The Northern Demons take on big winners and early ladder leaders NAB in Saturday’s second State League round at Athelstone Reserve.
The two rival teams will be seriously in the mix this season, but it seems that NAB has been able to round up the stronger combination of the two.
The Northern Demons lost two-three against West Adelaide at Byrne Park while NAB thrashed Gawler nine-one in last week’s opening round but those results bring little clue to Saturday’s outcome.
NAB had two hat-trick scorers in its away opening game against what again seems an inefficient Gawler Eagles team, and on Saturday will be at home where it plays its best soccer.
Both teams come into this round two game with different backup performances – NAB obviously was too good for one of two State League’s strugglers, while the Demons was staring at a near similar scenario before a rousing second half performance.
On Saturday Northern Demons coach Dominic Sciancalepore is expected to make changes to his starting eleven and would not want to drop points a second straight week especially with the Reds facing three hard away fixtures.
Sciancalepore’s main concern seems the lack of an out and out goal scorer – and this was quite clear last week at Byrne Park against West Adelaide and also in the recent cup series.
Of the two teams its NAB that has some five new faces in its team with three scoring five goals in their nine goal haul.
Anthony Orlando, ex Savoy player Joe Rechichi, former Demons player Joe Anello, Daniel Picca and goalkeeper Alex Peacock are season inclusions, but Vince Schimizzi who scored 11 goals and Frank Ammirato who scored nine have left.
Early last season the Northern Demons lost two-six in its away game before playing a one all draw at Byrne Park, and while the locals finished fourth and played final soccer, NAB ended in seventh spot.
On Saturday the Demons will be without the suspended Sam Salvemini and probably also defender Drew Champion, who hurt a knee last week.
The Demons’ present situation appears to favor the inclusion of Jaylan Capurso who bagged three in the early game and was somewhat a surprise to miss out against West Adelaide.
In last week’s opening State League game there were at least four Demons players that surely would have pleased the coaching staff at Byrne Park, and unlike the Salvemini send off.
Mid fielder Daniel Cox was is usual best, new Reds keeper Nigel Young was a stand out when his team needed to stop a rampant opponent, Connie Kouimtzis return to soccer was quite interesting and is certain to get better while Jarred George got the coach’s votes.
Meanwhile playing away at Athelston Reserve is not the Northern Demons forte who cannot afford to give its opponents another half-time lead.