Reds must lean into the occasion: Andrioli

Airton Andrioli will spend the week encouraging his Young Reds to find another level of motivation as they prepare to take on league leaders, MetroStars on Saturday.

It has been a trying time for the youth Reds brigade, who have been limited in available players due to Joeys representation and injuries.

The Reserves however, put in a spirited performance against Modbury Jets in their Federation Cup Final on the weekend, losing 1-4 on penalties.

The sides could not be separated after 90 minutes as the score read 1-1, and into extra time it went.

Jake Porter, who levelled for the Reds after 60 minutes, found a second equaliser in the 109th minute which took the game all the way and into a penalty shootout.

Andrioli and Reserves Coach, Elvis Markov felt their Reds put in a strong shift against good opposition.

“We were pretty happy with the performance and the number of chances we created and if we were more clinical the game would have been decided after 90 minutes,” Andrioli said.

“What we take out of this is the experience and the boys will certainly gain from all the pressures of a Cup Final and a penalty shootout.

“They are always a lottery and the most important thing from this one is the experience gained, which I even mentioned to the group before the match started.”

High-flying Stars await

United will have to be at their maximum to usurp ladder leaders, MetroStars who also claimed the Australia Cup last weekend.

Key to the battle will be nullifying the RAA NPL SA’s top goalscorer, James Temelkovski who is a constant threat up top for the Stars.

They will already be targeting personal victories over the forward, but Andrioli will further reassure his defenders, including Kane Vidmar and Panagiotis Kikianis, who won the battle last time out.

“This game poses a good challenge for Kane and Pana to keep James and Metro scoreless, make sure he doesn’t score and shut him down, and organise the team around us,” he said.

“But most importantly, we must competitive and ensure it does not become a one-sided game at any point.

“We’ll have confidence that we got a result against them last time, and I will be encouraging the boys to use Metro’s ladder position as extra motivation to find a result.”


Andrioli and his Assistant and Reserves Coach, Elvis Markov had a moment of reflection while watching the Metro and Campbelltown Cup Final.

They were not only suitably impressed at the standard of a pulsating game of football in which two competitive sides were constantly exchanging blows, but comforted in the fact their young players mix it with South Australia’s ‘next best’ regularly.

“When we were watching that game, we thought it was amazing that we actually perform quite well and consistently against the calibre of players with all their experience,” Andrioli said.

“Maybe some people might question the standard in this League at times, but I have no doubt about it, a lot of these players are pushing for the next level.

“Sometimes in this sort of environment we forget that the boys are young and immature and lacking the mileage, so that game gave us a bit of perspective which I will share with the boys as we reach more tough opponents in the lead-in to Finals.”

Further perspective is the ‘breakout’ international campaign of Nathan Amanatidis, and appearances from Bailey O’Neil, Sotiri Phillis, and Fabian Talladira, again displaying the fruits of United’s youth system.

Nestory Irankunda was of course there too, adding to his ever-expansive highlights reel.

While it remains unclear when these prodigies will return to aid United’s Finals charge after finishing up international duty earlier this week, they will continue to provide inspiration for their team-mates to continue performing.

United will take confidence knowing they have beaten both Cup finalists this season, as they prepare to take on MetroStars at 2:45pm (Reserves) and 5:00pm (Seniors), at ServiceFM Stadium on Saturday.