Western United will host Melbourne City NPL in a battle of third versus fourth in Victoria’s NPL 3 competition on Friday night.
Western United NPL vs Melbourne City NPL
Friday, 30 April
ABD Stadium Broadmeadows Valley Park, Westmeadows.
Last time out
Fresh from a 6-1 defeat of Ballarat City on Saturday, United will enter this clash looking to break into the top two, with Preston Lions and Doveton set for a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.
Nicolas Milanovic netted a hat-trick in that victory, joining Ayom Majok as the side’s second-top goalscorer for the season.
Jerry Skotadis opened the scoring before Milanovic and Adisu Bayew had United in a strong position heading into half-time.
Milanovic added two more in the second half and a late Majok penalty rounded out a fantastic result for the team.
Thoughts from the coach
Coach Ante Moric will be eager to find similar form to last week, but insisted the group won’t be “getting carried away” after that result.
Ahead of the clash, he said he has been pleased with the progression of the team and is beginning to see the group gelling together well.
“The team is really building well, starting to listen to the messages that we spoke about when we first came in,” he said.
“What they’re doing really well is they’re becoming a football team.”
On the prospect of facing Melbourne City, Moric admitted the group is excited about the clash and that there has been a “different buzz” in training ahead of the fixture.
“They’re looking forward to it because it’s Melbourne City, they’re a fantastic side and it’s going to be a good game,” he said.
A win would take United temporarily to the top of the table, and Moric said that should give the players “big motivation” to strive for three points.
But the method of Moric’s coaching and the way of the club dictates that progression of the players on and off the pitch is what comes first.
“Being top of the table means nothing to me, but the way that they’re progressing – if they can progress every week, that to me is the ultimate. That’s what the club wants.”
Moric is already seeing the development of the players as individuals and as a group, despite the side not having won in back-to-back games yet this season.
But that is something that doesn’t get discussed around the club and Moric is confident it will happen soon.
“That momentum is growing and I think that will happen (consecutive wins) in the near future.”
With the A-League side interstate for a tricky test against Adelaide United, fans have a fantastic opportunity to support the NPL team this weekend.
The match will be streamed live on the NPL Victoria YouTube channel.