Armadale keen to delay Glory celebrations
John O’Reilly insists Armadale have no intention of putting out the welcome mat for the second successive week when NPL WA leaders Perth Glory visit Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday.
Glory can wrap up the title if they take three points and other results go their way.
But the Armadale coach wants his players to restore pride following last week’s chastening 5-0 home thrashing by Floreat Athena – and delay Glory’s celebrations until the final two rounds.
“You don’t want somebody coming to your house and having a party and you’re not invited,” O’Reilly said.
“The boys were a little bit shell shocked at last week’s reality check, and yet if we thought that match was difficult then this week will be a different level again with Perth Glory looking to win the league.”
There was some mitigation for Armadale last week in that they had travelled to Cairns in the midweek for an FFA Cup clash.
But O’Reilly is determined to avoid a fine season ending in anti-climax for the Belt Up Cup winners.
“The boys have had a successful season but the race is only over when you cross the finish line,” he said.
“Floreat are the form team and probably caught us on a bad day. There was a bit of fatigue after the trip to Cairns. But we’ve had it go our way at other times, such as when we beat Bayswater 4-1 and they were flat that day. It’s swings and roundabouts.”
O’Reilly said Glory, who are essentially made up of Under 20 players, have impressed him this season with their added steel.
“I think they are a bit more robust,” he said.
“Previously they were a glorified version of an NTC team. No disrespect by that but it was like a bunch of apprentices playing in a man’s league.
“Now not only are they more robust but tactically they know how to win games and are less text book.
“They have a good group of lads coming through together. A lot of things have aligned for them too, with about four lads in the team who have been involved in A-League football. Not necessarily playing but they are around the first team, so it’s going to rub off.”
Glory will win the league on Saturday if they beat Armadale, second-place Perth SC lose at home to Inglewood and Cockburn City fail to beat Floreat at Dalmatinac Park.
The crunch game in the relegation fight is at Rosalie Park where second-bottom Subiaco host Forrestfield United, who are one place and two points better off than their opponents.
Stirling Lions and Balcatta are the two other sides in danger of the drop. Stirling are at home to bottom club Joondalup United, whose relegation was sealed last month, while Balcatta face ECU Joondalup at Grindleford Reserve.
The final match of the round sees top four hopefuls Bayswater City at home to Sorrento.
Saturday, August 11 (all 3pm)
Armadale v Perth Glory (Alfred Skeet Reserve)
Cockburn City v Floreat Athena (Dalmatinac Park)
Perth SC v Inglewood United (Dorrien Gardens)
Bayswater City v Sorrento (Frank Drago Reserve)
Balcatta v ECU Joondalup (Grindleford Reserve)
Stirling Lions v Joondalup United (Macedonia Park)
Subiaco v Forrestfield United (Rosalie Park)