Pittwater coach Adam Israel hasn’t seen a lot – at least this season – of Harbord FC, his team’s opponent this Saturday at Kitchener Park. When told that left back Lewis Wright is Harbord’s leading goal-scorer and a very good man with his head, Israel replied: “Well, thanks for that, I didn’t know that.”
Then he added: “I do have a couple of big centre backs and a few lads who are strong in the air. As with anything, if you win your individual battles, you man up, you should be okay. But thanks for sharing that with me!”
The intel on the now not-so-secret weapon came from Harbord captain Eddie Goodall who told MWFA Media that Wright has been one of their go-to men from set pieces.
“We’ve been very good from set pieces this year, it’s one of our strong points,” Goodall said. “And Lewis has been one of our options in the air. But we’ve also been good in open play, too, and seem to be more clinical this year than last. That’s a goal of ours for this game, too.”
Goodall nominated ‘keeper Jack Worland and midfielder Harry Summers among his other players to watch. “Jack has been absolutely outstanding in goal,” Goodall said. “He actually hasn’t had to do a lot but his involvements have been excellent. And in the midfield Harry has been great, too. He has a wicked left foot.”
Goodall said the team’s focus is to be better than last season. Thus far they’ve achieved it, sitting three points from the top of a congested leader board with three wins, two losses and a goal difference seven in the black.
Pittwater, meanwhile, sit two points back, though are coming off a disappointing 2-0 loss to Mosman at Middle Head. Israel called it “one of our poorest performances”.
“I can’t fault the effort, which is something the club was built on and prides itself on. Effort was there. But in terms of going away from our game plan, from keeping possession and executing the things we’ve worked on, our quality hurt us. And Mosman were very good and we were very bad.”
Pittwater are expected to bounce back. In Cam White they have one of the best players in the competition while Max Bogunovic, who will replace the injured Mitch Macedo as captain, is key to his team’s possession-based game.
And of course there is centre-back Bill Benton who will be one of those tall aerialists challenging the threat of Wright’s flying head.
“We’ll need big games from everyone to beat Harbord, who’ve always played a good brand of football,” Israel said. “But when those three guys are on we can be very dangerous.”
Kick-off at Kitchener Park is at 3pm, the same time as all of this Saturday’s Premier League fixtures.
Mosman v Belrose-Terrey Hills Raiders at Middle Head Oval
Brookvale vs Wakehurst at Grahams Reserve
Curl Curl vs Saint Augustine’s at Abbott Road
Manly Vale vs Narrabeen at David Thomas Reserve
Seaforth vs Collaroy Cromer Strikersat at Seaforth Oval
Pittwater RSL FC vs Harbord at Kitchener Park
By Matt Cleary