2022 NPL Round 2 – Knights v Avondale

It will be an early battle for the top of the table in round two of the NPL Victoria season, when the Melbourne Knights take on Avondale FC.

The Knights kicked off their season in impeccable fashion, knocking over Croatian rivals – Dandenong City – 5-0 in the season opener last week. The result launched the side to the top of the table, as one of the five teams to claim an opening round win, along with a dominant goal difference.

Last week, the Avengers were able to claim a 3-1 victory at home against the Bentleigh Greens. Goals from Joey Katebian and Liam Boland gave the home side a 2-0 advantage into the break. The second half came down to the wire, as Bentleigh pulled one back thanks to Pierce Waring, giving the visitors a few minutes to claw back a point. It wasn’t meant to be for Bentleigh, as Javi Diaz ensured all three points for Avondale with a 91st minute sealer. 

With plenty of water under the bride, the Knights and the Avengers met in June of last season, with Avondale arising as 2-0 victors – away from home. However, with a new squad, full of front fire power, the Knights look poised to test the Avondale back line. Speak on the match, club debutant and opening round goal scorer Steve Sokol posited that “although Avondale have the pedigree, we’re looking to make a strong first impression in front of a healthy home crowd”. Aside from front line fire power, skipper Ayden Brice will have to run a tight ship if he hopes to thwart likely advances from Katebian and Boland. Speaking on this matter, the club captain said that they had been working on communication this week and that Knights fans should fully expect to hear a vocal back line.

This match is crucial for both teams, as both look to begin stringing a series of wins together in the early stages of the season. Make sure to get down to Knights Stadium on Friday to back your Knights in the first home game of the season!

Melbourne Knights FC:

Squad: 1- Harry Cakarun (GK), 2- Jack Marth, 3- Fuki Ishibashi, 4- Theiry Iradukunda, 5- Ayden Brice (C), 6- Anthony Duzel, 7- Atilla Ofli, 8- James McGarry, 9- Luka Celic, 10- Gian Albano, 11- Justin Micallef, 12- Andy Robertson, 14- Anthony Frangie, 16- Mohammad Sumaoro, 17- Trevor Ssemakula, 18- Jack Morton, 19- Luka Kolic, 21- Thomas Manos (GK), 23- Steve Sokol, 24- Ivan Miletic, 77- Lionel Masudi

Head Coach: Steve Bebic

Avondale FC:

Squad: 1- Bon Scott (GK), 2- Scott Hilliar (C), 3- James Riccobene, 4- Manyluak Aguek, 5- Mathew Reid, 7- Stefan Zinni, 8- Jem Berkant, 9- Liam Boland, 10- Jonatan Germano, 11- Yusuf Ahmed, 13- Yitay Towns, 14- Blake Carpenter, 17- Phil Riccobene, 19- Brandon Lundy, 21- Mario Alberto Barcia, 22- Stefan Valentini, 23- Kristian Trajceski, 27- Dillon Jakupi, 29- Yazid Said, 33- Joey Katebian, 44- Rory Brian (GK)

Head Coach: Zoran Markovski 

2022 NPL Victoria Round 2 – Melbourne Knights FC v Avondale FC

Date: Friday, February 25

Kick-off: 7:30PM (AEST)

Venue: Knights Stadium, Sunshine North

Where to watch: Livestream via Facebook & YouTube

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