Sport

BASL men’s round 9 preview

By Aydin Payne

Old foes reignite the rivalry flame when they meet in tomorrow’s round nine fixture of the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League.

Separated by two points on the men’s division one ladder, fierce rivals Shepparton South (fourth) and Tatura (fifth) will battle it out at Shepparton’s McEwen Reserve.

The Southerners enjoyed a 4-0 win against Golden City in round eight before the league-wide bye, which has Gino Saracino’s men sitting on four wins.

For Tatura, before its bye in round eight and the league-wide bye, the side suffered a 1-0 loss to ladder-leader Strathdale.

Tatura coach Dom Cricelli said his side was ‘‘chomping at the bits’’ to get back out on the park.

But before the side has the chance against South, the Ibises will be sweating on the availability of captain Cody Sellwood and attacking-midfielder Liam Nash.

‘‘I’m not 100 per cent sure yet, we will have to wait for Sunday morning,’’ Cricelli said.

‘‘But they will have every opportunity to be named fit for the match.’’

Cricelli highlighted the threat South brings, while being hopeful his side is able to play its game style.

‘‘We know South has some quality players like JA (Joel Aitken) and are strong right across the field,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s never an easy match against them.

‘‘But hopefully we can play our short and sharp style of play and get around their defence.’’

Aitken has been in superb form for the Southerners, scoring consecutive braces against La Trobe University and Golden City in rounds seven and eight.

His attacking prowess will be closely monitored by a sturdy backline led by Tom Corso and Emre Celik, according to Cricelli.

‘‘We know the quality Joel brings to the table, hopefully we can limit his opportunities on Sunday,’’ Cricelli said.

‘‘Both Tom and Emre have done a reasonable job this season and I have faith that they will get the job done down back.’’

Tomorrow’s match at McEwen Reserve starts at 3pm.

●Around the league this weekend, Moama-Echuca Border Raiders (second) welcomes Golden City (seventh), Shepparton (ninth) heads down the highway to take on third-placed Eaglehawk and Colts United (10th) was out to clinch its second win of the season against La Trobe University (eighth).