Danning predicts big things

Sydney FC young-gun Kofi Danning has boldly predicted the club will return to the Hyundai A-League summit when the 2009/10 campaign kicks off next month.

Sydney FC young-gun Kofi Danning has boldly predicted the club will return to the Hyundai A-League summit when the 2009/10 campaign kicks off next month.

The Sky Blues endured a disappointing campaign last season, failing to finish in the top four for the first time in the club's history.

A lack of on-field success led to the demise of coach John Kosmina who has been replaced by Czech national Vitezslav Lavicka.

And Danning, who burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old towards the end of last season, is confident Lavicka can steer the side to glory in his first year in charge.

"I believe this is a squad that can win the A-League Championship," Danning, on hand for the announcement of a new NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award which will be presented to the best Under 21 player at the end of the season, enthused.

"Our pre-season's been very good, we've won 11 games (against State League opposition) so we're doing very well. Everyone seems fit, everyone wants to win and I think this year we can do it."

Danning, an attacking midfielder with a knack for finding the back of the net, says the side is already reaping the benefits of Lavicka's extensive experience in Europe.

"Training intensity has improved 100 percent, every training session off the field is very good as well," he said.

"We eat lunch together every day, we do everything together as a team and there's a difference being off the pitch which makes it a lot better - it's more professional and I think that's what we need."

Pressed for further detail Danning explained: "We're not used to being as professional. I mean we have our professional approach but what the coach has brought is something new."

"I think everyone likes the fact that it's new and we all want to learn from that so that's why we're doing so well."

"Training's really good everyone in the team's highly motivated, the coach is very good he depends on us to improve every training session, be professional every training session and have team unity."

"It's a very good year everyone's fit and looking forward to the season."

Asked to outline his goals for his first full A-League campaign, the Ghanaian born teenager declared: "I just want to get off to a good start just like my start last season and play as well as I can, play as many games as I can and just do the best for the team."

Danning will travel to Argentina with the Qantas Young Socceroos on Wednesday as preparations heat up for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt in September.