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Stajic challenge to Balcatta

Football West News

Balcatta head coach Goran Stajic has urged his players to take the next step when they face Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Stajic has been pleased with how his new-look squad have performed in the opening two rounds of the National Premier Leagues WA season but remain winless.

Last week Balcatta had to settle for a point against Perth Glory after conceding a last-minute goal and Stajic wants his side to learn from the setback.

“The result could have gone either way, however at 2-1 we could have comfortably scored a few more,” he said.

“It was not to be, but we will be better for it and match-hardened.

“We spoke about it after the game and the general consensus was it’s only a matter of time before those goal scoring opportunities that we create go in.”

Stajic sees Saturday’s game against Athena as another big test but said his new team is gelling well.

“It’s so pleasing to see the new players immediately buying into the club’s vision and philosophy, which in return has helped them make an impact both on and off the field,” Stajic said.

“Like us, Floreat have a relatively new team and are very similar to us as they have loyal and experienced players with individual quality.

“We will have to continue working hard to nullify their strengths, along with recognising their weaknesses. If we can expose them then we will have a better opportunity to get the result we deserve.”

ECU Joondalup will look to build on claiming their first win of the season when they host Subiaco on Saturday.

The Jacks ground out a 1-0 result at Floreat last week and skipper Daryl Nicol praised his side’s resilience.

“It was a great win at a very difficult place to get a result,” the Scot said.

“We didn’t play well in possession of the ball but defensively we were absolutely rock solid and to a man we worked so hard to make sure we got the three points.”

Looking ahead to this weekend, Nicol added: “Subiaco will be a completely different game for us, but every bit as difficult.

“We are at home, so the onus will be on us to go and break them down and try and get our first home win of the season. But it’s going to be another tough battle against a side who are coming off the back of a very good result and performance against Inglewood.”

Round Three kicks off on Friday night with Armadale entertaining Perth SC at Alfred Skeet Reserve, while Inglewood United play Cockburn City at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium.

On Saturday, Forrestfield United travel to a revamped Percy Doyle Reserve to take on Sorrento, league leaders Bayswater make the trip to Macedonia Park to meet Stirling Lions, while the final game of the round is at Ashfield Reserve on Sunday afternoon where Perth Glory host Joondalup United.

Friday, March 9
Armadale v Perth SC (Alfred Skeet Reserve, 7pm)
Inglewood United v Cockburn City (Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, 7pm)

Saturday, March 10
ECU Joondalup v Subiaco (ECU Joondalup Football Stadium, 3pm)
Sorrento v Forrestfield United (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3pm)
Stirling Lions v Bayswater City (Macedonia Park, 5pm)
Floreat Athena v Balcatta (E&D Litis Stadium, 7pm)

Sunday, March 11
Perth Glory v Joondalup United (Ashfield Arena, 5pm)