Now that’s more like it!
It was a vastly improved performance when our boys travelled to Soul-less (Spotless) Stadium last Saturday evening and all of a sudden there is plenty of cause for the optimism I was describing last week. Sure, we didn’t hang on to take what I think would have been a deserved win, but we certainly showed we are not the easy beats some suggested we might be after round one.
Most of the team performed well but the excellent efforts from Daniel De Silva, Tom Hiariej and Wout Brama didn’t go unnoticed; nor did the eye catching combination play between De Silva and Andrew Hoole. The only disappointment was Hoole’s receipt of two yellow cards, resulting in his being sent off, leaving a significant weapon on the sidelines this round. Given he was unavailable round one due to accumulated cards from last season, his unavailability for the second of three matches is frustrating. I’m not in the business of writing off the players for making mistakes, but I am keen to see how he responds to this indiscretion because he must surely want to work hard to convince his team mates, the management and Central Coast fans that he is a more disciplined player than we saw at his previous club.
We (The Coast Football Ramble) spoke with Man of the Match – De Silva earlier this week on our weekly podcast and it’s hard not to be impressed by the lad. He’s a very relaxed but assured young man, whose manner just seems to ooze confidence and deflect the pressure of expectation. He just brushes it off, almost as if it doesn’t exist at all. That he feels as comfortable among the very experienced players who he now shares the midfield with, is a statement about his confidence and potential. It’s hard to believe he is just 20. In similar style, the “roughhouse” tactics employed by some of the Western Sydney players seemed wasted when at times De Silva was almost oblivious to them.
This Sunday we cross the country to take on Perth Glory at their place and it shapes a great match. De Silva and Antony Golec are at least two of our roster who will be returning to one of their former clubs. Glory fans will be hoping De Silva has an off day and likewise Mariners fans will be hoping in form Perth guns – Diego Castro and Adam Taggart don’t fire. Both sides have a point to show for their two outing so far and so will be eager to lock in their first three points of the season. Former Mariner, Jacob Poscoliero has been among Perth’s best performers so far and will no doubt be one of their first selections for Sunday. While I’m hoping Posco isn’t the reason we leave Perth without the points, for the record, I wish the best for him. He had plenty of problems with injuries during his time with us so hopefully he can overcome those in a Glory shirt.
From our sides point of view, I hope we can continue the kind of improvement we’ve shown so far around the park. If we can start well and avoid putting ourselves under pressure again – as we did giving away penalties in both games so far – we will be in a good position to try and control the game. Our experienced midfield are starting to hit their straps and to fit with game plan now and our attacking weapons are showing they’re capable of doing the business. Striker Asdrubal hasn’t attracted much fanfare but looks like a real poacher at the pointy end and it was great to see him tuck another goal away last week. Hopefully his run of successes can continue. There is plenty to like about the way things are shaping up for us and that makes this a tough result to call.
Glory will start favourites but I’m already on the record (on the podcast) tipping a Central Coast victory; and I don’t shy away from it. Perth have been through plenty of turmoil with injuries and replacement signings and it’s this instability I hope our men in yellow can take advantage of. Our own team has started to settle down nicely and despite the loss of Hoole, I’m hoping his replacement can deliver a worthy performance and make it Paolo’s game plan which wins the day.
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