NEWLY-promoted Forrestfield United will be aiming to spring a major upset in their opening game of the National Premier Leagues WA when it takes on Night Series champions Floreat Athena at Hartfield Park on tonight.
Having achieved promotion via a play-off victory over Mandurah City, Forrestfield has its sights set on consolidating their place in the top flight.
Coach Rod Banjac, who has guided Forrie from State League Division 2, has been delighted with the application of his players, who have quickly adjusted to the new demands.
“Although we are not quite there yet, we are definitely on the right track,” he said.
“We can’t wait to test ourselves against the best in the state.”
Floreat will go into the season on a high after its 3-1 Night Series final victory over Subiaco last weekend.
New Floreat coach Howard Tweats was looking forward to the challenge of the regular season.
“Having an extended run in the Night Series made us prepare for competitive fixtures rather than regulation friendly games, so hopefully come game one we will have a sharp focus, be organised and confident in approach,” he said.
Despite the incredible success of recent years, including last season’s league title, Bayswater City has retained an appetite for more trophies, which has been reflected in their signing of former Gold Medal winner Clark Keltie.
Coach Chris Coyne will again demand his players rise to the challenge, starting on Sunday against Balcatta at Frank Drago Reserve.
“We never rest on our laurels as everyone is trying to beat us every week,” Coyne said.
“If we take our finger off the pulse they will go past us and I am trying to stop that.
“When you have been the team to beat for five years, everyone is trying to raise the bar so we have to grow and get better as well every year.”
Round 1 fixtures:
Inglewood United v Stirling Lions (Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, 7pm)
Forrestfield United v Floreat Athena (Hartfield Park, 8pm)
ECU Joondalup v Sorrento (ECU Joondalup Football Stadium, 3pm)
Armadale v Joondalup United (Alfred Skeet Reserve, 7pm)
Cockburn City v Subiaco (Dalmatinac Park, 7pm)
Bayswater City v Balcatta (Frank Drago Reserve, 5pm)
Perth SC v Perth Glory (Dorrien Gardens, 7pm)