The Croatian Derby returns in 2019 as we hit the road and make the trip out east to face off against sister club club and newly promoted Dandenong City SC.
The first of five themed rounds in season 2019, round 5 marks ‘Multicultural Round’ in the NPL. It is a time where we can gather and celebrate the various multicultural communities in our competition and the impact that they have had on the beautiful game. With that in mind, come out in force Knights fans with your Croatian flags and celebrate the heritage of both Croatian clubs and be proud to belong.
After an impressive start to the season, the Knights have managed to win three of their last four matches. The Knights, who come off the back of a sensational 2-0 victory last week over the Bentleigh Greens are brimming with confidence, after causing one of this season’s first major upsets. It was an important game for both Hamish Watson, who scored a brace for his side, and Harry Cakarun, who achieved his first clean sheet of the season. Watson, who is undoubtedly a serious early contender for the golden boot spoke to Knights TV after last week’s match and thanked his team mates for making it easy for him to convert but felt he could have scored more;
“To be fair I should have had a couple more to be honest but I’m just happy that I got a couple today”
It’s a sentiment that should satisfy most Knights fans, a striker who is hungry for goals and potent up front.
Speaking to KnightsTV, Head Coach Micky Colina felt the squad was prepared and focused ahead of tomorrow nights match.
On the other hand, their opponents Dandenong City SC, have had a rocky start to their NPL season. City lost their opening three matches of the season, but finally managed to chalk up a win after beating Green Gully away 3-2 last week, after Anthony Poljak impressively scored a hat trick. However, City won’t want to be reminded of the last time they faced off against the Knights in the NPL, with the two sides playing in the 2017 promotion/relegation play off, which ultimately saw the Knights overcome City 3-2 to hold onto their place in the NPL and keep City stuck in NPL2. With the old wound of the promotion/relegation play off likely to resurface, it’s safe to say we have an electric match on our hands.
What remains to be seen is if Dean Piemonte will make an appearance, after he was not included in the line-up against Green Gully. In a stroke of luck for the Knights, midfielder Iqbal Jawadi will be unavailable for selection after he was sent off in the match against Gully due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
The Knights sit high at third on the ladder, with Bentleigh Greens second (on equal points but better goal difference) and Avondale FC first, who haven’t dropped a game as yet. Providing the Knights can stay true to current form, another three points are ripe for the taking, which would see the side possible increase in standing, provided other match results fall in their favour.
Round 5 Match Details
Date: Friday 15th March 2019
Venue: Frank Holohan Soccer Complex
Appointed Match Official: Adam Bavcar
Forecast: 23 degrees
Melbourne Knights FC Squad:
1.Harry Cakarun, 2. Luke Jurcic, 4. Tom Podaridis, 5. Ayden Brice, 6. Tomislav Uskok, 8. Gian Albano, 9. Hamish Watson, 10. Marijan Cvitkovic, 11. Nikola Jurkovic, 12. Corey Sewell, 13. Ivan Grgic, 14. AJ Inia, 15. Adrian Tardio, 16. Marcelo De La Plaza, 17. Daniel Visevic, 19. Anthony Duzel, 20. Jordan Gifkins, 25. Atila Ofli, 27. Joseph Franjic.
Yutaro Shin – injury
Dandenong City SC Squad:
- Alex Connell (GK), 3. Iqbal Jawadi, 8. Zac Thompson, 9. Brayden Mann, 10. Anthony Theo, 11. Mark Ochieng, 12. Shaun Filipovic, 13. Gregory Lombardo, 14. Jayden Unmack, 16. Kile Kennedy (GK), 17. Liam Mccormick, 20. Anthony Poljak, 23. Dean Piemonte, 24. Luke Pilkington, 36. Steven Topalovic, 55. Petar Franjic
- Shayan Alinejad