Adelaide United Youth Reserves Captain, Alex Popović, believes they will need to be wary of Adelaide Comets’ strength on the break in Sunday’s Grand Final clash.
Comets have proven to be a thorn in the Reds’ side this year, having lost all three encounters against them.
Adelaide suffered 3-1 and 2-0 defeats in the home and away campaign, and also went down in a dramatic penalty shootout in the Federation Cup semi-final.
“I’m expecting a very physical game,” Popović explained.
“That’s what they brought to us in all three games and their transition play. They win the ball and play forward immediately.
“That’s where their strengths are, so if we can anticipate their moves in transition when we lose the ball we have a better chance of not conceding and I expect our team to play at one hundred percent.”
The defender added replicating their elimination final performance against Croydon Kings from a fortnight ago – where they rarely lost possession of the ball – will limit Comets’ opportunities to counter.
“I think in our match against Croydon (two weeks’ ago), we played very well especially in possession,” he said.
“We didn’t give them any of the ball because we knew they could hurt us on the counter-attack.
“So against Comets if we can keep the ball and just dictate the play we increase our chances of winning.”
Popović, who has scored two goals in 20 matches across all competitions for the Reserves this season, said the confidence within the group is strong since snapping a six-game losing streak back in Round 20.
The Young Reds won their last three matches of the regular season and have recorded another three wins during the finals series to reach the title decider.
“The last three games of the season, getting back to winning ways, helped bring us a lot of confidence, especially on the training field and in the games,” he said.
“Against MetroStars, Croydon and Raiders it helped us a lot to give us confidence.”
Adelaide United Youth Reserves face Adelaide Comets Reserves in the Grand Final of the National Premier League 2019 Reserves Finals Series on Sunday, 15 September at VALO Football Centre – The Parks. Kick-off is at 4:30 PM.