2016 NPL Youth Team Preview: Round 3

The Adelaide United Youth Team will travel to face South Adelaide in their first away fixture of the 2016 National Premier League on Saturday at O'Sullivans Beach Sports and Community Centre.

Following the Young Reds’ tough Round 2 loss against West Torrens Birkalla last weekend, their focus has been firmly switched towards their performance against their next opponents, South Adelaide. 

United’s Youth Team Head Coach, Mark Jones, said that his side was disappointed with the loss against Birkalla, but were able to gain a valuable insight into just how challenging the National Premier League (NPL) will be throughout the season. 

“The players were very disappointed with the loss, but they cannot get down on themselves,” Jones said. “We just have to continue to push and work hard, as this competition is men against boys, and the way to winning is to step up.

“We need to be solid throughout the 90 minutes, but the first 30 are crucial as that was proven against Birkalla, where it can make or break the game.

“Lack of concentration can harm us, especially with these experienced sides, where we will get punished for every mistake that is made.

“These are all things the players will work hard on in training and preparation for every game. The competition is a close intensity to the A-League and the harder the players work, it will bring them many opportunities.”

Ahead of this week’s match, Jones added that his squad has prepared well for the trip to South Adelaide, knowing full-well they’ll be in for another tough match. 

“The players have been working on tweaking tactical preparation and being solid defensively with set pieces, especially corners, as that leaded to a goal that was conceded last week,” he continued.

“With the age of the team, it’s all about their growth as footballers, as well as men, and they are growing every step of the way.

“They are gaining more confidence, and I believe they do work well under pressure most of the time.

“Playing away will be a factor, depending on the surface of the pitch and the conditions, but the best we can do is step up and fight for a win, as they know what to expect from these teams.”

Adelaide United Youth Team will face South Adelaide on Saturday, 12 March at O'Sullivans Beach Sports and Community Centre. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.