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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 May 2017
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 MAY 2017 SPORT Coach Amor, a red no more Guillermo Amor PHOTO: AAP/TRACEY NEARMY A year can be a long time in the life of a football coach. Just ask Claudio Ranieri or Guillermo Amor, both very likeable coaches who endeared themselves to fans of Leicester City and Adelaide United respectively after steering these clubs to league titles last season. But the vagaries of football are such that neither of these two excellent coaches are still with those clubs, following disappointing follow-up seasons. Adelaide's Amor confirmed his departure last Wednesday following Reds 1-0 defeat at Hindmarsh to Jiangsu Sainty in the AFC Champions League, a match which proved to be his swansong. The highly regarded exBarcelona player and former Spanish International leaves after three years at the Reds, firstly as a technical director and then last season in his first season as a senior coach, during which he led the Reds to the Premier's Plate and a first ever A-League title. This season, however, the team was hamstrung by the loss of players in the off-season, and injuries to key players, and unable to overcome a very slow start, finishing in 7th spot on the table. Meanwhile speculation is mounting surrounding the identity of Amor's replacement with Adelaide CEO Grant Meyer confirming that the club has made an offer to former Argentine goal-scoring ace Gabriel Battistuta. Meyer told News Limited, "We can't sit on our hands. We're chasing a suitable replacement after Guillermo Armor (who) has all the respect and goes out on his own terms. With Battistuta, an offer has been made but there is also a plan A, B, and C." The 48-year-old Battistuta scored more than 200 goals for Serie A Club Fiorentina and 54 goals for Argentina earning him the nickname ‘Battigol’. Although he apparently earned his coaching badges in Argentina, he doesn't appear to have an extensive coaching history, although he is reputedly a keen golfer. Another prolific goal scorer, has also been spoken of as a contender for the Reds job. Damien Mori may be a strong contender should the bid for Battistuta fall over. Mori has several years coaching experience in the South Australian NPL with Adelaide City. Meanwhile speculation con- NPL season reaches halfway Mark This weekend's round of NPL matches marks the half way point of both NPL 1 and NPL 2 league seasons. Last week's round saw Oakleigh Cannons, Heidelberg United, and Avondale all notch impressive wins on the road whilst South Melbourne slipped into the top six for the first time this season with a scoreless away draw at Bentleigh Greens. The result extended the Lakesiders' impressive run of clean sheets to four matches, all the more noteworthy because it was achieved at a venue where they have leaked goals in recent visits. For the Greens, the match proved costly with two defenders Archibald and Jankovic receiving red cards ahead of this round's visit to Oakleigh Cannons (played last night). Another Greek derby this weekend takes place on Monday evening when Kingston City hosts South Melbourne. The two teams have experienced contrasting fortunes in recent weeks with Kingston winning just one of their last six league matches and slipping to 10th on the table whereas South has won five of their last six starts, rising into the top six and on the verge of qualifying for the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup. After Kingston's first home loss of the season to Heidelberg United last week, Kingston boss Nick Tolios said he's hoping for an improvement defensively from his team. "In this league you don't give teams opportunities. Every time we have we've been punished. I think it has happened a [few] too many times for our liking. Defensively, if you want to be a good side and challenge and especially stay in this league, you've got to stop conceding. For me the pressure's on defensively as a unit. We've got to get a lot better." Third-placed Heidelberg United will be shooting for a third win in a row on Sunday when they host 11thplaced Bulleen Lions. Bergers forward Sean Ellis is in red-hot scoring form at the moment with his goal against Kingston last week taking his season tally to eight, putting him second behind Pascoe Vale's Davey Van't Schip in the race for the Golden Boot. Port Melbourne Sharks probably have the toughest assignment this week when they visit league lead- er Avondale FC today. The Sharks defeated St Albans Saints 3-2 last week thanks to a brace from Fraser Hills and a single to ex-Canberra Olympic striker Phillippe Bernabo-Madrid. In NPL 2 West action, the match of the round looks like today's clash between league leader Northcote City and fourth-placed Moreland City at John Cain Reserve. Mid-table Brunswick City hosts struggling Bendigo City, who last weekend conceded seven goals to Box Hill United, in a match that more than doubled Box Hill's season tally of goals. Today Box Hill United host Nunawading City in a game both teams will be looking to win to move further away from the relegation zone. Box Hill announced the recent signing of experienced tinues to surround the next coach of Melbourne City. Guillermo Amor may relish the chance to coach City with the prospect of City's extra resources at his disposal and the chance to continue coaching in the A-League. Newcastle Jets have decided against appointing a foreign coach to replace Mark Jones, opting instead for a safe pair of hands in former Melbourne Victory coach and Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 9 771321 167062 Heidelberg United’s Harry Noon (R) in action against Kingston City last round. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES attacking midfielder Dominic Furness of whom coach Greg Kassidas says, "Dom is a gifted midfielder with a wealth of professional in- ternational experience. He has great skill, vision, and leadership which are the right for for Box Hill in 2017 and beyond."
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