Sorrento v Forrestfield United – Match Preview

We hit the road for the first time this season with a trip to Percy Doyle Reserve to take on Sorrento on Saturday afternoon in Week Three of the NPLWA. (3pm) The Gulls have been one of the form teams in the league for a number of seasons under the tutelage of former Perth Glory legend Jamie Harnwell, and they are tipped to be close to the title again this season, so it’s a tough first up game for the Forrie Boys.

Sorrento were beaten last week by Perth SC and will want to start their home campaign with a win, while we held to a 1-1 draw by Armadale, and midfielder Thomas Jebb, who rejoined the club from Perth SC this season, said they had chances to win it. “Last week was a tough one, they (Armadale) defended well and bought the game to us,” he said. “We would have loved the points and had multiple opportunities to put the game away but sometimes that’s how football goes. We will happily take the point and keep improving and learning for the coming weekend.”

Jebb said the move back home has gone well, and he said the squad is competitive and believes they will get better. “It’s been a dream, Rod, Bobby and Terry have been top notch and made me feel right back at home. The boys have treated me well and already made me feel a part of the family. I played juniors here and I live up in the hills so it’s nice to represent my home club and feel so comfortable so quickly,” he explained.

“Even though we are quite an attacking team, we don’t focus much on the attacking aspect of the game in training as their coaching style is to let the players have freedom in that final third which I think is great. We are working a lot on our defensive shape and structure which ultimately will allow us more opportunities to score up front. All three coaches have a wealth of experience and knowledge and they push us so we can play the exciting football we are known for.”

The 19-year-old knows they head into Saturday’s game as outsiders, but they are ready for the challenge. “Sorrento are always one of those sides who constantly play a high level of football and are never easy to play against, however the boys are up for the challenge and we know with the right mentality and performances on the weekend we are a threat to any team in this league,” he said. “We have a very tight nit group and I think that forces us to get the best out of one another, but we are not shying away from any opponent and ready to give it our all.”

Head Coach Rod Banjac said Jebb has hit the ground running and has settled well back at the club. “Jebbsy is a Forrie boy through and through who loves nothing more than to defend the colours of the club where it all started for him,” he said. “He is a fierce competitor with a lot of ability and improving after every training session and every game. With abundance of passion, energy, skill and a huge competitive spirit, it’s up to the coaching staff to ensure that all of those qualities are channeled into the wright areas. He has all the attributes of a good player and we will do our best to ensure that he reaches his potential.”

Banjac said the players have been great and all their hard work has paid off, and they are meeting the challenge of NPL football head on. “It’s been a tough few months as we come to terms with challenges associated with the demands of NPL, but we like it and look to consolidate while we establish ourselves as one of the major Football Clubs in WA,” he explained. “All the hard work in the preseason is paying off as our young squad is showing signs that we belong at this level as clearly demonstrated during the opening two games against quality opposition. We have created enough chances in the first two games to remain very optimistic as we will only get better once we adjust to this level of competition.”

A trip to ‘Windy Hill’ is never easy, and Banjac said it will be a huge challenge. “In my view this week’s away game against Sorrento will be the biggest challenge to date,” he said. “They are an experienced club with Jamie at helm who has an excellent team of coaches to assist him. They are one of the benchmark clubs regularly finishing in the top four with a great season behind them while finishing in top 16 of the FFA Cup, but in saying all that, there is nothing our young, talented, fearless squad loves more than a massive challenge.”

Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell is expecting a good game on Saturday, with both teams wanting to play attacking football. “I can see this Saturday being a really open and attacking game. Rod has got Forrestfield going along nicely and they have already shown they deserve to be in the NPL,” he said. “The players are buzzing to be back at Percy Doyle Reserve, it’s been a tough few months while the club has been undergoing renovations and we all can’t wait to get back out at Windy Hill.” – The uinder 18’s kick off at 11am, the Under 20’s at 1pm and the first team at 3pm.