In Warren Joyce’s first outing as Head Coach, City will look to put the last four weeks of pre-season work into action after two intense intra-club matches at CFA Melbourne.
The Cannons – who are nearing the end of their NPL Victoria campaign – sit seventh, one spot away from Finals qualification and looking to chase the pack who will be wanting to play deep into the NPL Finals Series.
Oakleigh, coached by Kon Tangalakis and Peter Tsolakis, have been one of the top performing teams of the competition over the past five weeks, only losing high-flying South Melbourne, scoring 11 goals in the process.
The team out of Jack Edwards Reserve boast an experienced side with ex-A-League defender Steve Pantelidis leading their back line and NPL stalwards Wayne Wallace, Adrian Chiappetta, Dean Piemonte, Goran Zoric and Dusan Bosnjak joining him in their strongest lineup.
City will look to give its full squad some form of game time on Tuesday night with Fernando Brandan being the only man missing through injury while Daniel Arzani, Bruce Kamau and Ruon Tongyik are away with the Australian U23 side and Tim Cahill on an extended break after the Confederations Cup.
Most notably for City however will be the potential debuts to the Club’s three latest senior signings in Eugene Galekovic, Scott Jamieson and Iacopo La Rocca as well as the talented NPL and NYL aspirants who have impressed so far this pre-season
The last time
It was September 2015 the last time these sides went head-to-head, with City prevailing 8-0 at Jack Edwards Reserve. Doubles from Robi Koren and Wade Dekker were complimented by Erik Paartalu, Stefan Mauk, Chris Cristaldo and Hernan Espindola on the chilly night in Melbourne’s south-east.
Oakleigh had the FFA Cup to play towards during the 2015 pre-season campaign and that added to their man management issues during the contest but it is shaping up to be a tighter encounter this time around.
What was said this week
“The tempo has been good and we’ve been pleased with a lot of the things we have seen. There are plenty of things to work on but I am enthused by a lot of the things that have gone on so far and it’ll lead us into this part of the pre-season and into the first proper competitive game on Tuesday night.
“It’s fitness that’s the biggest goal at this stage of the season,
“You want to get through and not pick up any injuries, that’s the most important thing so far. The boys have trained extremely hard and we haven’t picked up any injuries where people have missed days.
“We are trying to build a base fitness and that’s the most important thing, keep building the levels up for when the cup game comes around.”
Where and when
City face Oakleigh Cannons on Tuesday night at Jack Edwards Reserve, kick-off 7.30pm. Tickets are available at the gate for $10.
Warren Joyce’s side will then prepare to take on its second NPL Victoria opposition on Tuesday 25 July as they take on Bentleigh Green at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, kick-off 7.30pm.