2016 NPL Youth Team Preview: Round 2

The Adelaide United Youth Team host West Torrens Birkalla in Round 2 of the 2016 National Premier League season this Sunday at the Elite Systems Football Centre.

After an impressive first outing by the Young Reds, in which they defeated an experienced Adelaide Blue Eagles outfit 2-0, all eyes will be on whether they can override yet another tough side in West Torrens Birkalla. 

And although last weekend’s win was an important start to the Young Reds’ National Premier League (NPL) campaign, Head Coach, Mark Jones, said his side must not be complacent, adamant that nothing but their best will be needed against Birkalla this Sunday.

“It was a great win to start off our NPL campaign,” Jones said. “It gave the boys some confidence and a bit of belief that we can get the job done playing against experienced sides.

“However, that was just a stepping stone and is a starting point, so we need to build from this and hopefully gather some decent momentum throughout the start of the season.

“Obviously last week we made some mistakes in allowing the Blue Eagles opportunities, so it’s important this week we make sure that we don’t allow Birkalla many chances and keep the ball as much as possible.”

In looking at the opposition, Jones and his squad understands the capabilities of Birkalla after playing them in a trial match in pre-season, and know they will be a very physical outfit – something his team will need to match.

“Birkalla are a strong side, they have some decent players, and again we’ll be playing against men, so we need to play smart and move the ball quickly and concentrate for the full 90 minutes,” he continued.

“If we don’t concentrate, opposition sides will punish us. We can maybe get away with it in other competitions, but playing against full-grown and experienced men, they will punish you if they get the chance.

“Overall, I think playing in that first game and seeing how intense this league is will help us and will develop this team as the season goes on. We are hoping for a similar result as last week, but it won’t be easy.

“If the boys concentrate for the entire match, I am confident we can do well. We have to be switched on from before the first whistle and be prepared to go the full length, focused until the very end of the match.”

Adelaide United Youth Team will face West Torrens Birkalla in Round 2 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League on Sunday, 6 March at the Elite Systems Football Centre. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.