By Mark Stavroulakis
One things for certain, Northern NSW Premiers and Champions Edgeworth FC Eagles are coming to Sydney with one thing on their minds – lifting the 2016 PS4 NPL Finals Series Trophy.
One player that will play a pivotal role in hopefully achieving this amazing feat is 21-year-old attacking midfield whiz Keanu Moore.
The dazzling rising young star has been one of Damian Zane’s standout players for the 2016 season – a year that has seen the club lift the Premiership, Championship, defeat the Far North Queensland FC Heat in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 only to be knocked out by the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Round of 16 while progressing to Sunday’s PS4 NPL Finals Series big dance winning two very tough away matches to the Bentleigh Greens and Perth SC.
A marked man no doubt with Sydney United 58 set to stamp its authority on shutting out the Eagles’ promising young gun, Moore was looking forward to the Edensor Park experience.
“It’s probably right up there as the biggest game in the club’s history.
“The club is really looking forward to what will be a massive game against a good side.
“We are proud of how far we have come in this tournament but the club has high hopes of taking this out so hopefully we can get the job done.
“We know that Sydney United 58 will be a tough team to beat but we did knock off Bentleigh Greens so we have the belief that we can beat anyone.”
Away victories to Victorian guns Bentleigh Greens 3-1 as well as their recent triumph in Western Australia downing Perth SC 1-0, travelling and playing away was no issue for Moore.
“To be honest I would prefer to play away because when you are travelling it feels like you are a full-time professional and that’s something I want to do moving forward become a professional footballer.
“You stay with the team at hotels, you have meals provided, you focus on the match on hand with the boys, it all plays well with getting you geared for the big game ahead.”
The Eagles will be utilising Football NSW’s Valentine Sports Park accommodation as its official base on Saturday when the entire squad and coaching staff make the trip from the Hunter region in preparation for the big match on Sunday.
Their opponents will by no means be easy beats and the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s Premiers and Waratah Cup Champions have shown during the PS4 NPL Finals Series matches that they really mean business.
Moore knows that they’ll be in for a dog fight come Sunday in Sydney’s West.
“We played them in a pre-season friendly earlier this year but I know a lot has changed since then from both sides with new faces and what not.
“Zaney (Edgeworth FC Eagles Coach) has done his homework on them and will no doubt be ready for a game plan in hopefully lifting the Cup.”
Asked whether the club will keep a special eye out on Sydney United 58’s red hot attacker in Panny Nikas, Moore replied.
“I have seen some footage of his goals during this tournament and he is in really good form.
“Again our coach will no doubt be giving us pointers on shutting him and the rest of the team down but it’s all about concentrating on our own performances first.”
One such player that Moore is happy will be playing in the big finale is ace marksman Daniel McBreen.
The former Central Coast Mariners attacker has been the heart and soul of the club and has been the name that has knocked in a plethora of goals for the rampaging Eagles – however, a planned family trip on Sunday abroad left Edgeworth’s number one star in limbo although the club has offered to fly the star back in time for the match.
“It’s great to know he is playing on Sunday.
“I know it wasn’t the best situation to be in but this is his boyhood club and I’m glad he will be part of the day.”
Apart from McBreen, the club will look towards captain Josh Evans as well as promising youngsters Dylan Holz, Aden Gardner and current PS4 Player Pathway Camp trialists Brody Taylor, Ayden Brice, and Lachlan Pasquale as key men for the visitors.
The former Tamworth FC junior spoke highly of his head coach who will complete his second full year at the club having won a fair bit of local silverware since being appointed.
“Zaney is a very good coach, he knows what he is doing and the players have put a lot of trust in him as he has put a lot of trust in us so it’s been a good balance.
“When he initially took over the club at the start of last season he rung me and said that he wanted to give me a chance as well as giving all the young boys a shot because he didn’t think we had been given our chances yet.
“So he put a lot of trust in us and we have repaid him by giving us this chance by being rather successful these past two seasons but the great thing is our team is a mixture of youth and experience as well so that’s always a good combination to have.”
The tag of being the best NPL team in the country is something Moore and his troops are hoping to achieve on Sunday as well as grabbing a spot in next year’s Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
“Considering that ourselves and Sydney United 58 are currently the best two teams in the country, the winner will grab the glory of being the best NPL side in Australia and that is something we really want.
“A victory would definitely put Northern NSW football on the map too because every game we’ve been underdogs against the Greens and also Perth so coming into Sunday’s match we will once again be the underdogs.
“We just want to make our town proud as this is probably the biggest game the club’s history and everyone is talking about it in the area.”
The Eagles fans will be coming down in numbers as Moore stated to Football NSW that they’ve had some amazing support throughout the course of the season especially on away trips.
“I’m pretty sure there will be a few buses coming down from Newcastle to support the boys so we can’t wait for that.
“Everywhere we’ve played this year we’ve had great support.
“When we went to Cairns for the Westfield FFA Cup we had support there as well as our fans being in Melbourne and Perth so this short trip to Sydney will certainly see a fair few sporting our club colours.”
Sunday October 2nd
Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney United 58 v Edgeworth FC Eagles
2:30pm kick off