NSW Premier League Round 17 Preview


Blacktown City sit in fourth spot on the League ladder ? four points adrift of Bonnyrigg White Eagles ? and will need to secure maximum points to keep their recent run of positive results alive if the side is to challenge for a Top-Two finish.
Coach Aytek Genc has an inform Tolgay Ozbey at his disposal, though the efforts of Joel Chianese and Ante Deur in recent weeks certainly have the side looking good ahead of this match.
South Coast Wolves have had an average season at home in 2010, though their away results have been impressive. Despite sitting in tenth-spot on the ladder, Jason Trifiro and Co. have caused many-a-headache for the ?bigger? teams in the competition. A late goal conceded against Bankstown City last weekend denied the Wolves maximum points, a point coach Trevor Morgan will be working on this week in training, in anticipation of Saturday?s clash.
On Sunday afternoon, Rockdale City Suns play host to Sydney Olympic at Bicentennial Park South. The Suns, who now sit six-points off fifth-spot after being held to a draw by A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers last weekend at home, need the win to keep their chances of reaching the finals series. Mile Todorovski?s men created chances against the Tigers, though perhaps did concede a few too many in the defensive third throughout the 90? minutes. New signing Pece Cvetanovski made an immediate impact in his first match since joining the club, scoring an absolute screamer ? much to the delight of the Suns fans. Cvetanovski?s addition to the playing roster may well be the springboard the side requires to take a further step towards reaching, what seemed at the start of the season as unthinkable, finals football.
Sydney Olympic on the other hand will enter this fixture with some confidence after disposing of Manly United FC in convincing fashion. The Blues have had an inconsistent run in 2010, typified by their ninth-place standing on the ladder at present. Although it would seem unlikely, should the Blues collect maximum points in the next three matches a slight glimmer of hope of reaching the finals may appear. Andre Gumprecht appears to have instilled some confidence back into his players, with Chris Triantis and Matthew Mayora doing their part to lift the side. Other performers of note in recent weeks have been Iain Ramsey and Nik Tsattalios, both players adding an extra dimension to the blues set-up.
At Cromer Park, the bottom two sides ? Manly United FC and West Sydney Berries – face off in a match that will certainly provide the victor with some confidence heading into the final five rounds of the season. Manly United still carry two catch-up matches up their sleeves following two wash-outs over the past month, and could still finish further up the ladder in a more respectable position should those matches be converted into victories. The side has lacked the consistency across the park this season, with the recent loss at Sydney Olympic failing to provide any sort of positives for the Cromer Park side.
The Berries situation is far less rosy, with the side still carrying a number of injuries and suspensions. Backing up at Cromer Park following consecutive heavy defeats against Bankstown City and Blacktown City FC will be a big ask for the Berries, a task coach Steve Karavatakis will need to address this week.
Bankstown City play host to League leaders Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Jensen Park, with the White Eagles playing some exceptional football at present. New signing Chris Tadrosse, along with regular performers Brad Boardman, Jamie McMaster and Daniel Severino, were instrumental in the demolition of Sydney United last weekend, and will again be the ?go to? men on Sunday. Coach Brian Brown has the luxury of fielding other stand-out performers of recent weeks Nathan Elasi, Milorad Simonovic and David Gullo ? presenting the Lions with a mammoth obstacle to overcome on Sunday.
Peter Tsekenis? Bankstown City has shown much promise throughout the campaign with some fine footballing performances, though the side has lacked the consistency to maintain the pace of the top four sides. At home, in-front of their home crowd, Tsekenis will be hoping to get the best out of the likes of Hussein Salameh and Robbie Mileski, meanwhile Bill Tsanidis continues to impress with his workmanlike performances. The setting is set, no doubt, for a classic at Jensen Park this Sunday.
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers return to Leichhardt Oval in search of a return to winning ways following a loss and two draws in their last three outings. The side had a phenomenal month of April/May where the team steam-rolled up the ladder to eighth-spot, after occupying bottom-spot for much of the first-half of the season, however the recent wash-out against Manly United FC has certainly stalled that progress as the last results suggest. On Sunday, the high-flying Sutherland Sharks visit Leichhardt ? Robbie Stanton?s men hoping to continue the form that saw the team clinch maximum points at Marconi in Round 16. Stanton has lost play-maker Panni Nikas, though the likes of Jim Bakis, Blake Powell and Stephen McConalogue have really stepped up and made themselves noticed. With Sydney United only three-points ahead of the Sharks, and the Reds to face Marconi on the same day, a win will certainly add momentum to the Sharks charge towards finals football.
The final match of the Round scheduled for a 4:00 PM kick-off at Sydney United Sports Centre is a blockbuster between two serious title contenders. Both Sydney United and Marconi Stallions have somewhat fallen off the pace in recent weeks with some inconsistent results produced, though the second-placed Stallions ? and fourth-placed Sydney United ? will be eager to grab bragging rights this Sunday.
The Reds stunned the Stallions earlier on in the season with a fine performance to secure victory at Marconi Stadium, though the Reds recent form has been questionable. The absence of striker Elsid Barkhousir through injury has seen the goals ?dry up? somewhat, meanwhile the side has conceded a few too many goals ? most notably against Bonnyrigg White Eagles last weekend.
The Stallions situation looks a little brighter, when looking at their current hold on second-spot, though the three losses from the last four Premier League matches is certainly cause for concern. Lee Sterrey?s side too were victim of conceding some soft goals, especially via quick set-pieces, a part of the Stallions game that will need to be addressed in the build-up to Sunday.
-By Joseph Carlucci