State League 2 Round 1 Preview


After months of preparation and practice, every side will be itching to start their 2010 campaign on a high note, which will only lead to some exciting first-up football.
Prospect United gets the division two ball rolling by hosting Gazy Lansvale at William Lawson Reserve on Saturday evening (5pm kick-off). Gazy will be without coach Phil Pavela on the sidelines (he is still on tour in Asia), but will still be tough for Prospect to handle. The fact that Lansvale play on the road for the first couple of weeks will make gaining any points a bonus. United coach Brian Vella will be gunning for a first-up victory on home turf to start the season.
Hawkesbury City do the dash over the mountains on Saturday night (5.30pm), taking on Bathurst ?75 at Alec Lamberton Field. The longest road trip in Sydney football is sure to take its toll on any team, and Hawkesbury will be keen to prove it is a title force in 2010 by stealing points away from a rebuilding Bathurst club. For Bathurst it will be a good test to gauge where they are at in terms of readiness for the season ahead, which starts with the first few games on sweet Bathurst turf. Hawkesbury face title-holders Wanderers in round two, so a strong start would be perfect.
Four matches feature on Sunday afternoon, including a mouth-watering clash between defending champions Wanderers and Hurstville City Minotaurs at Parkes Reserve (3pm kick-off). Hurstville boss Peter Sarikakis was delighted to get a ?good, tough game first-up. They [Wanderers] are always a hard game because they play good, technical soccer. It is one of the hardest games and I?m hoping to start with a win,? he said. Wanderers coach Walter Alvarez also looked forward to the clash. ?Hurstville always come with a strong team. They are very passionate, and give 100 per cent on every 50-50 ball, so it will be a good start for us.?
Belmore Hercules welcomes Hakoah to Garside Park on Sunday afternoon (1pm) for what should be an entertaining affair. Belmore manager Ernesto Meduri is eager to ascertain where his side is at in terms of preparation and Hakoah offers a good test to his new-look side. Hakoah coach Paul Watkins is all but ready for what will be a good year for the club. ?All the games will be tough this year. [The competition] will be hard to work out until half a dozen games into the season to see who?s got what,? he said.
Fairfield Bulls tackle Roosters FC at Knight Park on Sunday afternoon (3pm) in what promises to be an even-sided game. But the Roosters may have the upper hand as Knight Park used to be where they played their home games and coach Juan Ortiz will be quick to capitalise on the local knowledge. ?Fairfield are very similar to our style of play, using quick-pass football, but we should be right to start off with a win,? he said. Bulls mentor Michael Mamoo agreed. ?We play a similar game to the Roosters so it will be more of a tactical game than a physical game. We had a 0-0 draw in the last game of last year and stopped them from making the semis, so that should make things interesting.?
Springwood United travel down the highway to face Luddenham United at Luddenham Oval on Sunday afternoon (3pm), with both clubs admitting they are on the dark on the other side?s capabilities. Springwood leader Errol Warwick-Day said he couldn?t rate his opponents at this stage, and Luddenham coach Andrew Montgomery assumed ?Springwood will be a tough game to begin with, but one we are capable of winning.?
-By Daniel De Nardi