With City set to take on Western Sydney on New Year’s Day, we take a look at the key battle between two young speedsters, Lachlan Wales and Bruce Kamau.
In many ways Lachlan Wales and Bruce Kamau find themselves in similar situations. Both in their early 20’s, the two attackers with electrifying pace are making a name for themselves in new colours this season.
After joining City in the off-season from fellow Hyundai A-League side Central Coast Mariners, 21-year-old Wales has blossomed. Under the guidance of Head Coach Warren Joyce, the New South Welshman has shown rapid improvement, showcasing his raw speed and football smarts. The youngster has slotted into the side seamlessly, making an immediate impact in City blue.
Since making his switch from City to the Wanderers, Kamau has also continued to impress. The 23-year-old made over 40 appearances across two years at City before moving to Western Sydney. Now at his third A-League club, after starting his career at Adelaide United, the winger is beginning to mature as a footballer and showcase his footballing ability.
In terms of position, both players find themselves in the attacking third. Kamau will be found out on the wing, skipping past defenders and either cutting in or crossing the ball. While for Wales, his role has been a little more varied this season, with the youngster playing a role both out wide and centrally – demonstrating his willingness to play a role for the team, as well as his versatility.
Speaking of the attacking third, both players have demonstrated their ability to find the back of the net, scoring one goal apiece from their nine appearances this season. Wales’ shooting accuracy has proven to be far more superior than his counterpart, travelling at 66.7 per cent accuracy, compared to Kamau’s 33.3 per cent.
Kamau’s tendency to whip the ball in from the wing for the Wanderers has seen him make six successful crosses, three more than Wales, as well as 14 key passes, eight more than Wales. Kamau has also registered two assists, while Wales has one to his name.
When it comes to distribution, both players have played a key role for their team. Wales has made 132 successful passes this season and Kamau 145. The numbers do suggest that both players are lethal in attack, traveling at impressive pass percentage ratios in the opponents’ half. Wales is currently travelling at 71.4 per cent and Kamau at 74.1 per cent. Their ability to carry the ball by foot has also been on display, with Wales making three successful dribbles and Kamau nine, with the winger exploiting the pace left in front of him.
In terms of discipline, the dancing feet of both players combined with their raw speed has seen them earn their fair share of fouls. Wales has won 10 fouls and Kamau 12.
There is no doubt that both players possess the attacking qualities that could change the game in favour of their side, but which one steps up to the task on New Year’s Day and delivers for their side remains to be seen.
City will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to three matches when they take on the Wanderers at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday 1 January, kick-off 7:50pm, before they return to Melbourne to host Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Sunday 6 January.