NSW Premier League Round 11 Preview


The Stallions enter the encounter with a two-point lead at the top of the League ladder over their closest rivals, meanwhile Sydney Olympic have shown signs of life, despite falling short against Bonnyrigg White Eagles last weekend.
The Blues have bounced back following a poor start to the season and, one match out from the midway point, sit within striking distance of fifth-spot. Coach Pat Marando has received a positive response from his team, with the likes of Nikolas Tsattalios returning from a stint on the sidelines, meanwhile Jerry Kalouris, Dimitrios Petratos and Cedric Ramirez have all responded well to the additional game time provided. In the attacking third, Matthew Mayora remains the ?go to? man for goals, with Chris Triantis still pulling the strings out of midfield.
Marconi Stallions? run in 2010 has been exceptional, with the side competently handling life at the top of the League ladder. Always a contender for finals football, some doubts were cast upon the side following the disrupted pre-season with the three African imports the club was hoping to add to their playing roster not gaining the required visa to join the club. Coach Lee Sterrey has kept the side focused, and has unveiled a number of impressive youngsters who have performed exceptionally well in this first-half of the season. The likes of Mitchell Mallia and Nathan Jagelman have enjoyed a good deal of game time in the attacking third, meanwhile Giorgio Speranza at left-back has been in great touch, making the position in the Stallions defensive line his own with some very confident performances to-date.
With the likes of Blacktown City and Bonnyirgg White Eagles breathing down the neck of the Stallions, Marconi will be eager to secure maximum points at Belmore to finish the first-half of the season in top-spot.
On Sunday afternoon, Rockdale City Suns will be looking to return to the winner?s circle after consecutive defeats against Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Marconi Stallions when an in-form Sutherland Sharks visit Bicentennial Park South, in Rockdale. The Suns have been great value this season with some very strong performances, though have fallen recently due to momentary lapses in concentration ? a point picked out on multiple occasions by boss Mile Todorovski.
The Suns will need to be on red alert as Sutherland Sharks have shown they have no intention of relinquishing the title they won in 2009, despite the horror start to the 2010 campaign. The Sharks have collected two impressive wins over the past fortnight, claiming the scalps of Blacktown City FC and Manly United FC to sit in fifth-spot on the ladder. The return to the club of Panni Nikas has proven a god send, as has the recent form of Ben Vidaic and midfielders Neil Jablonski, Jim Bakis and Nick Stavroulakis. The Sharks sit ahead of the Suns on goal difference – on the League ladder – a win for either side on Sunday will make some real noise for the victors bid to open up a gap on the teams below them.
At Cromer Park, Manly United FC needs points to ?stop the rot? when Sydney United visit Dee Why on Sunday afternoon. Manly United showed signs of a return to form in a dominating display against Bonnyrigg White Eagles recently, though losses against South Coast Wolves, Marconi Stallions and Sutherland Sharks see the side sit in ninth-spot. The side was outplayed against the Sharks last weekend, and will need a lift against an ?angry? Sydney United ? the Reds still reeling after the side conceded a late goal against 10-man Blacktown City FC, and as a consequence lost top-spot on the League ladder.
Player coach David Zdrilic will be confident his players can bounce back after a much improved second-half display against Blacktown, even though the late sucker punch did leave the side deflated following the final whistle.
At Lily Homes Stadium, Blacktown City FC and Bankstown City will rekindle their rivalry when the two teams meet on Sunday. These two sides have played in many memorable NSW Premier League encounters, and fireworks are expected this weekend. Blacktown City?s late win against Sydney United will have their confidence sky-high ? even though the side will be forced to play without Tyler Simpson due to suspension.
Bankstown City?s situation is far less promising with the side languishing in bottom-spot following a disappointing defeat at the hands of the fast-improving A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers last weekend. The wheels appear to have fallen off for the Jensen Park side, as the side has managed only two wins thus far this season. Player/coach Peter Tsekenis will have his work cut out this week to lift his team for the encounter ? a win certainly will boost the confidence of his players for the start of the second-half of the season.
West Sydney Berries will unveil a new coach this week as the club and, now former coach, John Calleja have mutually decided to part ways. Much was expected of the Berries in 2010, though an indifferent first part of the season has resulted in the split. The Berries play host to Bonnyrigg White Eagles on Sunday afternoon, a tough task for the Berries. The experienced campaigners John Tsironis and Kosta Lagoudakis will be required to lift for the side, as will the defensive line that has leaked too many goals in recent weeks.
Brian Brown?s Bonnyrigg has been in great touch, illustrated magnificently in the dominant second-half display against Sydney Olympic. With Daniel Severino and Jamie McMaster playing some great football behind the in-form Brad Boardman up-front, the White Eagles are proving they can live up to the pre-season expectation surrounding the team.
At WIN Stadium, South Coast Wolves play host to a fast improving A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers. A single point separates the two sides on the League ladder, though recent form suggests the Tigers are finding their feet and could well fancy their chances at WIN Stadium on Sunday. The Wolves are coming off a rather dull 0-0 draw at the Berries last weekend, though will be hoping their ?go to? man in attack, Mark Picciolini is back on goalscoring duties this weekend. The striker has been impressive with his footballing ability, and will need to be on-song if the Wolves are to get one over the Tigers.
The Tigers on the other hand have re-found their ability to challenge, and win matches. Their most impressive performance arrived at Jensen Park last weekend in the win against Bankstown City. The arrival of Japanese footballer Hirofuni Moriyasu has been a breath of fresh air for the club, and it has been his link-up play with the likes of Nick Rizzo and Franco Parisi that has finally allowed A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt out of their shells. A win for either side will be a huge result, with three-points potentially sending the victors into seventh-spot on the ladder.
-By Joseph Carlucci