Youngsters set for dramatic Semi-Final shootout

NPL 2020 - Balcatta v Glory - team line-up

The PGFC Academy First Team’s pursuit of an NPL WA Semi-Final spot is set to reach a dramatic climax when they host fellow-Finals hopefuls Perth SC at 1620 Capital Stadium, Hartfield Park on Saturday (kick-off at 3pm).

Glory, Perth SC and Inglewood United are battling it out for a place in the last four, with Richard Garcia’s side requiring three points and for Inglewood not to win their game against  Bayswater City by a larger margin in order to qualify.

Perth SC, meanwhile, realistically only require a draw as they currently lead the Lower Table standings by two points and enjoy a sizeable goal difference advantage over both Glory and Inglewood.

The Academy First Team head into their clash with the Azzurri looking to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Balcatta FC last time out and Garcia is expecting a response from his charges who had previously gone four games unbeaten.

“The Balcatta game was a dip in performance and we need to bounce back from it,” he said.

“There’s no better opportunity to do that than in what is a very important game against Perth SC.

“Regardless of whether we need one point or three, we’re always out to win and it’s about getting back to the performance levels we showed in the four or five weeks before the Balcatta game.

“Last time we had a dip in performance, it lasted four or five games before we got back to winning ways and obviously we can’t afford to repeat that.

“We need to get back to being ourselves again straight away.”

Not that Garcia is expecting anything other than a stern test against a Perth SC side which has won three of its four games since the competition split.

“They are always well set-up and Ramon [Falzon – Head Coach] does a great job over there,” he said.

“It’ll be a tough game and with both sides having some very good players, it should be a high-quality footballing contest which I’m really looking forward to.”

Saturday’s action gets underway at 11am when the Under-18s will be seeking the victory they need to clinch the league title and then at 1pm, the Under-20s take centre stage knowing that three points will secure them a Semi-Finals berth.

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)