The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Finals Series reaches its climax this Saturday as Bonnyrigg White Eagles and MetroStars SC do battle in the Grand Final at Lambert Park.
There is no shortage of incentives in Saturday’s decider with the winner not only to be crowned PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Champions but also claim a spot in the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
Furthermore, there are also State bragging rights on the line of which Member Federation can lay claim to having the best club in 2014.
Bonnyrigg’s road to the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Grand Final saw them defeat Capital Football’s Cooma Tigers 6-1 in Canberra before outlasting Queensland’s Palm Beach Sharks 1-0 at home in the Semi Finals.
MetroStars SC have had the tougher route on their way to the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Grand Final, needing a penalty shootout to get past Bayswater City in Perth and then scoring another memorable away win in a 2-1 victory over South Melbourne on a windy afternoon in the Victorian capital.
Both grand final teams are at full strength and boast quality across the pitch in what shapes as a mouth-watering finale.
Bonnyrigg sharpshooter Robbie Younis and MetroStars’ livewire forward Perry Mitris, the Golden Boot winners from their respective PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues State competitions, will spearhead their teams’ attacks.
The midfield contest also promises plenty with the likes of Bonnyrigg’s in form Aaron Peterson and MetroStars SC’s former Adelaide United midfielder Fabian Barbiero, while the respective left backs will captain their teams, Chris Tadrosse for the NSW club and Adam van Dommele for the South Australians.
Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown, who has already won his share of titles as a coach, is well aware of the prestige that comes with what it would mean to win the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Grand Final and also credited the nature of the competition.
“We really want to win this and I said to someone at training on Tuesday night, the winner really becomes the best team outside the A-League so we badly want to win on Saturday,” Brown said.
“It was never in our plans at the start of the year that we’d be in this position now and it’s a great lesson going forward as there is obviously plenty riding on the result including the reward of getting in the Westfield FFA Cup next year.
“I think the beauty of this tournament is that everyone has got an opinion about the standard of football in all parts of the country, and being able to play against teams from other States, we get to see where we sit in terms of what we come up against.”
Brown is backing his main strike weapon Robbie Younis as a likely game breaker on Saturday and for good reason. It was Younis’ last minute goal in the final round of the regular season that saw Bonnyrigg crowned Premiers, while he also scored the winner in the White Eagles’ Semi Final win over Palm Beach last weekend.
“Finals generally come down to one or two inspirational or magic moments and we’ve had that from Robbie Younis this year,” Brown said.
“Obviously we have a lot of other players who can turn and win a game but Robbie has proven something special for us.”
Brown’s counterpart, MetroStars boss Ivan Karlovic, says the team’s ride to the Grand Final has been on the back of a more relaxed approach and an added impetus on just enjoying the experience.
“We’ve probably taken a little bit of a different approach to this competition, had no expectations and stripped the training back. It has still been serious but we’ve just told the players not to put any pressure on themselves and just enjoy the moment,” Karlovic said.
He also maintains his team is content to continue holding the underdog tag and is fuelled by the motivation of representing their home State and showcasing the quality of South Australian football.
“Bonnyrigg are a good side and it’s not going to be easy, we have to travel again but we’ll do our best. They (Bonnyrigg) are obviously favourites but we’ll just go out there, do our best and hopefully it’s good enough.”
“Adelaide is a small place and quite tight knit and we feel that there is a lot of quality here that tends to get overlooked a lot of the time, so hopefully we’re showcasing that we have good footballers and clubs in South Australia.”
Victory on Saturday would also be a fitting farewell for Karlovic on an individual level with this match to be his last in the role before stepping down to spend more time with his family.
“I haven’t looked at it too much,” Karlovic admits.
“Every game in this finals series could have been my last and this is no different. I just hope for the players’ sake that they can put in a good performance and get reward for it at the end of the day.”
The player of the match will be awarded the John Kosmina Medal.
Gates at Lambert Park will open at 3.00pm and tickets will be available at the venue. The match will also be streamed online at www.nationalpremierleagues.com.au
There is even more reason to attend Saturday's final with a chance to win a PS4 and a host of other cool prizes.
All you have to do is get to the PS4 Zone at the venue, register your name and mobile number and you go into the running.
There will also be a Bubble Football match at half-time with a PS4 as the prize while a designated area has been set aside to play the new FIFA 15 game.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Grand Final Preview
Bonnyrigg White Eagles v MetroStars SC
Lambert Park, Leichhardt NSW
Saturday 4 October 2014
Kick-Off: 4:00pm AEST
Referee: Patrick Chaplin
Adults $15, Concession $10, Kids Under 16 – FREE
LIVE stream at www.nationalpremierleagues.com.au
Follow Twitter updates at @FFA @footballnsw @FFSANPL
Join in the Twitter conversation using hashtags #BONvMS #NPLFInals
Click here to visit the official match centre
Bonnyrigg White Eagles squad: 1.James CHRONOPOULOS (GK), 2.Alexander MANSUETO, 4.David VRANKOVIC, 5.Chris TADROSSE (c), 6.Nikola ZONJIC, 8.Alexander CANAK, 9.Robert YOUNIS, 10.Tynan DIAZ, 12.Dylan FOX, 14.Jordan CRIGHTON, 15.Steven ILIC, 16.Howard FONDYKE, 17.Mitchell OSMOND, 18.AdrianUCCHINO, 19.Aaron PETERSON, 21.Bo Hyun CHUN, 22.Liam GOBBO (GK), 24.Alexander DOYLE, 26.Terek ERCAN
MetroStars SC squad: 1.Julian CALI (GK), 2.David MENECHELLA, 3.Stefan CALI, 5.Lee ROBERTSON, 6.Anthony SOLAGNA, 7.Michael D’ALOISIO, 8.Rocky CALLISTO, 9.Steven GRELLI, 10.Andrew CIARLA, 11.Scott TUNBRIDGE, 12.Terry THEODOROU, 14.Adrian POLISENA, 15.Lawrence D’ARRIGO, 16.Andrew ORPHANOU, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Joseph POLISENA, 20.Daniel GODLEY (GK), 21.Adam VAN DOMMELE (c), 22.Alex COSIMIDIS, 23.Perry MITRIS