Melbourne Knights are back in action at home this Sunday following the Easter Break against cross-town rivals South Melbourne in the Melbourne Derby.
The Knights will aim to reverse their recent home form which has led to the team losing 3 on the trot. Regardless of form, both sides will go into the game as equals as form and ladder position go out the window. However to dismiss South Melbourne’s form and position would be foolish; an impressive start to the season sees the club based out of Lakeside at the top of the table with five matches played on maximum points.
It’s the Knights that will relish the underdog tag with a point to prove in this match, after a shaky start in front of its home fans as well as the painful memories of last October, where the second-placed Knights met the fifth placed South Melbourne in an Elimination Final at Somers Street. What made the match even more special was not the fact that it was the first time that the two clubs had met in a finals’ series since 1997, but for the fact that it was the Knights hosting the huge annual Croatian Soccer Tournament. With nearly 60 teams competing from Australia and New Zealand, the match gave the opportunity to many of the club’s interstate supporters to witness the Knights live in a derby against South with the crowd tipping the 5000 mark on a balmy Friday night. It was South that was to prevail 1-0 in a cagey affair, with the Knights and its fans left feeling dejected.
Speaking to KnightsTV, Knights utility Tomislav Uskok sees the match as an opportunity to turn the team’s form around – “I’ve played in a few games where we’ve been down on form previously, we’ve played against them (South Melbourne) and we’ve got up.”
Melbourne Knights Vice-Captain and 2013 VPL Gold Medal Winner Marijan Cvitkovic, whilst personally disappointed with an injury that will keep him out of the game is confident that the squad will lift for the important match – “I was looking forward to getting out there, you’re still burning about it a bit. Not being disrespectful to South, but I think we were the better team on that day and unfortunately we didn’t progress through so I think the boys that did partake in that game and are playing this weekend will definitely use that as motivation.”
South Melbourne will travel to Knights Stadium looking to keep their perfect record intact and with former Knights coach Chris Taylor now coaching across town, his charges will definitely be well prepared for the encounter against a Knights side itching to right the wrongs of last season’s bittersweet ending.
For all fans of football in Melbourne, the original Melbourne Derby is an experience to be had. Head down to Knights Stadium this Sunday, grab a feed and a beer whilst enjoying some good football in a great atmosphere.
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Melbourne Knights vs. South Melbourne
Knights Stadium, 2 Somers Street North Sunshine
Sunday 27th April 2014
Kick off 3:00pm
The Melbourne Knights would like to advise all patrons to the match to arrive early to avoid queues at the ticket box.
The Melbourne Knights Administration Offices will be open from 12:00pm where you can purchase your membership or pick up membership merchandise.
The Merchandise Kiosk will operate from 1:30pm and there will be a sale of old merchandise at reduced prices with the full listing to be advised in the Match Program available at the Car Park entrance and Ticket Boxes. The 2014 range of Macron Home and Away jerseys, Hoodies, Polos and Croatia Jackets are now available as well as range of children’s merchandise.
The EnjoyChurch West Car Park will be open from 1:30pm with entrance from the Knights Stadium complex only to cater for the anticipated extra vehicles. Car parking is charged at the normal rate of $3 whilst FFV Pass Holders, Foundation Members and Gold Members will receive free parking as per normal.
If you’re interested in a hearty meal before the match, the Melbourne Croatia Clubrooms will be open from 12pm for lunch, be sure to make a booking to avoid disappointment. All Welcome – Please call (03) 9310 1842.