Despite a difficult introduction to the Premier League during the Pre-Season Johnny Warren Cup, whereby the team struggled to find consistent performances ? let alone wins ? the Berries have certainly hit the ground running in the regular season competition.
Experienced player/coach Scott Baillie has assembled a youthful side, with experience, and has managed to create the belief amongst his players.
Alongside the Berries Number 4 ? Scott Baillie?s jersey number ? is his Assistant Ramsin Shamon, who has been equally important to the Berries? rise in the Premier League.
?We have certainly improved over the weeks. I think that our team has really stepped up, considering that we are a new group,? commented Shamon.
?We haven?t had as much time together in building the squad, though we are constantly improving, and our opponents are aware of this.?
The Berries have managed important victories against Sydney Olympic and Macarthur Rams, with a draw against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers and three losses against Penrith-Nepean United, Sydney United and, most recently, Manly United ? the two most recent defeats arriving in matches where luck was certainly not on the side of the Berries after completely dominating each encounter.
Over the weekend, the Berries loss to Manly United, was another gut-wrenching final outcome, as a last minute goal to Craig Midgley clinched the three-points for Manly.
?The boys have played their hearts out and I couldn?t have asked anything more from them, this season so far,? added Shamon.
?The match against Sydney United was typical of how much the team wants to succeed this season, even though we lost out in the end ? we were extremely unlucky.?
Against Manly, the team was extremely unlucky to leave Cromer Park without a point to show for their efforts.
Scott Baillie was happy with his side?s efforts, though disappointed at the team?s inability to close out the match.
?I thought we were the better side, even Mossy (Phil Moss) congratulated me on how we played and said we deserved more than what we got,? commented Baillie.
?Our problem is we keep slipping up at the end of matches and it is certainly costing us dearly.?
A further disappointing factor surrounding the Berries side, a point that has frustrated the coaching staff, has been the suspensions that the team has had to cope with to-date.
The Berries have had three red-cards this season, raising a serious question about the discipline.
Assistant Ramsin Shamon continued:
?This has been disappointing, losing players during matches for incidents that should be avoided.
?If we want to challenge for a good finish this season we will need to improve on this, though certainly it has been extremely disappointing having to play twenty-minutes to forty-minutes plus with only ten-men.
?We certainly are not doing ourselves any favours and will be working on this throughout the coming weeks.?
West Sydney Berries face Wollongong FC on Sunday at Sydney Olympic Athletic Centre in a match where three-points are required for the Berries to keep the pressure on the rest of the pack chasing a top-four finish.
– Joseph Carlucci