Justin Ciabatti, one half of the famous goal-scoring brotherly duo from Brookvale that goes by the handle “Smash and Grab”, is an up-beat and enthusiastic man at the best of times. You only had to see him on the grand final of the Channel Seven chasies show to know he’s a man that leaps out of his skin to face a challenge.
But when his team sits top of the ladder after four rounds and they’re playing the second-placed team on Saturday – and that team is CC Strikers – Ciabatti can go a little off the Richter.
“Love it!” exclaimed Ciabatti when asked if he was “pumped” or “afraid” ahead of the clash on Saturday with Strikers. “We are absolutely pumped and ready! We are 4-from-4 and ready to make it five!
“We know it’s going to be a tough battle on Saturday but our boys are up for it as I’m sure CC strikers will be! We have been working on our team culture and it has really brought us together as a group. I think this will be the difference on the weekend.”
Fresh in mind for the Brookvale squad will be their brave if heartbreaking 4-3 FFA Cup loss to NPL team Prospect United on Wednesday night. After Josh Ciabatti scored from a free-kick, Prospect equalised. Josh scored again from another long-range free kick, before Prospect equalised – in the 89th minute.
Into injury time and Josh scored again! A tap-in for his hat-trick. Prospect, of course, equalised. And then bare seconds before the final whistle scored again.
“It hurt – but we played well,” Justin said. “We pulled up really well. We unfortunately lost but we are super proud of the boys and the effort we put in against an NPL 4 squad. There are a couple of niggles here and there but nothing major. If anything the FFA Cup games have made us a stronger squad.”
CC Strikers take on Brookvale @ St Matthews Farm Reserve on Saturday at 3pm. All other games also kick-off at 3pm
Saint Augustine’s vs Manly Vale @ Grahams Reserve
BTH Raiders vs Narrabeen Football Club Firsts @ Wyatt Reserve
Harbord Football Club Firsts vs Seaforth FC Firsts @ Harbord Park
Mosman vs Pittwater RSL @ Middle Head Oval
Wakehurst vs Curl Curl @ Lionel Watts Oval