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Apr 19, 2018   |  1:16AM AET

Match Preview – Academy side aiming to tame Lions

Match Preview – Academy side aiming to tame Lions

After last week’s stunning 6-1 win over Sorrento in Kalgoorlie, the PGFC Academy First Team face a much shorter away trip on Saturday when they head to Macedonia Park for a clash with Stirling Lions.

 The youngsters’ triumph at Ray Finlayson Oval marked only the second time the Academy side has scored six times in an NPL WA game, matching a 6-0 victory over Armadale in Round 6 of the 2014 season.

And Head Coach John Gibson was naturally delighted with the performance.

“First of all it was a great experience for the players to travel and showcase the Glory brand and NPL WA football in the Goldfields,” he said, “and to come home with a great result and performance topped it off.

“We have struggled in games against Sorrento in the past, with Saturday’s win being only our second against them in 12 attempts. But are always have strong belief in what we do. Continuity and consistency are major concepts for us and it was great to see us perform like we did.

“It was particularly pleasing as we had five changes from the previous week, which proves we have some good depth. We are constantly evolving and know where we want to be. We want to be much better.”

Gibson is challenging his charges to maintain that level of improvement when they tackle the ninth-placed Lions this weekend.

“They [Stirling] had a good win last week having also won the week before,” he said, “and we are well aware you need to maintain standards and continue to improve them as any team in this league can beat any other team on their day. So we have prepared well and will be ready for the challenge.

“We’re constantly working hard to improve our game, but after Saturday’s win we set the standard and we need to maintain that for the rest of the season. I was really pleased for [Yacoub] Mustafa with his hat-trick last week and to see the players celebrating the win together shows the camaraderie we have among the squad.”

Midfielder Daniel Stynes, meanwhile, is targeting a finals spot as he looks to bounce back from a frustrating spell spent battling a serious hamstring injury.

“It was a great win last week,” he said. “I thought that it was one of our best performances of the season, both in attack and defence. We were solid and thoroughly deserved the win.

“My injury has been very unfortunate. I was really looking forward to building on my debut in the FFA Cup at the start of the season, as well as signing a professional contract, but obviously it wasn’t meant to be. But you’ve just got to get on with it.

“Saturday is a very important game for us as we need to back up last week’s performance. We go into the game full of confidence and determined to come home with a positive result to keep ourselves in the finals hunt.”

To confirm, the game was originally scheduled as a home fixture for Glory, but has been switched to Macedonia Park.

The Under-18s and Under-20s will also be in action, with their games starting at 11am and 1pm respectively before the First Team get underway at 3pm.

With thanks to our major Academy sponsors, Silverstone Recruitment.

Photo courtesy of Fotoenzo