National Premier League SA Reserves Semi-final Preview


Adelaide United Reserves Head Coach, Adrian Stenta, is feeling quiety confident ahead of their Semi-final second-leg meeting with MetroStars at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday.

The Reds won the first leg 4-3, and as a result of scoring four away goals, Stenta’s side are in the box seat to reach the Grand Final for the second consecutive season.

Peter Katsambis, Ninko Beric, Cooper Nunn and Brayden Micallef were all on target for the Reds in the come-from-behind win.

Stenta admitted it was a see-sawing encounter which saw his side ultimately finish on top.

“It was a strange game because we started really well and managed to take the lead,” Stenta said.

“And we were playing quite well and even when we made a mistake and conceded a couple of goals.

“So it was really pleasing to come back from 3-1 down deep in the second-half and it was a real credit to the boys that they just continued to push and play without fear.

“And at no stage did they ever think that they were going to lose the game and that winning was possible, sometimes it works out well like that and other times it doesn’t.

“But I’m just glad for the boys because their efforts were fantastic.”

Stenta maintained his side’s approach heading into the game will not change despite having the upper hand with those away goals.

“It’s a brand new game,” he said.

“Last week’s result whilst it will count at the end of the game, it won’t really be at the forefront of our minds.

“Like I said previously we’ve had some really good games against Metro this year and we know they’re a good quality opposition and we’ll need to be at our best in order to get the result we need.

“But from our point of view nothing will change in terms of the mentality and approach that we take into the game.”

The Reserves boss revealed he was not expecting anything new from MetroStars but believes at some stage they will begin to throw numbers forward which may leave them vulnerable in transition.

“We’ve been fortunate in that when we’ve played Metro a few times this year they’ve tried a few different things against us,” he said.

“A few different formations, a few different styles but we’re pretty confident that we know how they’ll play.

“And we’re sure at some point, if not right from the start, that they’ll be out to chase the game and chase goals.

“And with that there is always the opportunity that it can open up a little bit and maybe we can take some advantage of that as well.”

While praising his side’s resoluteness and organisation throughout the season, Stenta felt they will need to tighten up defensively to advance to the title decider.

“One of the key strengths of our team for the entire year has been our ability to defend,” he said.

“We’ve got a pretty good defensive record and we’re not a team that usually concedes a large number of goals.

“So we’ll be definitely looking at tightening that up again and just cut out those little mistakes that led to the goals on the weekend.”

Adelaide United Reserves host MetroStars Reserves in the Semi-final second-leg of the National Premier League Reserves 2018 Finals Series on Saturday, 19 August at TK Shutter Reserve. Kick-off is at 12.00 PM.