, Nathan Manno, Joshua Mbakwe, Cian Mcnamara, Matthew Paras, Angelo Pezzano, Nathan Piggott, Luca Trinco, Abdul Zahra.
Central Coast United FC
Last Season: 6th
Central Coast United are back with very minimal changes to their side that played in 2021.
United boast an impressive squad and will be looking to improve on their outing last season where they finished equal second for most draws with five.
The loss of club legends Adam Woodbine and Graham Toope are massive for the club, however they’ve recruited some big name players in order to replicate the success created by the departing duo.
Noah Pagden and Luke Corcoran join with top-tier experience and will be massive for United in 2022.
Captain Daniel McFarlane looks set for a big season as he takes on a bigger workload, McFarlane’s midfield presence will be crucial in the sides push for finals this year.
Let’s not forget the quality keeper services of Stefan Giglio who will bring some big game experience to the club.
With Wayne O’Sullivan at the helm, Central Coast will feel confident of competing with anyone in League Two and are sure to be a dangerous outfit to play on any given matchday.
2022 Squad: Eugene Arku, Charlie Buffon, Josh Cairelli, Luke Corcoran, Matthew Crowell, Joshua Ferragamo, Stefan Giglio, Geordie Howe, Kyle Johnson, Edward Lee, Thomas Lyons, Cade Mapu, Daniel Mcfarlane, Scott Mcginley, Yuki Morikawa, Cayleb Murray, Jack O’Mally, Noah Pagden, Jack Ragen, Joshua Swadling.
Dulwich Hill FC
Last Season: 3rd
After a notable title chase in 2021, Dulwich Hill are back in the hunt and will feel confident in replicating their success from last season.
After adding some quality players with NPL experience and promoting a group of promising 20’s players, Dully have the depth to go all the way in 2022.
With Chris Marks being the only departure, Dulwich recruited Ryan Wood, ex-Inter Lions enforcer Zac Ribeiro and Conor Eldridge to add some more quality to deepen their playing squad.
Along with the new signings, 19-year-old Emmanuel Zervas has shown flashes of stardom as a goal-poaching striker and will work alongside Joshua Da Silva, Jamie Dib, Daniel Fornito and Nathan Samson in what could be one of the most lethal attacks in the league.
A club with big expectations but with a squad that matches their ambitions, Dulwich Hill are on paper, a strong side and will look set to prove their Premiership and Championship credentials come round one.
2022 Squad: Harry Browell, David Burbidge, Joshua Da Silva, Jamie Dib, Connor Eldridge, Daniel Fornito, Jonathan Green, Robert Harmat, John Koch, Dylan Larmour, Joseph Manduca, Jonathan Monserrate, Alexander Nicolosi, Goncalo Paradanta, Aaron Pessego, Zac Ribeiro, Nathan Sansom, Micaiah Te Rata, Alexander Vellar, Jonathan Whitehead, Ryan Wood, Elias Zaidan, Emmanuel Zervas.
Dunbar Rovers FC
Last Season: 10th
Dunbar had a difficult season last year as they battled throughout 2021 with a long injury list that depleted their first-team regulars.
Showing signs of significant improvement as they began to welcome back some of the injured players, Dunbar would have felt unlucky that the 2021 season was cut short as they started to look dangerous.
With most of their core players re-signing from last year, the Rovers look set to continue to develop their youth alongside their notable list of veteran players
Amongst the new faces, Andreas Gomes and Rodrigo Cataldi look set to play big roles at their new side in their push for promotion.
The loss of visa players Jan Schmidt and Conor Earley will affect the side going forward this year, however the new boys will be ready to go when given their chance.
Big burly attacker Tod Bamber will no doubt add some much needed steel to the team’s attack while the silky skills of Aram Tayebi and Laureano Gomez Castro will be two players to watch out for.
If Dunbar can maintain a healthy squad in 2022, they’re likely to cause plenty of headaches near the top of the table and will be a team to watch this season.
2022 Squad: Andrew Alvarenga, Nikita Andricopoulos, Tod Bamber, Cain Bartolomei, Fox Bengtsson, Reece Berelowitz, Welkson Bispo, Rodrigo Cataldi, Luke Del Vecchio, Joel Epshteyn, Jackson Fredericks, Laureano Gomez Castro, Jack Hardwicke-Owen, Noah Harris, Kwangmook Lim, Calvin Lovric, Jonny Ress, Connor Slater, Aram Tayebi, Hayden Tucker, Seung Hyun Woo, Benjamin Wrigley, Kieren Young.
Gladesville Ryde Magic
Last Season: 5th
With a nearly untouched team from 2021, the Magic men from Gladesville look set for a big year in League Two.
Gladesville went toe to toe with all of League Two last year and will be sure to continue this in 2022.
With one of the most decorated goalkeepers in NSW, the likeable Kyriakos Tohouroglou continuing to defy his age, the 49-year-old returns for yet another season underneath the sticks.
Gladesville made a few changes with some retirements within the squad, with Daniel Rigby and Jethro Thorton look set to fill in those places.
Michael Gaitatzis is one of the players to watch in League Two as he looks to replicate his form seen in 2019 where he was the league’s top scorer and player of the year.
He will again be aided by his brothers Chris and Harris, both of rich quality that can turn a match on its head when all three are firing.
You can also count ace marksman Sergio Tarazona to the list of deadly strikers to watch out for this season.
Gladesville’s community presence will be there as always when they make their push for a spot in the top eight.
2022 Squad: Nicholas Drummond, Michael Gaitatzis, Harris Gaitatzis, Chris Gaitatzis, Anthony Gallo, Panayoti Gotsis, Adrien Jolly, Ahmad Kabbara, Benjamin Kerr, Aaron Khan, Gabriel Koliomihos, Nathan Mellino, Abanoub Mickaeal, Karim Moursi, Nathan Philips, Daniel Rigby, Emmanuel Rosas Heydari, Tyler Sands, Sergio Tarazona, Jethro Thornton, Kiriakos Tohouroglou, George Tsokos, James Tsokos, Peter Voukidis.
Inner West Hawks
Last Season: 12th
It was a forgettable 2021 for the Hawks, however with a new season ahead of them and everything to play for, it could be an impressive comeback year.
With little squad turnover from last year, squad chemistry and morale will be high heading into 2022 as the Hawks look set to prove the doubters wrong.
After a full calendar year together as a squad, what was formerly a team full of fresh faces, now looks like a unit raring to go.
With veterans Sam Awad and Peter Yannopoulos leading the way, the Hawks will look to continue to bleed in the next generation as they have done before.
David Adjassou remains a player to watch in his new side, possessing a lethal skill from set-pieces.
Using last season as motivation should push this side well above their placing last year as they have a strong eye on promotion for 2023.
2022 Squad: David Adjassou, Jaefar Al Khulaifawi, Gabriel Antoniades, Sam Awad, Christian Desa, Mitchell Evan, Emanuel Koumis, Emmanuel Lokue, Sidhya Malhotra, Abbas McEwan, Nico Muscio, Marcus Naoum, Nathan Niski, Christopher Phillips, Cory-jnr Sharma Constance, Oliver Stickland, Paul Turrin, Peter Yannopoulos.
Inter Lions FC
Last Season: 7th
After showing major improvement under coach John Theo in the last two seasons, Inter look destined to continue their development in 2022.
It’ll be a big season for Inter as they move on without their captain Domenico Tripodi as well as Zac Ribeiro and Matias Santos.
New signings, Oliver Green, Patrick Scibilio, Lawrence Hanna and Giuseppe Tilio have all shown flashes of brilliance and can all be difference makers in their own right throughout the season.
With a deep and talented squad of players to choose from in 2022, Inter have the power to catch many of their opposing sides off guard as the club pushes for a promotional run.
It may be a season to remember for the Lions with big plans going forward, we could expect to see this side make a genuine push for the title.
2022 Squad: Sam Armson, Daniel Axford, Alex Becerra, Ellis Bellos, Fikret Berisha, Timothy Borg-Williams, Liam Flack, Patrick Fouracre, Oliver Green, Lawrence Hanna, Steven Katsionis, Jesse Michel, Benjamin Morrison, Nicholas Paras, Evan Patramanis, Nathan Rayner, Patrick Scibilio, Giuseppe Tilio, Samuel York.
Macarthur Rams FC
Last Season: 8th
Under new management with a new chairman and board, the vision is now clear for the Rams, representing the massive growth of South West Sydney.
With 83% of the squad hailing from the South West and an average squad age of 22, providing pathways for the local talent has become a crucial goal for the club.
After a good season in 2021 where they remained competitive, Macarthur took the opportunity in the off-season to freshen up the squad to gel with their core of regulars, announcing 11 new signings.
Amongst the new names are, Anthony Vastag, Giovanni Pannucio, Michael Osei-Adomako, Marko Filipovic, Jacob McDonald, Daniel Blachura, Zubayd Allie, Kye Soares, Christian Torrelli and Nikola Pintur.
With plenty of new faces, Brett Hewit’s Rams side will focus on remaining consistent throughout the year after a disrupted pre-season, with John Fahmi set for a massive season leading his side’s charge for silverware along with Mark Symington and Sam Onana.
2022 Squad: Zubayd Allie, Christopher Barbera, Brendan Berkeley, Daniel Blachura, Mitchell Brooker, John Fahmi, Marko Filipovic, Anthony Haddad, Michael Martin, Jacob McDonald, Sam Onana Awono, Michael Osei-Adomako, Nikola Pintur, Stevan Savicic, Kye Soares, Mark Symington, Christian Torrelli, Advin Trebincevic, Adrian Vastag, Anthony Vastag.
Rydalmere Lions FC
Last Season: 1st
After setting the standard in League Two last year, Rydalmere will feel they have unfished business as they look for more of the same in 2022.
With a big emphasis on promoting the youth and giving them a fair chance, squad rotation and competition for positions could play in their favour.
After parting ways with Ricky Woodward and Scott Tonkin, the Lions gained Ahmad Taleb and Tim Wohlfie who both have big expectations heading into this season.
With a new playing style and other changes to the way they play, Rydalmere could be a very unpredictable side to go against early on as the other side’s adjust to their new style of play.
With a sight on not only promotion, but finishing top of the ladder, Rydalmere will have to be confident in their ability to succeed in all their goals.
And why shouldn’t they be confident? With the likes of players such as Alistair McKie, Garang Awac, Matthew West, Mitchell Gibbs and Thomas Gittany on their books, they will be one of the bookies favourites to claim silverware.
2022 Squad: Ahmad Taleb, Alistair McKie, Camil Abouchaaya, Charles Samushonga, Dillan Kahale, Dimitri Makapagkal, Garang Awac, Jacob Chidiac, Jamie Craig, Julian Aguirre, Kyle Sande, Lewis Fraser, Luca Frasca, Mandlenkosi Ndlovu, Matthew West, Mitchell Gibbs, Nicholas Trimble, Thomas Gittany, Tim Wohfiel.
Sydney University SFC
Last Season: 9th
After a season where the ladder may not have truly reflected their performance, the Uni boys will have a firm eye on promotion and more in 2022.
Losing Jordan Barrett will have a notable effect on the team, however with one eye on the future, Uni have re-stacked their squad with a youthful look.
With Luke Byles joining fresh off a stint with Heidelberg United in Melbourne and Alan Kearney who also has Victorian NPL experience, Sydney Uni will be in for a big season.
Kearney will have his hands full this year as he juggles being a member of the coaching staff and as a squad member in 2022.
Experienced goalkeeper Anthony Costa and Luke Clifford headline the new recruits along with youngsters Jay Hirschowitz and Chris Maguire who all have top-tier experience.
With plenty of confidence in their ability, Sydney Uni will be very bullish on their ability to contest for both finals and promotion in 2022.
2022 Squad: Daniel Barrett, Grant Burbage, Luke Byles, Luke Clifford, Anthony Costa, Peter Crevani, Charles Day, Hayden Fleming, Isaac Folkes, Austin Gallagher, Caelan Hinckson, Jay Hirschowitz, Alan Kearney, Jack Lapi, Chris Maguire, Jordan Makridopolus, James Reed, Jasper Sarkies, Liam Thomas, Scott Tonkin, Fletcher Williamson.
-By Dominic Criniti