Adam Israel takes losing personally. The Pittwater coach is a heart on the proverbial sleeve man, and his Premier League team performs poorly, he’s not a man to mince words. Which for his players, who head to Abbott Road to take on second-placed Curl Curl FC on Saturday, should actually prove something of a comfort.
“We’ve been hot and cold,” Israel said. “But the last two weeks our effort, commitment and willingness to work hard has been better than what it has been.
“My view in this competition is that you have to work harder than the opposition before you can consider anything else. You have to earn it. And the last few weeks we’ve done that came out on top.
“Last week was good [4-1 over Manly Vale] and the week before that, the Narrabeen game was the happiest I’ve ever been after a draw.”
On the other side of the ledger Israel said his team’s been inconsistent, gone way from game plans and committed errors that led to goals.
“When we go away from our game play it causes problems. And we’ve made some costly errors that led directly to goals and ultimately cost us games. We know people will make mistakes. We’re trying to minimise them and avoid them because they’ve killed us; mistakes that led to goals.”
And so to Abbott Road and the challenge of high-flying Curl Curl at home. Israel said he’s been around a while and knows what most teams have. He said that what Curl Curl has is impressive.
“We had them in round one and it was clear then they recruited strongly with a number of players from outside the MWFA. They’re a big, strong and talented team across the board and they’re coached by an experienced and strong coach [Anthony Seminara]. So you ask what we’re expecting – a big, strong, physical, well-coached team!” Israel said.
Israel said that Josh Yates has been his team’s best player across 11 rounds but is under an injury cloud. But club captain Mitch Macedo played his first minutes since round two – scored one and set one up.
“And another one I’d mention is Chris Riley, a Kiwi, who’s been excellent for us. He’s a midfielder and we’ve got him at right back. He’s been from great from set piece, his delivery. He’s been really positive for us,” Israel said.
In other games Collaroy Cromer Strikers play Saint Augustine’s, Manly Vale hosts Mosman, Belrose-Terrey Hills Raiders take on Wakehurst, Narrabeen plays Harbord and Brookvale takes on Seaforth.
By Matt Cleary