By Chris Curulli
After an opening three rounds packed with shock results, Manly Vale are confident they are capable of delivering another upset this weekend when they host Brookvale at Grahams Reserve this weekend.
The newly-promoted side took plenty of positive signs from a narrow 2-1 defeat to early competition front runners Pittwater last round, where they pushed their opposition all the way despite playing with ten men for over three-quarters of the match.
Their coach Michael Yarnold is embracing this season as an opportunity to familiarise his squad with the competition and hopes to secure a few standout results along the way.
“Because we’re newly promoted and I’m new to the league this year is more a case of us getting a gauge of every team we’re playing against,” he said.
“As the results have shown even what we think we know hasn’t occurred, as there’s been some big upsets from what I’ve been told for previous seasons.
“We were a team not expected to do well this year, but I think we’ve shocked a couple of teams and in my footballing opinion I think we outplayed Pittwater and we had 10 men for 70 minutes.
“If that is a benchmark club to compare ourselves with, then it’s a pretty good position for us to be in.”
Vale come up against a Brookvale outfit who will be ready to bounce back after a pair of defeats to Narrabeen and Seaforth in recent weeks.
Despite their recent form, Yarnold is expecting another tough outing against last season’s MWFA and State Champions.
“It will obviously be tough we still need to respect Brookvale and all of our opponents,” he said.
“To be honest I think our guard is up looking at them as the current NSW Champion of Champions.
“We do need to go into that game with an element of respect and that will come out in the way we line up and how we look to nullify any sort of footballing problems that they cause us.
“But against any team in the league I’m confident. I think results have shown that because of the disruption everybody is beatable at the moment.”
Elsewhere, Curl Curl will look to rebound from two defeats of their own when they host Narrabeen and Harbord will be out to secure their first points of the season when they welcome Seaforth to Harbord Park.
CC Strikers will take on Mosman at St Matthews Farm and Wakehurst lock horns with St Augustine’s at Lionel Watts, while the competition’s two remaining undefeated clubs – Pittwater and Belrose-Terry Hills – meet in a top-of-the-table clash at Kitchener.