NPL WA Preview: Zadkovich demands a "ruthless" approach to vital Balcatta clash

Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich has called upon his PGFC Academy First Team side to show a ruthless streak against Balcatta in Saturday's vital NPL WA clash at Grindleford Reserve (kick-off at 3pm).

The youngsters head into what is the penultimate round of the regular season knowing that three points would leave them in pole position to secure a top-four finish ahead of fifth-placed Inglewood United.

And while generally pleased with the way his charges performed in last weekend's 2-0 win over Rockingham City, Zadkovich feels they will need to be more clinical in front of goal if they are to get the better of a Balcatta side currently embroiled in a desperate battle to avoid the drop.

"I thought we played really well against Rockingham," he said, "but I thought we could have scored more goals.

"In the first half, their 'keeper made some really good saves and they defended well at times and hung in there.

"I was pretty happy overall, but I do think we need to be more ruthless."

Having seen Rockingham show great character and resolve to battle away for the full 90 minutes, Zadkovich is not expecting the performance of their relegation rivals Balcatta to be any different.

"It's not an easy place to go," he said.

"They drew with Inglewood and Sorrento recently and they are two teams who are in and around us on the ladder, so I think that gives us a good indication of what they're capable of.

"They've had a tough time with injuries and like most NPL teams, have some very talented individuals, so we'll have to be on our toes to make sure we nullify their threats.

"Our message this week, as always, has been about us, making sure we're improving and that we're focused on the process and the detail of how we want to play."

The Academy First Team have now lost just twice in their last 13 games, an impressive run of form which began when they beat Balcatta 3-0 in the corresponding fixture at Crazy Domains Stadium back in early May.

Ahead of the First Team game, the Under-18s require a win to take their three-way title tussle with Inglewood United and Bayswater City to the final round next weekend, while the Under-20s will be crowned champions if they secure a better result than second-placed Bayswater City manage in their fixture against ECU Joondalup.

(Picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)

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