National Premier League SA Round 16 Preview


Adelaide United Youth host reigning champions Croydon in Round 16 of the South Australian National Premier League 2018 Season at Smith Partners Stadium.

The Young Reds are unbeaten in four games after a great result against Comets on Tuesday night.

The Reds were raring to go after having their previous encounter between the two teams called off in the first half, due to poor weather.

Going 1-0 up in the previous game, the Reds went into this one with a mental edge over their opponents.

United fought to the end with the game finishing 1-0, completing the league double over the Comets, having also defeated them in Round 2.

Reds wingback, Blake Carpenter, was thrilled with the result, strengthening United’s position in the top six.

“It’s a great lift for the team, coming into finals season and it was a bit hard going 1-0 up in Loxton then having to replay it, but the mindset was really good,” Carpenter said.

“It was a tough game obviously and the pitch wasn’t the best, it wasn’t a very good-looking football type of game, more of a battle, physically and mentally.

“It was great to get the result though, obviously it’s amazing and a big step up from the previous years.

“We haven’t been in this position before and being underdogs in the NPL since the start of the season, it shows how much talent we have and how much we’re improving.” 

Blake Carpenter Adelaide United Youth vs MetroStars
Photo by Chris Kelly Photographics

The Young Reds recent run of form includes draws with two of the competition’s top four sides in back-to-back weeks, MetroStars followed by Adelaide City last Saturday.

The wingback was reflective on the result and happy having finally taken some points off City.

“That’s probably one of our best results this season, even though we didn’t get the win and it’s just such a confidence builder,” he explained.

“We know they’re such a great team and we’ve never beat them or drawn against them and I think that’s such a good result, we went there to prove a point and we definitely did that.”

Looking towards their upcoming game, the Reds face the defending champions, Croydon Kings.

The previous game ended in a 2-1 loss as the Young Reds held a majority of the possession but were unable to penetrate the compact Croydon defensive line.

Carpenter says the team is prepared for a tough battle and were sure they could come away with a win.

“We’re going into the game with all guns blazing and hoping to win, but to never take a team lightly, they’re a good team with good players,” he stated.

“I just feel that the previous result we were still finding our feet, our structure and still improving as a team.

“I think we’ve found that balance now even though we have had a couple injuries over the last couple weeks.

“I have full faith in our team to come over and win that game against them.”

Adelaide United Youth host Croydon Kings in Round 16 of the National Premier League 2018 season on Sunday, June 24 at Smith Partners Stadium. Kick-off is at 3.15 PM ACST.