Last year’s grand finalists Adelaide City kick welcome newly-promoted Para Hills Knights to Adelaide City Park in Round 2 of the PlayStation 4 Premier League this Saturday for the first home match of the season.
By Chris Munker
City kicked off their season in strong fashion defeating 2016 Champions, Campbelltown City, 3-1.
Despite getting one up on Campbelltown City, Adelaide City midfielder Nic Bucco doesn’t see the victory as a sort of revenge for last year’s Grand Final loss.
“We didn’t see it as revenge because at the end of the day it is more important to get the three points, and to get the new season underway,” Bucco said.
“Last year is last year; that’s in the past, obviously.
“The only way to get revenge, really, is to win it this year, if we meet again in the final.”
Looking ahead to this weekend, Bucco expects a tough match against a hardworking Para Hills side.
“I’m expecting a hardworking, desperate team that’s looking to get a good result against us,” he said.
“I went and watched them play last week, and they definitely worked their socks off for 90 minutes.
“(Adelaide) Comets probably just had a little bit of extra quality in their final third to help them get over the line.
“But we’re expecting a real tough game, and Para Hills is going to push us to the limit.”
Para Hills signed a number of Adelaide City players in the off-season, which Bucco believes will add another dimension to the game.
“At the moment there’s only (Matthew) Mullen and (Alex) Sunasky, because (Shane) Tobias is suspended, but those two boys were a big part of the club for over five years each,” Bucco said.
“It’s definitely going to be weird playing against them, because I played with them the whole time.
“It’s definitely going to add some spice, but I don’t think it will turn ugly, in that sort of sense.
“It’s going to be competitive, and I know they definitely will be looking to get the three points.”
In order to be competitive, Para Hills need to find their form, which they have been trying to do this week, according to Alex Mullen.
“We had a few good sessions on the training track this week,” Mullen said.
“We really worked on our press, and about attacking Adelaide City this week, and we’re confident about going into the game.”
Mullen revealed that the team tweaked their approach to tackle City, and hopefully come away with three points.
“We’ve made a few specific adjustments, in terms of countering a few key players of theirs, but we’re firm believers in our own abilities, and we think we’ve got the players to really test Adelaide City, and come out on top,” Mullen said.
When: Saturday, February 25 2017, 3pm.
Where: Adelaide City Park. Corner Fosters Road and Hilltop Drive, Oakden.
1. Ryan Veitch (GK), 2. Michael Acton, 3. Bradley Corbo, 4. Scott Nagel, 5. Matthew Halliday, 6. Jordan Pudler, 7. Joel Allwright, 8. Paul Blefari, 9. Anthony Costa, 10. Dylan Smith, 11. Nicholas Bucco, 12. Carlo Armiento, 13. Daniel Filosi, 15. Anthony Babb, 16. Thomas Love, 17. Mamadi Kamara, 18. Joseph Costa, 19. Jacob Butler-Bowdon, 20. Luke Ostbye (GK), 23. Evan Kostopoulos
Para Hills Knights
Matthew Marchioro, GK. Deale Chamberlain, 2. Carter Bailey, 4. Matthew Mullen, 7. Yamin Jamal, 8. Alexander Mullen, 9. Callum Flanagan, 10. Kingsley Francis, 11. Andrew Butler, 14. Mario Marcinko, 20. Todd Leahy, 21. Dylan Centrone, 22. Luke Lawley
Round 1: Campbelltown City 1 – 3 Adelaide City, Steve Woodcock Sports Centre.
Para Hills Knights
Round 1: Para Hills Knights 1 – 3 Adelaide Comets, The Paddocks.
Round 1 Highlights brought to you by RAA HERE.
By Chris Munker