National Premier League SA Round 18 Preview

Adelaide United Youth Head Coach, Paul Pezos is expecting a difficult game when they take on top-of-the-table Campbelltown City at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre in Round 18 of the South Australian National Premier League.

The Young Reds are coming off a tough game, where they shared the points with South Adelaide.

United went down a goal early in the first half, with an opener from David Thornton inside 10 minutes last weekend.

Carlo Armiento was able to equalise through a penalty in the 39th minute, tucking it away into the bottom corner.

Pezos said there were some positives to take away from that clash given the circumstances they had to contend with.

“Unfortunately, last week we had to change our playing style obviously to suit the ground,” Pezos said.

“Playing on a small pitch, it was very hard to play on it was a very bumpy pitch.

“So the positives out of that game is that not only did we stand up and fight and battle we came away with a point.

“We were a little bit unfortunate not to get the win, we hit the post a couple of times, we had a goal disallowed.”

Ultimately a lack of cutting edge in their play up front was their downfall against the South Adelaide defence.

The point was enough however to hold onto fifth place, and as the season edges ever closer to the end, a finals place is in sight for the Reds.

Looking ahead to this Saturday’s clash, the Young Reds take on Campbelltown City and are wanting to hold onto their fifth-place spot in the league ladder.

Campbelltown have found themselves at the summit of the table at this late stage of the season. However, in the reverse fixture United won convincingly 3-0.

Though Pezos affirmed his side must not dwell on their past result against the Red Devils.

“I mean for us we’re confident going into each and every game,” Pezos said.

“But the last game was the last game and we move on.

“Our focus is this week, we know they’re a very good team, they’ve got very good players so we know it’s going to be a really tough game for us.”

With a free-flowing attack in the reverse fixture, United will be sure to try and bury Campbelltown again.

A strong first twenty minutes from the Young Reds set the tone last time out, and they’ll be hoping to break away early again this time out.

Pezos went on to reveal the objective for the remainder of the season was guarantee a finals berth, and praised the depth in squad having lost several players to the senior squad for pre-season training.

“When I first took over the job we spoke collectively as a group with the players and the coaching staff,” he continued.

“Our goal was to play in the finals, we never said what spot.

“But as you’re aware it’s still quite tight and another focus was obviously to develop the players and develop a winning mentality as well.

“And unfortunately we’ve lost quite a few players, six or seven players now to the A-League (team for pre-season), so we’ve had to readjust a bit.

“Had to bring in players from the Reserves and even from NTC but that’s part of our role.”

Adelaide United Youth play Campbelltown City in Round 18 of the National Premier League 2018 season on Saturday, 7 July at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre. Kick-off is at 3:00 PM ACST.