Star striker Alex Salmon is determined to make amends for missing out on the league title when Inglewood United takes on Bayswater City in the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Major Semi Final on Saturday.
Salmon, who was the league’s top scorer with 28 goals, has extra motivation heading into the match against his former club.
“Obviously I’m happy to win the Golden Boot and it was definitely something I wanted to win, but last week’s result was tough to take,” he said.
“Credit to Bayswater they had been on a run similar to ours and it wasn’t to be.”
Salmon said his side was ready for a fresh start after their draw with Floreat in the final league round last week cost them the title.
“The lads will be wanting to put last week behind them and that starts on Saturday,” he said.
“I think Bayswater and us have the best squads in the league, so it will be a good game.
“The squad on a whole just wants to improve and I think when you have a team wanting to learn and willing to put the work in, you will get results.”
City coach Chris Coyne was ecstatic when his side ended Inglewood’s title hopes on the last day of the league season, after a rollercoaster of emotions on the day.
“It was very nerve racking but that was the best title win since I have been at the club,” he said.
“The players have been excellent and worked their socks off so they deserve a lot of the praise for what they achieved.”
But Coyne is taking nothing for granted against a talented Inglewood.
“We are a consistent team and I put that down to the time that we have had as a group,” he said.
“I have been lucky enough to keep almost all of the players together so they are aware of what is expected of them. They trust each other as they have been successful together as well.
“They (Inglewood) are an excellent team and have been excellent for (coach) Andy (Keogh) since he took over the reins.
“We will have a great tussle with them and I think it will come down to the tactical side of the game.”
The match will take place at Finance 365 Stadium at 3:00pm, before Perth SC host Sorrento in the Minor Semi Final at Dorrien Gardens at 6:00pm.
Perth will go into their game on a high after thrashing ECU Joondalup 6-1 last week.
Leading scorer Gustavo Catarcione said everything clicked on the day.
“We were really focused and hungry to finish the last game of the season in a good way and it worked,” he said.
“We created some good chances but to score six against a good side gives us confidence going forward.”
The Brazilian striker is expecting a tough game against a talented Sorrento side.
“The Top Four Cup Finals are the best four teams in the league, so we know it will be tough game,” he said.
“Sorrento are never easy to play, and I think whoever wants it more on Saturday will win it. We have a young squad, but they know what they have to do to deliver.”
It’s been a chaotic month for Sorrento with their Westfield FFA Cup campaign coming to an end after a loss to South Melbourne in the Round of 16.
Coach Jamie Harnwell will be pushing to make the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup his side’s first major win of the season.
“It has been a big season for the club and I think we are into our 38th competitive match for the season, which is a huge amount for part time players,” he said.
“I’m happy for the most part about how we have gone, but for all the success we haven’t won anything, and we are aiming to change that in the Top Four Cup.”
Injuries have hit the Gulls hard recently but Harnwell won’t let that get in the way of their performance against a strong Perth side.
“Perth are in good form and have shown all season they have the ability to score plenty of goals,” he said.
“It’s a little bit of the walking wounded at the moment, but they are situations that this club thrives on.
“I think across the board we have had some great performers and we will be looking for them to stand up and be counted on Saturday.”
Bayswater City v Inglewood United (Finance 365 Stadium, 2:30pm)
Perth SC v Sorrento (Dorrien Gardens, 6:00pm)