MOAMA Echuca Border Raiders are ready to launch a surprise attack at Strathdale this weekend.
Being sidelined for the first round of Bendigo Amateur Soccer League action with the bye has meant the Raiders have an extra week to be prepared for the side that only just missed out on last year’s finals.
And the extra time is being put to good use after the other sides at the club played their first rounds, head coach Darryl Brown said.
‘‘There’s still a bit of work to be done I believe, there are a few small tweaks to be made in training.
‘‘It was a hot day that sapped everyone’s energy,’’ he said.
Key players for the weekend’s game will be youngster Paddy Mathers, captain James Brown, Adam Richardson, as well as the new arrival, Tiziano Carbone.
‘‘It’ll be a test, they’re a quality side (Strathdale). Their women’s side beat Golden City 21-1 or something on the weekend. So I don’t know how we’ll go.
‘‘Strathdale are a very experienced side, we’ll get a good hard game to see where we’re at. The youth I will give a chance (of winning), and perhaps the division twos,’’ he said.
In other matches on the weekend, the division two men’s side went down 2-4 to a strong Swan Hill seconds side.
The Raiders let the game go after leading the opposition at the break, 2-1.
‘‘Division two were scrappy but we were in it for most of the game. Swan Hill took their chances and we missed a few too,’’ Brown said.
The club’s top women’s side also took three points off Swan Hill when they comprehensively dispatched the opposition, 6-2.
‘‘The women played very well considering we had two 11 year-olds making their debut.
‘‘They were guns though. Asha Davies and Elli Hourigan both debuted because we were short on numbers. They put up their hands and both nearly scored, they were astonishing.
‘‘Asha was fantastic and dribbled past a few Swan Hill players and almost scored. Elli is gutsy — she copped an accidental elbow to the back of the head and just got up like it was nothing,’’ Brown said.
And the youth team, led by skipper Kyle Griffiths (pictured), won 2-0 at home in their first match of the season against Swan Hill.
Sunday’s matches see the youth team kick off at 10am, the women’s side at 11am, the division two team at 1pm, and the first team from 3pm.