Mouthwatering clashes highlight Round 1 in SA

After Croydon Kings and MetroStars opened the PlayStation 4 NPL South Australia 2015 season midweek, here is a preview of the remaining Round 1 fixtures.

Campbelltown City v West Adelaide

The 2015 season of the South Australia PlayStation4 National Premier League (NPL) kicks off on Sunday for Campbelltown City with a clash against West Adelaide at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre.

Campbelltown finished seventh last season, narrowly missing out on the finals and captain Vas Parhas believes that his team can go one better this time around.

“The finals are realistic chance. We’ve got strength in depth and there is every possibility that we can make it,” he said.

Anticipation has been building in the team in the days and weeks leading up to the match against West Adelaide on Sunday.

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Modbury Jets v Pirates

A welcome return of top tier football to Jet Park this season kicks off for Modbury with fellow promoted team Pirates on Friday night in the South Australia PlayStation4 National Premier League. 

Over recent years Modbury have had the edge over Derek Hall’s teams, and the ex-Coventry City player is keen to stop the rot and get a win against the Jets.

Both teams will be eager to get their season off to a winning start, and get some confidence ready for the challenges ahead against the State’s powerhouses in future rounds.

Modbury first team coach, Jason Trimboli and Pirates captain Kieran McFadyen both mentioned how their respective clubs are excited to be back in the top division and were expecting a close game.

Over the past few years Pirates have been a free scoring team and they would hope to capitalise on the new look Modbury team, who have lost a wealth of experience including veteran Matt Kelly (retired), Aaron Westerwelt (Cobras), Jonathan Negus (Cumberland) and their goal scoring hero of last season, Charlie Bowman, who has gone back ‘home’ to Adelaide Hills Hawks.

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Raiders v White City

Round 1 in the South Australia PlayStation4 National Premier League throws up a blockbuster encounter when Raiders host traditional rivals White City at the Croatian Sports Centre on Friday.

Raiders endured an inconsistent 2014 and ended 10th, 14 points off the finals pace. There have been sweeping changes made over the summer, with up to ten new players arriving.

Coach Carl Maynard says finals is the expectation.

“That is the minimum. We expect to be challenging,” he said.

“There have been plenty of changes and that has given the squad a new look. This team has quality and depth and I think it’s better than last year. I have no concerns about any positions at this stage.

“Our philosophy stays the same, which is the longer we have the ball the less chance there is for the opposition to score. At the end of the day our aim is to be solid, compact and efficient.”

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Adelaide City v Adelaide Blue Eagles

Round one of the 2015 South Australian PlayStation4 National Premier League is set to kick off in style as heavyweights Adelaide City and Adelaide Blue Eagles go head to head on Friday night.

The two sides met twice in the League last season with Blue Eagles walking away victorious, putting three past Adelaide City’s keeper on both occasions.

City and Blue Eagles have been neck and neck on the table in previous seasons, and as a result, captains Matthew Halliday and Chris Annicchiarico are gearing up for a tight and thrilling contest. 

“I think it is going to be a real tough encounter as usual,” said Halliday.

“Our matches between us in recent times, some have been close but some have been all over the place.

“But usually the matches between the two teams is quite competitive and quite hard to pick who can win those tight games.”

Annicchiarico reiterated the sentiments made by his counterpart at City.

“We know what to expect from Adelaide City, they are a top class unit,” he said.

“It is always a challenge when you come up against them.

“They will be tough as they always are and we are looking forward to a good tussle on Friday night.”

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West Torrens Birkalla v South Adelaide

Round 1 of the South Australian PlayStation4 National Premier League sees West Torrens Birkalla host South Adelaide.

With scorching temperatures predicted, this match will provide a heated contest between two sides looking to start their season with a bang.

With 7 new additions to the squad, West Torrens Birkalla will be hoping for some continuity early on and their Captain Julian Torresan has been impressed by what he’s seen so far.

“Considering that we got quite a young squad this year, the boys have knocked the ball around quite impressively. I think we’re going to be quite a surprise to a lot of teams when we play them.”

After some key departures in the off season, Torresan talked about the statement his side wants to make this week.

“We really want to let everyone know what our intentions are, South Adelaide won’t be an easy beat team, but we want to make a stand in round 1 and let everyone know that we want to be part of finals this year and be playing in the FFA Cup.”

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Adelaide Comets v Para Hills Knights

The 2015 South Australia National Premier League kicks off Friday night with Adelaide Comets and Para Hills Knights battling it out at Santos Stadium with hopes of starting the season on a high.

Para Hills Knights went all in on their final game with Cumberland United last season, beating them 2-1 and placing them 9th on the Ladder for the season over all.

Adelaide Comets finished 5th on the Ladder but lost their final match against West Torrens Birkalla.

As the season approaches both teams have been focused on starting it well for their sides. Para Hills Knights Captain Matthew Marchioro stated that changes have occurred in the way the Knights have been training and that they have been working on their shape a lot more.

“We are going to treat this game like every other and hope for the best” said Marchioro.

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Image courtesy of FFSA