South Australian NPL champion and minor premier West Adelaide returns to the national stage for the first time since its NSL days in the mid 90s, when it hosts WA champion Bayswater City SC in an NPL Elimination Final at Adelaide Shores Football centre on Sunday afternoon.
While it’s new territory for West Adelaide, the WA champion has been there before having just fallen short last year, losing in the final, at home to Metro Stars in a penalty shoot-out.
West Adelaide fans will be hoping their team can repeat the achievement of Metro Stars.
Coach Paul Pezos told Neos Kosmos, ” The players are excited. It’s something new for us and the club. Obviously we’re going out to win the game. It’s another game, another cup that can be won.”
The coach says his team is proud to be representing both the club and the state in this cup competition, but admits he doesn’t know a lot of opponent Bayswater City SC. ” I haven’t seen them play. I’ve heard they’re a very good team with some good individual players. So obviously we know who are the danger players and then obviously during the game, I’ve got to be analyzing what’s going on and finding strengths and weaknesses. Finding what they’re doing and when they’re doing it. That’s critical, and to try and combat that. “
This year, Bayswater City dominated the WA NPL for the second year in a row finishing the season undefeated and 10 points clear of the runners up. Up front they have a formidable strike partnership of Columbian striker Giron Marulanda and David Heagney who together scored 35 of Bayswater’s 64 goals in the league campaign this season.
Pezos is happy for his team to take on underdog status even though they are playing in their home state and should have strong home support. He admits he knows very little about the local football scene in WA.
” It’s something new for myself as a coach and what I’m going to experience and I guess it’s going to be something new for the players and what they’re going to experience. We’re professional enough group to overcome that and just be real competitive.”