Adelaide United Youth will be eager to continue their good form, when they tackle the top of the table Perth Glory Youth at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday 21 February 2010 in Round 25 of the National Youth League (Kick-Off 3.00pm ACDT).
The young Reds have scored nine goals in the past two games, and the most goals (48) of any team in the National Youth League after 24 rounds. While Coach Joe Mullen will be hoping for more firepower on Sunday against the Glory, just as importantly he will be looking for his side to tighten the screws at the back, as United’s Youth have only managed four clean sheets this season.
Conceding a number of late goals, particularly at home, has cost the Reds a number of points and arguably top spot on the table, and they will need to be on their game to keep out a Perth side full of confidence, after coming off a win over Brisbane Roar last weekend.
Reds Youth midfielder Alex Sunasky knows the Glory will be a tough proposition on Sunday and he believes it will be imperative for the Reds to stay composed and focused for the whole 90 minutes to take the points.
“We have really emphasised on being able to keep the ball this week and keeping concentration, especially in the last 10 minutes, because if we can stay solid defensively we generally win games,” Sunasky said.
“They (Perth) can keep the ball well and they’ve got good mobility so they’re going to be extremely tough.”
Sunasky and his team mates are well aware that they have left a number of points out on the field this season, and Sunasky says the squad is determined to cement a place in the four team finals series.
“We should be top with the amount of points we’ve dropped, but luckily we’re still up there and we’ve still got a chance to go top, but we’ve got three hard games coming up,” Sunasky said.
“The first aim is to make the top four, and if we end up on top that is a bonus. I definitely think we have the ability to do well if we make it into the finals, but first we’ve just got to worry about beating Perth on Sunday.”
One key reason United’s Youth are in a position to go above the Glory this weekend is due to the phenomenal strike rate of Hyundai A-League contracted striker Francesco Monterosso. The 18 year old is leading the league’s goal scoring with 16 for the season, which has included finding the back of the net in each of the young Reds’ past eight games on a total of 11 occasions.
Monterosso’s double gave United all three points when the teams last met back in January, despite Perth arguably having the better of the chances.
The young Reds will be without right sided midfielder Joel Allwright, who has a hamstring injury.
Kick-Off is at 3.00pm ACDT with gates open at 2.30pm.
Ticket Prices (tickets available from Holden Street ticket box):
Kids under 15: FREE
AUFC 2009/10 Members: FREE (member card must be shown upon entry)
National Youth League 2009/10 Season – Round 25
Adelaide United Youth v Perth Glory Youth
Sunday 21 February 2010, Hindmarsh Stadium
Kick-Off: 3.00pm ACDT (3.30pm AEDT)
Referee: Stephen Toth
Adelaide United Youth squad: Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), Andrew CIARLA, Michael DOYLE, Kingsley FRANCIS, Evan KOSTOPOULOS, Codey LARKIN (gk), Dane MILOVANOVIC, Perry MITRIS, Francesco MONTEROSSO, Matthew MULLEN (c), Nick MUNRO (gk), Inseob SHIN, Alex SUNASKY, Liam WOODING, Joe WRIGHT
Unavailable: Joel Allwright (hamstring – 1 week), Nathan FARRELL (ankle – season)
Perth Glory Youth squad: Tommy AMPHLETT, Ludovic BOI, Tim DOYLE (gk), Hayden DOYLE, Dean EVANS, Howard FONDYKE, Brent GRIFFITHS, Steve HESKETH (c), Mario MARCINKO, Sam MITCHINSON, Alex PEARSON (gk), Ryan PEARSON, David PRICE, Joshua RISDON, Anthony SKORICH, Glen TRIFIRO, Reece VITTIGLIA
*two to be omitted
Unavailable: Million BUTSHIIRE (knee – 4 weeks), Cameron Edwards (foot – 12 weeks)