Sydney United 58 captain Adrian Vlastelica hopes his team’s cup pedigree will guide the side to another trophy on Sunday against APIA Leichhardt.
United 58’s league campaign has been one to forget, finishing in 10th, but their reputation as a cup team shone through in 2023.
Vlastelica said the team’s recent progress in the cups has offered valuable experience, stating that he hasn’t had to push too much on his team ahead of Sunday.
“The boys themselves know what’s up for grabs is a trophy,” he said.
“They want to add to their CVs and also add to the club’s trophy cabinet, so it’s an important day, and the boys are motivated.”
The ever-present defender also acknowledged that recent cup final defeats, including last season’s Waratah Cup, provide extra incentive.
United 58’s squad features several experienced ex-pros, with Vlastelica saying occasions like Sunday are when they’re at their best.
“It’s [2022’s Waratah Cup final defeat] still in the back of our heads,” Vlastelica explained.
“You never want to lose a final, but it gave everyone a taste of the final and what’s to be expected and what we need to do to come away with the win.
“The boys like the pressure games – the must-wins, and they thrive in that environment.
“We’ve got a lot of players that have played at a high level, and these games put you in that pressure situation where it’s do or die.”
Their round 18 NPL NSW Men’s APIA victory is the blueprint for the final, with Vlastelica seeking hard work and teamwork.
“It was a good performance by everyone that night at Lambert [Park], so hopefully we can repeat that,” he said.
“We need to stick to our game plan and work hard, and I’m sure if we do that come Sunday, we’ll come away with a positive result.”
Vlastelica is eager for United 58 to finish the season on a positive after enduring a difficult 2023 campaign.
Sunday 10th September
APIA Leichhardt FC v Sydney United 58
NOTE: no cash purchases of tickets will be accepted on the day at the venue.