Balcatta midfielder Kris Gate has paid Bayswater City a grand compliment on the eve of their National Premier Leagues WA elimination final at Frank Drago Reserve.
Gate, who came through English Premier League club Newcastle United’s academy, is a firm believer in the first-past-the-post system and has no doubt that Bayswater deserve to be regarded as champions, despite their shock 5-0 semi-final defeat to Perth SC.
“Bayswater in my eyes are the champions,” he said. “But we all know when a good team gets beat by a large margin they usually react, which I’m sure they will be trying to do on Saturday.”
Balcatta go into the clash full of confidence after beating Sorrento 3-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve last weekend.
“Saturday’s game was a tough game against Sorrento as it always is,” he said. “We worked hard as a team when you have Gustavo Catarcione up top you know we will score.”
Catarcione, who returned from his honeymoon in Brazil two weeks ago, scored twice against Sorrento and will enjoy the opportunity against his former club Bayswater, according to Gate.
“Gustavo has been quality all year for us and I’m sure if he never went away for six weeks he would have won top goal scorer and maybe a shout for gold medal,” he said. “I know he is really keen to score… it's always nice to get one over your old club.”
Gate said coach Ramon Falzon, and the outstanding performances of some young players, had been key to turning around the club’s fortunes.
“We have had a huge turnover of players this season but we have played some nice football, which Ramon has said he wanted from the start,” he said. “We have young lads playing with the experienced players, and it's working for us… we’ll continue to roll with it.”
Balcatta will be at full strength for the big game, with Gate, Keiron Stallard and James Sammut all recovering from slight knocks last weekend, while Bayswater’s Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, Adam Bachiller and Declan Hargreaves will all be pushing for a starting role after coming off the bench last week.The winner will take on Perth in the NPL WA grand final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday, September 13.