When NWS Spirit FC and Sydney United 58 FC face off on Sunday afternoon in the final of the 2022 Waratah Cup, it will be a clash of two sides, in two different divisions, with two very different seasons.
For Sydney United 58, a change of coaching staff via the appointment of Miro Vlastelica came after a tough run of results for the club in the early stages of the NSW National Premier league season.
After taking over the reins in May, Vlastelica took the club on a run of just 4 defeats in 18 across all competitions, narrowly short of a NSW National Premier League finals berth.
However, given the position they were in, to now be competing for silverware in such a short period is a “massive achievement,” according to Vlastelica who admits the turnaround was “just about going back to basics.”
“This is one of the best groups I’ve worked with in a long time. It’s a top change room.
“It was just about putting a smile on their face, getting them to enjoy football again.
Now, with NWS Spirit FC standing between them and glory, Vlastelica knows of the dangers this side faces with the likes of goalscorers Goffry Lino, Michael Konestabo and Richard Darko.
“Our opponents have done very well in their league this season. Clinching promotion into the NSW National Premier League is a huge achievement for their club.
“We’re expecting a very tough fixture, but I’m confident the determination our boys have shown this season to turn things around will be vital come Sunday’s final.”
For David Perkovic, his NWS Spirit FC side couldn’t be better prepared for Sunday.
Coming off the back of 20 games undefeated in all competitions, and clinching promotion to the NSW National Premier League for the first time, Perkovic admits his side is “doing really well.”
However, Perkovic understands that form goes out the window in contests such as the Waratah Cup Final and that his opponents shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“They’ve got a very experienced squad, with constant threats up top like Chris Payne, Kyle Cimenti and Patrick Antelmi so we’ll be very wary of them.”
“But you know, we’ll go in there and play the way we play and attempt to keep most of the ball.
“If we can control the game with a ball and control the tempo of the game, then it will go a long way to for us having a really good chance of lifting some silverware.”
Both teams will be back up from Round of 32 Australia Cup matches played on Wednesday evening which saw United 58 dismantle Monaro Panthers 3-0 while NWS Spirit FC were outgunned by Football Queensland outfit Peninsula Power 4-1.
Road to the 2022 Waratah Cup Final
Both clubs have made their way to the final by way of the Australia Cup which subsequently qualified them for the Waratah Cup semi finals, the final match on each of their runs.
Similarly for NWS Spirit FC, they came through the Australia Cup with victories against Hills United FC, Parramatta FC & NSW National Premier League outfit, Wollongong Wolves FC and Wollongong United FC.
2022 Waratah Cup Final
Sunday 7th August
NWS Spirit FC v Sydney United 58
Blacktown City Football Centre
This will be a cashless event, no cash will be accepted on the day so purchase your tickets today on the link provided in the below graphic.