BALLARAT Red Devils get the opportunity to move to the top of the Football Federation Victoria men’s state league two table today.
The Haymes Red Devils host current leaders Moreland City, a team it thumped 6-2 away from home back in mid June.
Ballarat playing manager Brian Shelley said it is a massive game for the club, with victory assuring the Reds a spot at the summit with three games to play.
However, Shelley said the result wouldn’t make or break his team’s season.
“It definitely won’t decide the league, but I won’t shy away from it being a big, big game and a massive opportunity. If you want to win the league, you’ve got to maximise these opportunities,” Shelley said.
“We’ve gone 14 games now unbeaten, so if the result doesn’t go our way on the weekend I certainly won’t be hitting the panic button, even though I think a lot of people will.”
Striker Simon Murphy is back to lead Red Devils’ charge today.
Murphy, who scored four goals in the 6-2 win earlier in the season, returns to the starting line-up after a stint overseas. The 22-year-old played half of the reserves fixture last Saturday against Keilor Park, and made a brief appearance off the bench late in the seniors’ 1-0 win.
Shelley said he would be going into the clash at Trekardo Park with the same starting 11 to the one that proved successful in the teams’ previous meeting.
“We went down there with a game plan early in the season and I’ll be going into this with a similar one,” Shelley said.
This weekend will also be the final game for international import Daniel Forlandsaas.
The Norwegian striker will leave the club to pursue another soccer offer back in Europe.
AT A GLANCE
BALLARAT RED DEVILS v MORELAND CITY
WHERE: Trekardo Park, Ballarat
WHEN: today, 3pm
BALLARAT LIKELY LINE-UP
Goalkeeper: Simon Williams
Defenders: Charlie King, David King, Josh Romein, Alex Antonelli
Midfielders: Brian Shelley, Adrian Curtain, Liam Harding
Forwards: Kyran Taylor, Simon Murphy, Sean Harding
Substitutes: Daniel Tinker, Daniel Forlandsaas, Will Georgiou, Gerry Lynch