With back-to-back wins injecting confidence into the Uni squad, UWA takes on Western Suburb rivals Western Knights in a keenly anticipated derby at Nash Field.
The hosts will also be carrying confidence into the encounter, as the Mosman Park side pulled off another giant slaying in the most recent round of the FFA Cup having defeated the defending NPL Champions Perth SC 3-1 in front of their home fans. The result was fully deserved according to our skipper Josh Marocchi.
“Knights played to their strengths and genuinely seemed more up for the game than Perth,
“We hope to present a few different challenges on Saturday and are fully aware of the challenge they confront us with,” he said.
Whenever we meet Knights it’s a special occasion, with encounters against one of our closest geographical rivals providing a series of unforgettable battles and truly is one of the fixtures the players circle at the commencement of the season.
“Speaking from experience, the derby is always a fixture that our club looks forward to, especially with a couple of ex-players on their team,” Marocchi said.
“Expect a few fireworks and, as always, plenty of goals,” he added.
The occasion is certainly not lost on coach Michael Janssen, however, the German is more focused on continuing the first team’s inspired run of form that has seen them climb up to 5th, a solitary point behind Knights.
“It is another game we look forward to, but it’s also another game for us to improve our performance against a strong team in the league,
“The derby is definitely important and we will deliver our best football to bring back another precious three points to The Mac,” Janssen stated.
Wins away to Ashfield and at home to Canning in Uni’s last two league fixtures has ensured the spirits are high in the camp, but Marocchi noted that despite the rich vein of form, UWA must be more clinical in front of goal in order to knock off the top sides.
“We probably didn’t take enough of our chances against Canning and against Knights it may prove more decisive,” the centre-half said.
“We will need to finish more clinically and ensure we don’t give position away too early as we progress out of our backline,
“I believe the attitude and determination of the players has been first rate and I hope to see that on Saturday again,” he added.
Despite contrasting styles of play and issues the club has had in recent history at Nash Field, Janssen is adamant it won’t serve to change the game plan of his team.
“Nash Field is more of a battlefield that characterises their style, so it’s a challenge but we will not change our style,” he said.
In team news, mercurial winger Junior is joined by commanding midfielder Jie Kong and tireless full-back Max Welton in returning to full-strength training.
Saturday, 27th May 2017
Western Knights v UWANFC