Bleiberg confident in new-look squad

The squad puzzle is nearly complete for Gold Coast United and coach Miron Bleiberg is confident that his new, regenerated side can spring a few surprises this coming season.

The squad puzzle is nearly complete for Gold Coast United and coach Miron Bleiberg is confident that his new, regenerated side can spring a few surprises this coming season.

It has been a testing off-season so far for Bleiberg as he searched far and wide to patch the holes left in his team by the departure of a host of big names at the conclusion of his side's finals campaign earlier in the year.

Gone are inaugural captain Jason Culina, heroic stopper Dino Djulbic, goal machine Shane Smeltz, former Socceroo Bruce Djite, midfield dynamo Zenon Caravella and defenders Bas van den Brink and Steve Pantelidis.

But with the graduation of a number of players from Gold Coast's two-time National Youth League-winning team to senior football - and some prudent buys in the transfer market - Bleiberg is putting the finishing touches on what will be an entirely different and refreshed squad.

"Honestly, I'm confident with what we have now that we can do good things (this season)," he said.

"If we fill the other two spots, good. If we don't, it will not change my belief that we're going to be a good side this year despite the departure of a lot of players and some of what are considered big names."

United's fifth and final visa signing, Dutch midfielder Peter Jungschlager, had his first training session with his new teammates on Monday and he joins 29-year-old dead-ball expert Daniel Severino as the club's latest recruits.

That brings the total number of players signed for the coming campaign to 21, but Bleiberg warned former Eredivisie regular Jungschlager - who was voted as the most underrated player in the Dutch top flight by leading magazine Voetbal International last year - that he must earn his stripes on the Glitter Strip.

"He will have to fight for his place in the team but you can definitely see his quality. He ticked all the boxes (in recruitment) so I'll be very surprised if he does not become a very good player for us," Bleiberg said.

"I would like to think that maybe he got a bit of a good surprise from the level of football that he saw today."

"He was good but he wasn't outstanding. If he thought that he can just come in and walk into the side like a picnic, it will not be."

But Jungschlager indicated he is more than prepared to work for his first-team position.

"It's like that everywhere. That is no problem," he said, adding that he felt no pressure to perform despite being one of the elder statesmen of the club, given his experience and age.

"Maybe when the competition starts, but not now. I'm older than a lot of boys here and I'll bring that experience to the team."

"But there is no pressure. We are a collective. There's a whole squad of boys here. Yes, I am older than some but that is all."

"I'm 27 now and I'm approaching my best as a player. I hope to bring that here."