Ray Junna is the new Canberra FC coach. Photo: Graham Tidy
Canberra FC coach Ray Junna has praised his side's attitude as it looks to kick the year off with the National Premier League's first piece of silverware.
The club faces arch-rival Belconnen United in the men's NPL pre-season cup final at the Hawker Football Centre on Tuesday night.
Both clubs cruised unbeaten through the group stages to ensure they will yet again be the teams to beat, along with reigning grand final winners Canberra Olympic, when the season proper kicks off on Friday night.
Canberra FC is coming off a season where it won the league championship before going on to give Sydney United a scare in the quarter-finals of the inaugural NPL play-offs.
Junna has taken over at the helm in place of Miro Trninic and said he had been impressed with how the players had responded to what he had asked of them.
''They're prepared to work pretty hard and listen to the new things I'm trying to instil,'' he said.
''Teams that have won a number of trophies can get complacent and sort of almost say 'why do we need to change?'.
''Their attitude in terms of accepting change is pleasing.''
Belconnen United has also changed coaches, with Dean Ugrinic rejoining his junior club after doing a sterling job in guiding Woden Valley to the finals last year.
Canberra FC has been dealt an early blow, with star midfielder Adam Spaleta likely to miss a couple of weeks with a calf injury.
"It's turned out to be a little bit more than a cork so he'll have scans on it this week,'' Junna said.
"We want to get to the bottom of it because it didn't seem so bad, then all of a sudden it's put him out.
"It's a little bit concerning, but hopefully he'll be back in a couple of weeks.''
The final kicks off at 7pm.