P14, W1, D1, L12; GF13, GA32, GD-19, Pts 4
Beating Devonport in the Lakoseljac Cup; excellent impact of English imports; two of the best keepers in the comp
Registering just one point at home; losing Gedi Krusa early doors; finishing bottom
Sam Ridgard (6): Nearly half of City's meagre league total of 13 and often when most needed
Sam Ridgard: A talented and tireless foil to Rob Gerrard who has had a huge impact on and off Prospect Park
Josh Bula: A pacy and powerful striker who is arguably the pick of a talented bunch to come through City's youth ranks
Rob Gerrard's halfway-liner against Devonport prompting the predictable headline 'Gerrard does a Beckham'
WHEN Rob Gerrard scored two remarkable goals to knock Devonport out of the Lakoseljac Cup then declared City's desire to be a top-three side, the aspiration did not look far-fetched.
The win was as deserved as it was dynamic, City's five-man frontline looked full of goals and the revolution led by the English trio of Gerrard, captain Sam Ridgard and coach Roger Hardwicke looked capable of overthrowing the land's traditional rulers.
However, the rebellion was short-lived.
Gerrard did not score again, Prospect Park did not see another victory and City would reap just one win and one draw from the next 14 league matches.
For a club with such a proud history at statewide level, which was pushing for titles just a few years ago, it was immensely disappointing.
City's problems came at both ends of the park, and off it.
Despite the excellence of both Lachy Clark and his regular stand-in Daniel Nash plus the solid reliability of centre-back Lindsay Millington, only twice did they keep their opponents under two goals.
Meanwhile, up front, they managed just 13 goals. The team's standout performer, Ridgard, was the only multiple scorer, amassing six as the other seven were all individual contributors.
The failure to field an under-18 side a year after winning the title and the departure of club products like Max Reissig, Will Compagne and Macka Hancox was further cause for concern.
But there was also plenty of room for optimism.
In addition to the keepers and Millington, the likes of Charlie Dyer, Matty Oh, Jarrod Linger, Nick Thorne and Yasin Mohammadi are now accomplished regulars at NPL level and all were well into double figures for appearances. The final three were the only ever-presents in the league.
Complementing that spine were the graduates from City's successful youth teams with Mason Gardner, James Hawes, Will Fleming, Isaac Degetto, Josh Bula and Stefan Tantari all relishing the chance to step up to the plate.
With just one league goal to his name, the friendly frontman often cut a forlorn figure as City's gameplan didn't always play to his strengths. Mies was at his best alongside the similarly direct and dynamic Tyler Fisher a couple of years back and may benefit from a return to a two-man strikeforce.
The untimely foot injury which restricted the experienced and energetic Gedi Krusa to just three league appearances also hit the team hard while Ridgard and Gerrard had issues with injury and authority respectively.
In hindsight, that dramatic cup victory represented several key turning points.
In addition to being the pinnacle of both City's and Gerrard's seasons, it was also the last time Strikers lost as the North-West powerhouse went on to complete an unbeaten league season to claim their third straight title.
It may now seem a long time ago, but that deserved win still embodies what this City side is capable of achieving.