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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 26 October 2019
SPORT 26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER 2019 Sydney derby headlines Round 3 GEORGE STOGIANNOU The Sydney derby comes to the Wanderers' new home, the Bankwest Stadium, for the first time in what is shaping up as the match of Round 3 in the A-League this weekend. Melbourne fans can also look forward to the first Melbourne derby featuring the new A-League club Western United as it hosts Melbourne City. Central Coast Mariners have the bye this round, which kicked off on Friday evening at Suncorp Stadium where coach, Robbie Fowler's Roar, hosted a Melbourne Victory team eager for its first win of the season. NEWCASTLE JETS V ADELAIDE UNITED, 5PM SAT 26 OCT, MCDONALD JONES STADIUM The Jets kicked off its season in last week's F 3 derby with a 1-1 draw away to the Mariners thanks to a Dimi Petratos penalty. This week it hosts the FFA Cup Final winners Adelaide United with both teams looking to score their first league win of the season. Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski returns from injury whilst the Reds coach Gertjan Verbeek has named a virtually unchanged squad which won the cup in midweek. The exception is new signing James Troisi who comes into the squad. The Reds should take a lot of confidence going into this game, and their fans will be hoping that this will counter any fatigue from the midweek final triumph. Prediction: Draw WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS V SYDNEY FC, 7.30PM, SAT 26 OCT, BANKWEST STADIUM This top of the table derby pits the two teams with two wins apiece in the opening two rounds of the season. The Wanderers will take a lot of confidence from their win away to Melbourne Victory last round. Former Bundesliga Golden Boot winner, striker Alex Meier opened his A-League account in that match with an impressive lob from distance. Another new German signing, winger Nicolai Muller could make his debut against Sydney FC. Former Wanderer's midfielder Alex Baumjohann, who swapped the red and black of the Wanderers for the Sky Blue of Sydney FC in the preseason, could be in for a torrid reception from his former club's supporters. Prediction: Wanderers for a narrow win WELLINGTON PHOENIX V PERTH GLORY, 4PM, SUNDAY 27 OCT, WESTPAC STADIUM Ufuk Talay's Phoenix showed in last week's narrow loss to reigning champions Sydney FC, that they can trouble the top teams. Mexican signing Davila scored his first goal of the new season and this week could see the debut for Phoenix of ex Premier League striker Gary Hooper. Their opponents on Sunday, Perth Glory, started well against Western United but came under a lot of pressure in the second half and had to rely on young sub Kristian Popovic to score and secure a point. Glory will be hoping Bruno Fornaroli can open his account this week. Prediction: Glory's experience to get it over the line. WESTERN UNITED V MELBOURNE CITY 6PM, SUNDAY 27 OCT GMHBA STADIUM Western United’s Panagiotis Kone opened his account in spectacular fashion against Perth Glory last round. PHOTO: SBS United hosts their first ever Melbourne derby against a City side smarting from its heavy midweek loss in the FFA Cup final. City striker Maclaren was kept quiet by the Reds defence in the midweek final and United coach Mark Rudan will be keen for his defenders to cut off supply to him. City's midfield brigade Josh Brilliante, Adrian Luna and Connor Metcalfe were outpointed by their opponents in the cup final and coach Eric Mombaerts will be expecting more from them. Coach Rudan has started with a 3-42-1 formation in both matches this season and his team is blessed with a number of players who can threaten to score from outside the box as demonstrated last week by Panagiote Kone. Prediction: Western United 2-0 GEORGE STOGIANNOU South Melbourne FC has announced a trio of key position signings during the week including striker Harrison Sawyer, defender Lirim Elmazi and midfielder Daniel Clark. The announcements began with Australian marquee signing, striker Harrison Sawyer who returns to Australia after a two season stint in Asia which began in 2017. The 22-year-old Brisbaneborn Sawyer is a former Brisbane Roar youth player and Newcastle Jets striker, with whom he got his first taste of professional football. He made five senior appearances in 2017, before departing Australia for Asia to further his professional career. There, he joined Philippines League club Davaio Aguilas, weathering the high humidity to win the club's golden boot award. Then followed a season on loan to Hong Kong Premier League club Tai Po which ended in triumph with the New trio signs up at Lakeside, as Demetriou signs up at Village Harrison joins the club having a club clinching the league title. Sawyer also found time to continue his University studies where he is working towards an Economics degree. South Melbourne FC Football Director Andrew Mesourouni commented on SMFC.com.au, "Despite only being 22 years of age, Harrison joins the club having a wealth of goal-scoring experience both domestically and throughout the professional leagues in Asia. He is a strong and hard working striker and we can't wait to see him on the park in 2020." As well as the 195-cm tall Sawyer, South has signed another talented tall player in central defender Lirim Elmazi from NPL club Altona Magic. Elmazi who just recently turned 22, spent three seasons at Magic, where his consistently good performances earned him two best and fairest medals. With South's loss of central defenders Luke Adams (long term injury) and the departed wealth of goal-scoring experience both domestically and throughout the professional leagues in Asia. He is a “ strong and hard working striker and we can’t wait to see him on the park in 2020. Kris Konstantinidis, signing a strong central defender was a priority for coach Esteban Quintas. Elmazi, and his confidence with the ball both in the air and on the ground, fit the bill. Speaking to SMFC.com.au, Elmazi said, "South is a big club and I am excited to be joining them for the upcoming season. After speaking with Esteban, I am excited with the direction the club is taking. So the prospect of being able to help the club climb up the table, and playing at Lakeside, was appealing to me. So I can't wait to get started." New South Melbourne striker Harrison Sawyer in action for his recent Hong Kong club. Completing the trio of signings for South, is 29-year-old midfielder Daniel Clark who joins from neighbours Port Melbourne Sharks. The move means Clark reunites with a former Hume City midfield partner Marcus Schroen. Meanwhile, across town at the Olympic Village, the reigning minor Premiers Heidelberg United have an- DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM nounced the signing of striker James Demetriou. The 24-year-old Sydney-born Australian-Cypriot footballer most recently played for Sydney NPL clubs Sydney Olympic and Blacktown City. But his football journey has taken him to Britain where he spent time in the youth academies of Nottingham Forest and Premier League club Swansea City before a spell at Cypriot club Karmiotissa. In 2017. he returned to Britain to play for Welsh clubs Bangor City and Barry Town United before returning to the club where he began his junior football, Sydney Olympic in 2018. Whilst the Bergers welcome Demetriou, they have farewelled attacking player Alex Schiavo who departs the club to join Nick Tolios's Bentleigh Greens. The Greens have also announced the signing of 22 year old attacking midfielder Aden Gardner from Norther NSW NPL champions Edgeworth Eagles.
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