There will be a distinct Czech feel about Sydney FC’s round two Hyundai A-League clash with the North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night (5:15pm kick-off).
There will be a distinct Czech feel about Sydney FC-s round two Hyundai A-League clash with the North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night (5:15pm kick-off).
Sky Blues coach Vitezslav Lavicka will come up against fellow countrymen and friend Franz Straka, who took over at the Fury at the start of the 2010/11 A-League season, for the very first time.
The pair both boasts distinguished coaching careers in their homeland of the Czech Republic and Saturday night-s clash will determine who gets the jump on the other in the A-League.
The Sky Blues touched down in Townsville on Thursday afternoon and despite being without striker Mark Bridge, who has been replaced by midfielder Brendan Gan in a 16-man squad, are confident they can extend their 2-1 head-to-head advantage over the Fury.
“We had a preview about them [North Queensland] before we started training on Wednesday,” Lavicka said. “I have to say they did a good job in Perth in round one. They have a young team, young squad. They did well.”
“The conditions will be different than Sydney but we know that. We are ready. We are physically and mentally strong enough to do well up there.”
Lavicka said that the Sky Blues had a number of options they could employ in the absence of Bridge.
“It is unlucky we lost Mark Bridge but we have another attacking possibility in Kofi Danning and other attacking players we can put on the pitch,” Lavicka said.
“Most of the game [against Melbourne] we played pretty good football, especially in attack. We scored three goals and created many more chances but we must concentrate more against North Queensland.”
Both sides come into the match off entertaining opening round 3-3 draws, each netting late equalisers. Lavicka said he was extremely happy with his sides- performance against Melbourne in round one but is looking for an increased level of concentration on Saturday night.
“We conceded three goals but the question is not about the defenders,” Lavicka said.
“The question is about the whole team but as I said we need to improve but I trust the players and the team that they are able to play better and concentrate.”
The Sky Blues players will also come up against some familiar faces with former Sydney FC teammates Adam Casey and Chris Payne lining up of for their second matches for the Fury since leaving Sydney in the offseason.
Fury skipper Ufuk Talay and goalkeeper Justin Pasfield also spent the first three and two Hyundai A-League seasons respectively with Sydney FC.
Sydney FC defeated the Fury 3-2 in their only prior meeting at Dairy Farmers Stadium way back on August 8, 2009.
1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL 3. Stephan KELLER, 5. Hayden FOXE, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Nick CARLE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 13. Antony GOLEC, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT
*one to be omitted*
In: 7.Brendan GAN
Out: 9.Mark BRIDGE (Hamstring – 1 week)