Category: Front Page, Mens
Devine Super League Preview - Round 17
Campbelltown City v Adelaide Blue Eagles
3pm – Steve Woodcock Sports Centre, Stradbroke Road, NEWTON
***5RTI Match of the Round – 531am Live Broadcast***
Assistants: Attana, Dragoljevic
Reserves – 1pm
U19 – 11am
Campbelltown City: Les Pogliacomi (GK), Jonathan Corbo, Michael Menechella, Vas Parhas (C), Nick Green, Oliver Totani, Lachlan Duffy, Chris Maio, Anthony Centofanti, Marcus DeMarco, Calvin Mbarga, Stephen Maio, Steve Piotto, Anthony Ture, William Russell, Peter Tirimacco (RGK)
Adelaide Blue Eagles: Gino De Lucia (GK) (C), Christopher Atsikbasis, Christopher Annicchiarico, Dean Kenrick, Stefan Barletta, Damien Crettenden, Jace Cummins, Fortunato Filletti, Francesco Marafioti, Evan Kounavelis, Mitch Nicholson, Harris Vukic, Hayden Walter, John Solari (RGK)
Campbelltown: L L L
Round 14: Croydon 1-0 Campbelltown, Polonia Park
Round 15: Campbelltown 1-2 Adelaide Comets, Steve Woodcock Sports Centre
Round 16: Raiders 4-1 Campbelltown, Croatian Sports Centre
Adelaide Blue Eagles: L D W
Round 14: Adelaide Blue Eagles 1-3 West Torrens Birkalla, Marden Sports Complex
Round 15: MetroStars 0-0 Adelaide Blue Eagles, TK Shutter Reserve
Round 16: Adelaide Blue Eagles 4-1 Western Strikers, Marden Sports Complex
With just two matches remaining, a win in Round 17 of the Devine Super League is essential for Campbelltown, while Adelaide Blue Eagles will be assured of a top three position with victory at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre on Saturday.
The hosts have endured a horror run of form, slipping from first to seventh after six straight losses and that run ensures Campbelltown’s finals destiny is now out of their hands.
Campbelltown coach Maurice Natale knows the Red Devils have it all to do but remains confident his team can end their slump.
“We’ve got to win, it is up to us to do the job rather than wait around for others to help. If we don’t win we are out of contention,” he said.
“Nobody has dropped their head and the morale is still good, which is a positive. Having a dozen players out never helps. It is not an excuse, but goes some way to understanding the situation. Some youngsters will get their chance now.”
Campbelltown were blown away by Raiders a fortnight ago, crashing to a 4-1 defeat, which Natale calls one of their worst performances. That loss leaves them two points outside the top five, with Western Strikers and Raiders ahead.
The tactician believes Campbelltown can take pointers from their last meeting with Blue Eagles, a 2-0 victory in Round 9.
“The game against Raiders was one of our worst for the season. We created a few chances yet didn’t convert. However, Raiders were thoroughly better than us,” he said.
“Looking back at that last meeting with Blue Eagles, on that day we nullified their strengths and exploited their weaknesses. We can take the basics of that plan into this match and have another go and see how it ends up.”
Blue Eagles currently sit second on the Devine Super league ladder, four points behind Croydon and ahead on goal difference over Adelaide City.
Their comprehensive 4-1 victory against Western Strikers a fortnight ago in Round 16 has offered late-season momentum and coach Vojo Gluscevic believes his side are back on track.
“We are getting back to our best, we looked much better two weeks ago and have players returning from injury. The players felt confident and can hopefully take that into the last few games,” he said.
“We managed to convert our chances against Strikers which was a problem in recent weeks. Having first choice players back also helped and is a boost for us.”
Blue Eagles are reliant on a victory and Croydon dropping points to have any chance of finishing first, however, for Gluscevic the match against Campbelltown is an opportunity to secure a top three finish.
“We want the double chance in the finals but are not too concerned about finishing first. As long as we are in the top three I will be happy,” he said.
“The guys are ready for this game. Even if Campbelltown are struggling we saw what they did last time and so it will be tough.”
“Perhaps it is better in one sense to keep playing each week, but the week off has been a chance for injured players to further recover and it is not just us who has been in the situation. We’ll see on Saturday how much of an effect there is.”
Elsewhere, both Adelaide City and Raiders will be seeking a victory at Adelaide City Park on Saturday to further their finals chances.
After elimination from the Coca-Cola Federation Cup last weekend, City must win to have any chance of claiming top spot. A point will also ensure their participation in the finals series.
Raiders are one of four clubs fighting for the last two finals places. They currently sit sixth - behind Western Strikers on goal difference - having roared back into form with their victory over Campbelltown.
Western Strikers must be wary of in-form West Torrens Birkalla when the two teams meet at Carnegie Reserve on Saturday.
Currently fifth, a win is imperative for the 2011 Federation Cup winners, aiming to make the finals for the second straight season. They will need to recover from their big loss to Blue Eagles.
Birkalla have finished the season strongly, winning four successive matches and climbing off the bottom of the ladder. A fortnight ago they defeated MetroStars 3-0, but can only finish as high as seventh.
Croydon can secure a first-place finish with a win over Adelaide Comets at Polonia Park on Saturday.
Three wins in a row - including victory over Adelaide City and a dramatic win against Enfield City - has propelled the Kings four points clear of their nearest rivals. A win will guarantee the Minor Premiership.
Adelaide Comets went down in a thriller to Adelaide City in Round 16, yet their transformation in the second half of the season ensures this will be a difficult encounter.
MetroStars can keep their top three hopes alive with a win over cellar-dwellers Enfield City at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday.
Metro advanced to the Coca-Cola Federation Cup Final last weekend, defeating Devine Premier League side White City. The win was a welcome relief and their first since the Cup Quarter Final.
Enfield will be out to make life difficult in the final fortnight of the campaign, with players aiming to prove their worth ahead of 2013. The Falcons have not won in their past four matches.
Saturday August 11
Adelaide City v Raiders
3pm - Adelaide City Park, Corner Fosters Road & Hilltop Drive, OAKDEN
Western Strikers v West Torrens Birkalla
3pm - Carnegie Reserve, Kingston Avenue, ROYAL PARK
Croydon v Adelaide Comets
3pm - Polonia Park, Essex Crescent, CROYDON PARK
MetroStars v Enfield City
3pm - TK Shutter Reserve, Fourth Avenue, KLEMZIG