NPL R16 Preview – Melbourne Knights FC v Northcote City FC

After three weeks on the road, the Knights will return home this Friday night to Knights Stadium for round 16 action against herculean outfit Northcote City FC. Securing a total of 6 out of a potential 9 points on the road, the Knights enter the round with a touch of volition after two consecutive wins. After a decent road trip, the Knights now have the opportunity to make it three in a row against 12th placed Northcote City.

The last time the two faced off aginst each other was back in round 2 when the Knights travelled to the home of Northcote City. The matched ended in a draw, with both sides scoring one goal apiece. A win for the Knights would see the side accumulate an additional three points, increasing their tally to 24, with a best possible outcome of 4th place on the ladder; depending on the outcome of other matches at the end of round 16. Boasting some new firepower up front with the likes of Svalina and Kamara, the two new signings will be looking forward to their first matches in front of a home crowd if selected. The pair are said to have been training exceptionally well in order to ensure this happens, as they are eager to give Knights fans an on-going reason to celebrate.

Speaking post-match about his performances, Kamara had this to say;

“The last two weeks have been really amazing for me, finally playing seniors after about 11 months and my first NPL game in two years. Just contributing towards our team winning feels very great. I really want to earn the respect of my team and my coaches. It’s a great club with important history that I respect greatly, I want to be here for as long as possible.”

“Scoring my first goal removed some stress from me and I know I feel I have more freedom to ‘do me’. Now my major goal is to help contribute to push our way into top 6. We have a great team, and team spirit, and I believe with the squad we have; it’s more than a possibility.”

Northcote City have chugged their way through the first half of the season, and currently sit in 12th position, amassing a total of 13 points to date.

Northcote City have also been active in the mid-season transfer window, releasing the likes of Alberto Balta of Spain, Andrew Doig and George Stavridis from their ranks. The departures clearly a move to free some space in the roster for incoming Amir Osmancevic (PVFC to NCFC), Austin Wong (FCBL to NCFC) and Jacob Eliopoulous, who returns to Australia from a footballing stint in Cyprus.

The match may serve as a true turning point for the Knights, with a heavy home crowd expected at the revised kick-off time of 7.30pm on Friday night, the squad will be looking to establish dominance early in the piece. As the squad gains momentum in the opening stages of the second half of the season, Aljosa and his men will be looking for a solid result at home in order to cement their intentions to get to the finals for the 2018 NPL season.

Match Details

Kick-off: 7:30pm

Venue: Knights Stadium

Forecast: 14°C, Overcast

Melbourne Knights FC squad: 1. Harry Cakarun 2. Luke Jurcic, 3. Shaun Timmins, 4. Ben Surey, 6. Tomislav Uskok, 7. Nate Foster, 9. Kym Harris,

10. Marijan Cvitkovic, 12. Anthony Dezic, 13. Ayden Brice, 14. Teeboy Kamara 17. Nicholas Jurcic,

19. Anthony Duzel, 20. Jordan Gifkins, 21. Andelo Svalina, 37 AJ Inia

Ins: NA

Outs: 23. Tim Purcell

Unavailable: 5. Milan Batur (injury), 11. Nikola Jurkovic (injury)

Referee: Perry Mur

Assistant Referee 1: Maximilian Hanlon

Assistant Referee 2: Janelle Sammut

4th Official: Steven Razlog


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