The NPL Championship continues this weekend. Hellas and Oakleigh are driving the race (along with Avondale), giving strong blue and white colour to the ladder. This weekend the audience’s attention is focused on the big derby between South Melbourne and Heidelberg United.
The “Blues” of South Melbourne are in great condition, they have the absolute with four victories in an equal numbers of matches, and they’re sitting alone at the top of the ladder, improving their game week by week. On the other hand, Alexandros with a negative start to the season, is desperately seeking a victory that can drastically change the psychology of the “Black and Yellow”.
George Katsakis, Alexandros’ boss, spoke to Neos Kosmos about the importance of the derby for him and his team.
“I remember playing in these derbies as a footballer and I can say confidently that this is the biggest match in Victorian football. It’s like Olympiacos – Panathinaikos in Greece or Manchester United against Liverpool in England. This game is of tremendous importance to me considering that I’ve led the team now for 350 matches. Again, we’re going to have a few players out of action due to injuries, but I’m sure that whoever plays will give his all in order to get the three points”
The experienced coach also spoke to us about last week’s disastrous game against the Cannons
“As strange as it sounds, the red card given to Oakleigh worked as a brake for us. The boys believed that their mission would be easier, they dropped their performance, we were also unlucky in a couple of cases and finally experienced a heavy defeat. Our own goal also played a big role, bringing the score to 0-3. Up until that point, the team was trying hard, but after the mistake, it seemed like we gave up.”
Last year’s champions Cannons are traveling to St Alban’s this week to face the local Saints. Neos Kosmos got in touch with Cannons coach, Chris Taylor, to get a comment about his team’s challenging away mission.
“It is a very difficult match for us. St Albans has a very good team, their coach has been there for years and they always give us a hard time. Last season we experienced defeat in their stadium. We are coming off a perfect performance against Alexandros and of course, it would be great to repeat the same against Saints but I’m sure our opponents’ managers and players will have other plans,” the Cannons boss said.
Port Melbourne has a tough home assignment this week. Nea Hellas welcomes the Melbourne Knights with the sole aim of a victory which would bring them back, closer to the top of the table. The Sharks are looking to put last week’s poor result against Green Gully behind them and get back to the positive mental and playing state they appeared to be in through the first three games of the new season.
Bentleigh Greens are looking to finally escape from the bottom of the standings as they host Dandenong Thunder this Friday (17/3). The Greens are in dire form, having suffered another defeat last weekend at home to the Melbourne Knights and are desperately looking for some light at the end of the tunnel they’ve been in since the start of the season.
We also have interesting games in NPL 2 this week. Leonidas will host Langwarrin in a bid to stay close to the top of the table. Kingston City hosts Preston Lions while bottom-of-the-table Iraklis is traveling to Werribee to face local United.
NPL 3 and the state championships are also starting this week. Neos Kosmos will, as always, record the achievements of the lower categories, bringing to light every week the most interesting news and match results.
The NPL Program
South Melbourne – Heidelberg United 19:30
Boutique Greens – Dandenong Thunder 19:30
Avondale – Moreland City 15:15
North Geelong Warriors, Hume City at 17:00
Port Melbourne Sharks by Melbourne Knights 17:30
Altona Magic – Green Gully 18:15
St. Albans S – Oakleigh Cannons 17:00
NPL – Ladder
1. South Melbourne 4 12
2. Oakleigh Cannons 4 10
3. Avondale 4 10
4. St. Albans S 4
5. Green Gully 4 6
6. Port Melbourne 4
7. City 4
8. Melbourne Knights 4 5
9. Altona Magic 4 5
10. Dandenong Thunder 4
11. The City 4 3
12. North Geelong 4 3
13. Heidelberg United 4 1
14. High Greens 4 0
The NPL2 Program
Werribee City – Northcote City 15:00
Brunswick City by Langwarrin 15:00
Melbourne City (Y) – Pascoe Vale 15:00
Manningham United Blues – Preston Lions 15:00
Brunswick Juventus – Eastern Lions 18:00
Western United (Y) – Dandenong City 15:00
Kingston City – Bulleen Lions 20:15
NPL2 – Ladder
1. Preston Lions 4 9
2. Pascoe Vale 4 9
3. Langwarrin 4 9
4. Kingston City 4
5. Manningham 4 6
6. Melbourne City (Y) 4 6
7. Brunswick City 4
8. Eastern Lions 4 6
9. Western United (Y) 4
10. Werribee 4 5
11. Dandenong 4 4
12. Brunswick Juventus 4
13. Bulleen 4 3
14. Northcote City 4 3
The NPL3 Program
North Sunshine Eagles – Essendon Royals 15:00
Nunawading – Ballarat City 15:00
Goulburn Valley Suns – Boroondara Eagles 17:00
Caroline Springs George Cross – Box Hill United 17:30
Geelong – Doveton 18:00
Melbourne Victory (Y) – Beaumaris 15:00