MetroStars ready for national showcase

They are one of their state’s most successful clubs of recent years and now the MetroStars want to show just how strong South Australian football is at the upcoming National Premier Leagues finals.

In a huge showing of their dominance of their domestic competition, the MetroStars qualified for the NPL finals series after wrapping up their league title by eight points last month.

Coached by ex-NSL player Ivan Karlovic, the MetroStars will meet Western Australian champion Bayswater in the opening round on the weekend of September 20/21.

After Adelaide City’s shock FFA Cup win over Western Sydney Wanderers FC demonstrated the talent in the SA NPL, Karlovic wants his side to build on that reputation by tearing up the NPL finals.

“We do have a reasonably strong league. But when you get to these games you don’t know where you stand compared to other leagues,” Karlovic said.

“This is a good test for not only ourselves but for our league in general to see where we’re at compared to the rest of the country.

“It’s great for the club to showcase itself on a national stage.

“It’s a really good initiative and a great opportunity for our experienced players that have played at A-League and NSL level, to be able to relive those days of travelling and playing as a professional footballer.

“And it a great opportunity for our young kids to get a taste of what it’s like and showcase their abilities on the national stage as well.”

While the MetroStars also won last year’s title, they failed to qualify for the grand final, with eventual winners Campbelltown City representing the state at the inaugural NPL finals series.

But after South Australia fell into line with the rest of the country’s member federations, they will finally get their chance this year.

“We’ll go out and give it our best shot and hopefully get the right result,” Karlovic said.

“It’s a one-off game, a cup competition so anything can happen but we’ll put our best foot forward and hopefully get a good result.

“We’ve had a great record at the club over the last decade with a core group of players we’ve been able to retain over a long period of time.

“We’ve continued to strengthen the club with players coming in and players being promoted from the junior ranks.”

The MetroStars have assembled a squad with a good mix of experience and youth, including ex-Adelaide United midfielder Fabian Barbiero and Newcastle Jets striker Scott Tunbridge.

Goal-keeper Daniel Godley and Adam Van Dommele also offer some national league experience at Karlovic’s disposal.

MetroStars will take on the winner of this weekend’s match between West Adelaide and Croydon Kings in the SA NPL decider before heading to WA to face Bayswater in the NPL finals.