MetroStars SC will be driven by grand final heartbreak when they confront Bayswater City on Saturday in the opening weekend of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Finals Series.
They finished first past the post after the regular season but ended up on the wrong side of the ledger in the grand final and now South Australian National Premier Leagues Minor Premiers MetroStars are looking to use that disappointment as a motivator as they prepare to face Football West’s standout club this year.
MetroStars head coach Ivan Karlovic, who will relinquish the role at the end of the club’s PlayStation 4 NPL Finals Series tilt, said his side will be looking to redeem themselves from their grand final loss to Croydon Kings.
“We have got a proud group and a proud club, so I think there is a lot of guys who are going to be dirty on themselves and the group as a whole and ruing a missed opportunity,” Karlovic said.
“As a consequence they will be looking to make a mends this week and hopefully come away with a result and continue on in the NPL play-offs.”
Karlovic has done some homework on their Elimination Final opponents, Bayswater City having made local football history after winning an unprecedented four trophies this season.
“We know a little about them, we know they are a good side and they wouldn’t be in this position if they weren’t, so we are expecting a difficult game at their home ground,” Karlovic said.
“It is difficult to prepare for the travel because it isn’t something that we are used to. We will do our best to cope with the different surroundings and there are a few things that need to be taken in to account – the time difference, the weather etc, it is not ideal but we will meet the challenge head on.”
As well as announcing PlayStation 4 as the inaugural naming rights partner of the National Premier Leagues at the launch on the Finals Series on Monday, Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop also revealed that the champions of the Finals Series will gain automatic entry into the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32. While it is an enticing carrot for the eight clubs competing to be crowned PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Champions, Karlovic is looking at it as purely a bonus, rather concentrating foremost on the team trying to win the play-off competition.
Karlovic, who has led the side for two seasons with two minor premierships to his credit, will finish his role as head coach at MetroStars at the completion of the PlayStation 4 NPL Finals Series. However, how he will feel when it is all over is not something he has given too much thought about.
“It is more about the group and getting them up for the game, I suppose I will cross that bridge when I get to it and hopefully it’s not this weekend,” Karlovic said.
The match between Bayswater City and MetroStars SC will be played at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday 20 September 2014. Kick-Off is at 2.00pm local time (4.00pm AEST).Match updates on Twitter will be available by following @FFSANPL and @MetroStarsSC