After a strong finish to last season and a solid preseason, Wolves veteran Chris Price is ready to lead his young charges to big things this year. Picture: GREG TOTMANAsclub stalwarts and experienced campaigners took the South Coast exit door, Chris Price stayed to guide a new era.
With a younger, up-and-coming Wolves squad for the 2015 campaign, the 28-year old takes somewhat of a veteran status in his third season back with the club.
With that moniker, Price will also hold the captain’s armband for the new NSW National Premier League season.
He follows Matt Bailey and Jacob Timpano in leading the two-time NSL champions.
It’s a role he is honoured to attain.
“Being in a team I have always been one of the youngest but this year I am the oldest by a considerable margin. It is good to have the captaincy,” he said.
“Hopefully I can lead by example and help out the boys in any capacity.”
While it’s an opportunity he plans to take with both hands, the idea of captaincy felt far away for Price just two seasons ago.
In his first season back with the Wolves, an ACL injury threatened to derail his dream return home after four seasons with Sutherland.
“I was excited to come back. I have a lot of time and passion for the club and want to see it succeed,” Price remembers.
“It is one of the reasons why I wanted to come back but I think in life in general you have your setbacks.
“I just tried to turn a negative into a positive and it probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“You don’t really realise what you have got until it is taken away from you and it helped me with other aspects of my game.
“It was disappointing at the time but you just have to get on with things.”
While Price’s focus didn’t take a severe hit, the physical side took time.
He made his return at the beginning of last season but it wasn’t until the second half of the campaign where fans got to see him at his best.
“With an injury like that it takes a little while to get back into it and get confidence back,” he said.
“It took me [time] to get match fitness back as well.
“There were times through the year where I had a few little complications with it.
“But in the last month or six weeks of the season I was actually able to play and contribute on the pitch with the knee fine … that was pleasing.”
The end of season form and a full pre-season have set the platform for an even brighter 2015 campaign.
A finals finish in the league is high on the Wolves’ agenda but Price has other things in mind.
“The FFA Cup … it was the pinnacle for us last year as a club and it would be fantastic if we could replicate that this year,” Price said after the Wolves made the main draw in 2014.
“It is only going to be good for the club and fans, the future for trying to get an A-League team.
“If we can promote things like that on such a big stage – in our own backyard – it will only increase the possibility of it happening again.”
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