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Western Knights captain Paul Lloyd and Sorrento Captain Darryl Platten with the State Cup.
Sorrento and Knights gear up for State Cup Final
Report by Peter Simcox
Western Knights coach Trim Morgan says victory over Sorrento in Saturday’s State Cup Final at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium can continue his club’s journey back to their former glory.
Morgan, who was a key player when the club won the 1998 league title, knows his All Flags State League Division One side face an uphill battle against PS4 NPLWA side Sorrento, but they are ready for the challenge.
“It will be an incredible achievement if we beat Sorrento on Saturday, and hopefully it will be the start of a renaissance at the club,” he said.
“There is an incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at a football club, and (President) Gordana Sliskovic, her committee and all the volunteers are working hard to ensure that we have the foundations to be successful.”
The Nash Field club won the State Cup in 2000 and 2008, and are aiming to spring an upset.
Despite being the underdog in their last two Cup games, the Knights scored a 3-1 win against PS4 NPLWA defending champions Perth SC in the sixth round, and a stunning 2-1 win over Bayswater City in the semi-final.
“I thought we showed no fear against Perth and Bayswater, and we were focused on our game and the system that we play,” Morgan said.
“The players really worked hard in transition and even when they were down against Bayswater, we continued to play good attacking football.”
Morgan said his side knows a great deal about Sorrento.
“They (Sorrento) are a fantastic club, who have passionate coaches in Jamie Harnwell and Steve Neville,” he said.
“They are well organised from back to front, but I think the game will be won in the middle of the park, so hopefully the boys can start quickly and settle the nerves.
“But I’ll back my side, and you don’t play too many Cup Finals in your career, so we will tell the boys to soak up the atmosphere, express themselves and enjoy the occasion.”
Sorrento had to work hard to beat Division One side Dianella White Eagles 1-0 in the semi-final to set-up a showdown against the Knights and also earn a place in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
Coach Jamie Harnwell said it was a professional performance from his side.
“Given the amount riding on the game… I was thrilled with the resilience that our team showed,” he said.
The Gulls have a strong Cup pedigree having previously won the knockout tournament on three occasions (2011, 2012 and 2015).
Harnwell said his side has done the work on and off the pitch.
“The club’s committee deserve a huge amount of credit for the success that the club has,” he said.
“The backing that the coaching staff and players receive each week, win or lose, is fantastic and the professionalism of the club’s operations continues to increase.
“It’s funny that after having waited so long to win our first cup final, we have been quite successful in recent years and we are hopeful of adding Sorrento FC to the cup again on Saturday.”
Harnwell said his players were well prepared to take on the Knights.
“Western Knights are a similar unit to Dianella, and we won’t be underestimating them at all,” he said.
“They have a couple of real threats going forward and we need to be careful of how quickly they counter attack. As a team we will continue to play as we have all season and try to stretch the Knights as much as possible.
“For the players, it will be a reminder that you never know what is around the corner in this game or when your next chance to win something will be, so you don’t want to leave the pitch with any regrets.”