Adelaide United Youth Reserves face Raiders Reserves at SA Athletics Stadium on Saturday with a place in the Grand Final on the line.
The Young Reds completed the double over Raiders during the regular season, but it was the Gepps Cross-based club that went on to clinch the minor premiership on goal difference following a three-way tie.
Adelaide needed extra-time to defeat MetroStars 2-1 and beat Croydon Kings in normal time last weekend, while Raiders endured a 3-0 aggregate loss to Adelaide Comets.
Head Coach, Adrian Stenta, admits he is not reading too much into their past meetings this campaign, fully aware of Raiders’ quality.
“We haven’t played them for a while so a little bit unknown in terms of what to expect,” he said.
“But we know they’ll be very strong because they finished top of the table at the end of the regular season in a difficult competition.
“The games against them this year have been very competitive and we’re also playing at a neutral venue as well, so that adds another element of unknown to the game.”
Indeed, Saturday’s match will be at a neutral ground for both sides.
And although the SA Athletics Stadium pitch is renowned for being one of the smaller grounds in the state, Stenta insisted the team’s tactical approach will not change.
“We have a certain way of playing which hopefully complements what the Youth Team does above us when they’re up and going as well,” he explained.
“And hopefully from a Club perspective complements the overall philosophy of the A-League team as well and how they want to play.
“So even though the pitch is slightly different this week, we won’t change our approach because of it.”
He continued by stating that if they play to their potential they will give themselves the best chance of overcoming Raiders and advancing to the decider against Comets.
“Just maintaining that consistent level of performance because we know our best is certainly good enough to trouble any side we come up against,” he said when quizzed about the key to defeating Saturday’s opponent.
“So it’s just about being able to play at our best for long enough periods of time during any game that we play.”
Adelaide United Youth Reserves face Raiders Reserves in the Preliminary Final of the National Premier League 2019 Reserves Finals Series on Saturday, 7 September at SA Athletics Stadium. Kick-off is at 12:00 PM.