Soccer finals feast
Saturday, 20th September, 2014
By Ethan James
The Community Credit Union Premier League grand final kicks off this afternoon, with minor premiers St Joseph’s taking on the in-form Celtic.
The Joeys cruised to top spot on the ladder and have had an extra week to cool their heels.
But they will face a challenge from a Celtic side that has won five in a row, including their most recent match-up in round 14.
It’s a big day for both clubs.
St Joseph’s have teams in all three senior grades, while Celtic are represented in both men’s divisions and the Under 12s fixtures.
Celtic A Grade coach David Deacon said he hoped to see plenty of green and white support in the stands.
The club last made the grand final in 2007, with Jason Passlow the only survivor from that premiership winning side.
“For a long while there we were the easy beats of the competition but we’ve had a really strong season,” Deacon said, adding that assistant coach Anthony Berg has played a big part in the club’s success.
“The guys have really gelled well together.
“I think the B Grade are a better-than-even chance and we’ll give it a real crack.”
Celtic’s reserves qualified for the grand final on the back of a dramatic extra time win over Alma, while the top grade team is flying high on a five-game winning streak.
“It should be a really attacking game, both sides have lots of speed,” Deacon said.
“Being a final, neither will be too willing to give too much away at the beginning.
“Hopefully we can get settled first.”
Deacon expects his team’s fitness to play a big part in the result.
“Most of their midfield hasn’t played a great deal towards the end of the season,” he said.
“We think that’s something we can exploit towards the end of the game.”
None typifies Celtic’s energetic spirit more than Aidan Tinney.
The Scottish livewire is back in town for the finals after a South American holiday.
He spent yesterday swimming with sharks off the South Australian coast but is expected to arrive back in Broken Hill this morning.
“Aidan gives us heaps of running ... he’ll probably get knocked down or taken out a few times but that’s just the way he plays,” Deacon said.
“It will be a relief when he arrives back in town in one piece though.”
There are rumours St Joseph’s Barry Schofield will make the drive from Adelaide for the game.
The striker would be a massive boost for the club.
“There is some conjecture over whether he’ll play, but we’ll just have to wait and see,” Deacon said.
“We’ll just play whichever team they field.
St Joseph’s will look to the speed of Rylie McInnes to breach the last line of defence, while Curtis Jelbert is expected to take the gloves.