VPL: Cannons swelled by returnees

OAKLEIGH Cannons have good and bad problems heading into the coming Victorian Premier League season.

The Cannons have a good problem in that the majority of their senior side have re-signed after making the VPL grand final last season, but their home base, Jack Edwards Reserve, is a concern with the surface of the ground again looking below standard.

The Cannons cannot train there until March and have been found a different training venue by the City of Monash.

But coach Bill Theodoropoulos has called on the council to put serious work into the ground and make it good enough for his side to play passing football this season.

Jack Edwards Reserve has long been a concern for the club and opposition clubs. The grass rarely survives in the colder winter months and the surface often becomes choppy, making it hard for teams to pass the ball and keep possession during matches.

Theodoropoulos said the state of the surface right now wasn't good enough.

"At the moment it looks a bit below par," he said.

"It's up to the council to step up on board and make sure we get a very good playing surface as well because it's not looking great right now."

On the field, Theodoropoulos has re-signed 13 members from his main squad last year, among them veteran Cannons Ricky Diaco, Ari Dracos, Jamie Cumming and Ramazan Tavsancioglu plus exciting winger Goran Zoric and Danish defender Casper Andersen.

Classy midfielder Lambros Honos is also expected to sign up again.

Theodoropoulos also confirmed the Cannons had agreed to personal terms with Perth Glory goalkeeper Lewis Italiano to return to the Cannons for a second season.

Italiano is playing in the A League with the Glory and his return to the Cannons relies on whether the Glory allows him to again come to Melbourne.

Theodoropoulos said he wouldn't get a decision from the Glory until February and he was content with that as Italiano was a key player for the side last season.

The Cannons have also signed midfielder Dusan Bosnjak and are trialling several players from the A League youth system. The club will make decisions on whether to sign those players in the coming weeks.

Theodoropoulos said the only confirmed exits from the 2012 side were winger Rasmus Festersen, who has returned to his native Denmark, midfielder Dane Milovanovic, who has signed with a club in Indonesia, and Zac Walker, who has signed with Dandenong Thunder.

"We have a good problem in that none of our senior boys wants to leave," Theodoropoulos said.

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