Cockburn City coach Marc Anthony has poured high praise on Bayswater City coach Chris Coyne ahead of their National Premier Leagues WA clash at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday.
Bayswater are the competition’s form team with a 100 per cent record from their first seven games.
And while last year’s champions have plenty of on-field quality, Anthony pointed to Coyne’s influence as a major factor in Bayswater’s success.
“It’s a massive test for our lads against Bayswater - we all know they are the benchmark,” Anthony said.
“Chris has had a massive influence on the club in his short time there both on and off the park. He has turned them into a real powerhouse of the league. Our lads are young and learning every week and we go in confident of making a real game of it.”
Cockburn moved into sixth place on the table after a 4-1 win home win against Subiaco in a catch-up game on Tuesday. Goals either side of half-time from Liam Murray and singles to David Araya and Devon Gibson gave the home side the points, while Subiaco’s consolation came from defender Nathan Diaz.
“It was important to get the goal just before half-time and we went on with it after the break, which was pleasing,” Anthony said. “They made it difficult for us, like we knew they would, but to get back-to-back league wins for the first time this season is good for the club. The only downside was losing Conor Kavanagh late in the game, which is a blow, but we hope he will be OK for Saturday’s game.”
In other games this weekend, Balcatta and Subiaco meet at Grindleford Reserve, Perth Glory will look to continue their good form when they host Sorrento at Intiga Stadium and ECU Joondalup entertain second-placed Perth SC at the ECU Football Stadium.
The match at Macedonia Park will pit Stirling Lions defender Rikki Smith against his former club Inglewood United for the first time since he left the club last season.
“I watched Inglewood defeat ECU last week with relative ease, so I have no doubt that this will be a challenging game for us,” said Smith, who was disappointed with Stirling’s losses to Bayswater and Balcatta recently.
“Games between the two clubs have always been fiercely contested and I expect nothing to change this week.
“Our last two results have been unacceptable, so we will doing everything we can to get our season back on track with the three points.
The Lions injury problems are clearing up with Phil Arnold, Mik Vujacic, Jovo Pavlovic, Dean Evans and Moses Kalau all knocking on the door for selection.
On Sunday, Armadale travel to E&D Litis Stadium to take on Floreat Athena.
Saturday 3pm: Cockburn City v Bayswater City (Dalmatinac Park); ECU Joondalup v Perth (ECU Joondalup Football Stadium); Balcatta v Subiaco (Grindleford Reserve); Perth Glory v Sorrento (Intiga Stadium); Stirling Lions v Inglewood United (Macedonia Park).
Sunday 3pm: Floreat Athena v Armadale (E&D Litis Stadium).