South Melbourne FC will be looking for its second win of the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria season when it travels over the Westgate Bridge to play the North Geelong Warriors at Elcho Park on Saturday afternoon.
Chris Taylor’s men will be well rested heading into the clash, having had a nine day break since triumphing 1-0 against Oakleigh in last Thursday night’s season opener.
The win against the Cannons was a less than convincing one, secured only via an own goal, albeit against strong opposition. South will be looking for a more complete performance this week against the newly promoted North Geelong.
Nikola Roganovic was sensational in his return to football last week, making several vital saves in the dying minutes to ensure a victory in his first game for South Melbourne. Iqi Jawadi and Kristian Konstantinidis were also strong contributors in the contest. Roganovic was a somewhat late inclusion into the first eleven, replacing the injured Peter Gavalas, who was between the sticks for South Melbourne’s Community Shield win against the Melbourne Knights a fortnight ago. Gavalas injured his back at training in the lead up to round one and is expected to miss five to six weeks.
Other than Gavalas, the side has no news in terms of injuries or suspensions, with a full squad available for the clash. It will be interesting to see whether coach Chris Taylor shuffles his pack for the match against North Geelong. The likes of Andy Brennan, Dane Milovanovic and Bonel Obradovic all started on the bench against Oakleigh, with Milovanovic coming on to make a crucial goal-line clearance in injury time.
North Geelong has faced a tough start to life in Victoria’s top flight, having gone down 2-0 to perennial contenders Bentleigh Greens last weekend, before South’s visit this Saturday. Mark Paleka will be the man the South defence must be most wary of, with the speedy striker contributing ten goals for North Geelong in NPL 1 last season.
The match kicks off at 5pm at Elcho Park in Lara. Those unable to make the game can follow it with live updates on the South Melbourne FC Facebook page and on the Club’s official Twitter @smfc with the hashtags #PS4NPL and #NGWvSM.