Ready to run with Stallions

MARCONI Stallions have a new coach heading their soccer stable, Darren Iocca.

But he is no stranger to the Stallions' set-up.

His knowledge of the organisation and rapport with the players earned him the one-year appointment.

The former Marconi junior and National Soccer League player has been an assistant coach for the past three seasons.

Iocca, 39, got the nod as the new boss when Jean Paul de Marigny was appointed assistant coach at A-League club, Melbourne Victory, before Christmas.

"It's a dream come true," Iocca said.

"Marconi is my club. I played here as a junior, and in the senior grades, and I have worked here for the past three years as an assistant and learned a lot from head coaches Luke Casserly and Jean Paul de Marigny."

Pre-season training began last week and the Stallions' players have four sessions weekly to get ready for the National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 1 competition, which starts on March 15. It's run by Football NSW.

The Stallions reached the finals last season and Iocca said there was a "strong foundation" to work with under his command.

"We have lost a few players but the majority of the squad are here again this year, and we have plenty of young players," Iocca said.

Iocca will also maintain his full-time job in transport with Austral Masonry.

"I start work at 5am each day and work until 1pm," he said.

"Then I head home, have a little sleep and prepare for training which starts at 6pm four times a week."

The former Joeys under-17 and Young Socceroos under-20 player gave the game away at age 27.

It was when he took a break from the game he started thinking about coaching. "I coached here in the juniors at Marconi and with the under-20s team," Iocca said.

Iocca said one drawback was losing senior players Nahuel Arrarte and Shane Webb for this season.

"Both players share a wealth of experience of the game," he said.

"We're now looking for two more players."

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