MetroStars in a battle for Australian title
METROSTARS claimed the minor premiership and Croydon Kings the grand final but neither club is the official SA 2014 champion — just yet.
Football Federation SA’s board will decide which club would own the 2014 title after Football Federation Australia recognised MetroStars, not the Kings for the second audition of the Australian national premier league series.
MetroStars meets WA minor premier Bayswater City in the quarterfinal of the nationwide NPL finals in Perth on Saturday.
Captain Adam van Dommele is confident MetroStars will overcome the first hurdle with a spot in next year’s FFA Cup waiting for the winner of the play offs.
MetroStars flew out of Adelaide on Friday.
“We’re taking it very seriously,’’ van Dommele said.
“Ivan Karlovic (MetroStars coach) has really set it up how he interprets how professionals should be.
“We’re looking forward to being in a professional environment again and it’s a great opportunity to show our younger players what it means to fly around the country.”
Van Dommele expects Metro to have a light training session in Perth on Saturday morning before kicking off at Frank Drago Reserve, Bayswater at 3.30pm.
The club has paid for an extra night accommodation which has pleased van Dommele — a former Adelaide United defender — after FFA had budgeted for a night on the road for the runaway home-and-away series SA champion.
MetroStars won the title by eight points over second-placed West Adelaide before losing last weekend’s grand final to Croydon Kings 2-1.
The club boasts a miserly defence which was led by van Dommele, only conceding 19 goals in 26 matches and had the league’s strongest attack.
Striker Perry Mitris scored more than a third of MetroStars’ 63 goals — 22 for the home-and-away season.
Bayswater won the minor premiership by two points and the grand final — a 1-0 win over Perth SC.
The side is led by former Perth Glory defender Chris Coyne.
Bayswater was also one club which represented WA in the FFA Cup round of 32 — a 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory in August.
“It’s great now to have a new focus after what happened in the grand final last week,’’ van Dommele said.
“We’ve got that burning feeling inside and now we can focus on a new competition.”