Article by Brendan Simpkins
PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia Round 26
When: Saturday, August 15th. Kick-off 3:00pm
Where: Croatian Sports Centre, Main North Road, GEPPS CROSS
Raiders: W L L
Round 23: Raiders 3 Campbelltown City 1, Croatian Sports Centre
Round 24: West Torrens Birkalla 3 Raiders 0, Jack Smith Park
Round 25: Adelaide Blue Eagles 2 Raiders 0, Marden Sports Complex
Adelaide City: L W W
Round 23: Adelaide City 0 Adelaide Comets 1, Adelaide City Park
Round 24: Campbelltown City 0 Adelaide City 4, Steve Woodcock Sports Centre
Round 25: West Torrens Birkalla 0 Adelaide City 3, Jack Smith Park
As the curtain draws to a close on the regular season, it’s do or die for Raiders as they take on Adelaide City in Round 26 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia.
Since an upset win over Campbelltown City in Round 23, Raiders have followed that up with back to back losses, while City have locked up a spot in the knockout stages with wins against fellow top six sides Campbelltown and West Torrens Birkalla.
Raiders are locked in a three-way battle for survival alongside Modbury and Port Adelaide Pirates, a solitary point the difference between the sides.
Winger Jordan O’Doherty said the side needed no reminder of this weekend’s importance.
“Everyone knows it’s a massive game for the club.
“Obviously we need to get the three points to avoid relegation, so we all go into the game really positive and believing that we can do the job.”
Despite going down to second placed Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 25, Raiders put up a fighting performance and could consider themselves unlucky to come away empty handed; O’Doherty believes this is a positive to take into a must-win contest.
“It’s not ideal not getting any points when we thought we should have, but we can take the positives into this game in the fact that we played well against one of the top sides.
“That’s been us all season; we’ve had confidence in our own ability as a squad all season and we’ve had some results to show for it.
“We’ve beaten some of the top sides this year and even in our last few games we’ve beaten Campbelltown and Croydon, so we definitely have the ability to beat any team in this league; City’s going to be another test, but we can do it.”
Adelaide City goal keeper Ryan Veitch said the side was wary of the enormity of this week for Raiders, and would be expecting them to leave everything on the pitch.
“Of course Raiders are going to come out firing because they need to win to avoid relegation, so it’s going to be a real battle but something we’re going to be up for.”
The black and whites are full of confidence at the moment after a string of quality performances against Campbelltown and Birkalla, which Veitch believes has put them in a good position with finals looming.
“It’s always good to beat the other top six sides because it kind of shows you where you’re about against that sort of opposition.
“They were two really good wins and it gives us a lot of confidence going into finals.
“The last couple of weeks the team’s attitude has been spot on so it’s going to put us in good stead for the finals series.”
Veitch believes that a win will come City’s way if they stick to what has produced the goods over the last few rounds, but for O’Doherty it is all about leaving nothing behind.
“We need to play with our hearts on our sleeves and give it everything we’ve got because we know how serious it is,” he said.
“It’s a massive game for the club, everyone knows the position we are in; if we don’t win we could possibly get relegated and no one wants that tag next to their name.”
Article by Brendan Simpkins
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