DEFENDING Telekom S-League champions Marist FC are dogged to retain their title in the new season.
Marist head coach Juliano Schmelling said his lads are prepared to defend their title come next week.
“I think it will be difficult for us but we will be ready for the new campaign,” Schmelling said.
“Going into the new season as champions will defiantly help our players to raise their game,” he added.
“Just like other clubs in the league, we are keen to finish the new S-League on a high,” the Brazilian said.
The reigning TSL champions made their intention clear of retaining the crown with a number of foreign and home grown players’ inclusions lately.
Brazilian trio defender Diego Maximo, midfielder Marcelo Oliveira and centre forward Guilherme Guedes and Solomon Islands international duo Henry Fa’arodo and Joachim Waroi are the recent signings.
Schmeling stressed that it will be an uphill battle to reclaim the title in the new season.
“We know it will be tough because some teams are getting well prepared for the competition and their intention to win the title is there for all to see.
“For us to retain the title it will be challenging since other clubs in the league are getting better.”
Marist were the only club active earlier this year after the long off-season and the Brazilian stated they are working extremely hard in pre-season.
“I am talking to the players everyday to remind them to keep working hard in the pre-season as we are going into the new season as defending champions,” he said.
“We are preparing well even though we have problems with our national players not having more training time with the rest of the squad.
“Two or three days of the week we don’t have our key players because they have their national trainings,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the TSL was proposed to kick-start two weeks ago but it has been delayed ever since.
By SIMON ABANA