Ballarat City FC is well placed to build on a promising start to the NPL2 West Vic season on Saturday.
The Navy Blues take confidence, a favourable formline and home ground advantage into its encounter with Whittlesea.
While the season is still young, Ballarat already matches up well against the Ranges.
Each has played St Albans in the opening two rounds and the outcomes could not have been more contrasting.
St Albans defeated Whittlesea 2-0 and then lost to City FC 3-1.
Ballarat coach Danny Gnjidic is not going to be influenced by this comparison though.
He is convinced Whittlesea, which is coming off a 1-all draw with North Geelong, is “not far away” in an even competition.
The Saints threw everything at Ballarat, which crucially remained composed and after standing tall responded in the best possible way by scoring.
Gnjidic believes this emphasised how his young list had developed since early last year, when it might have wilted in the face of similar pressure.
He said given the chances St Albans did have there was certainly a need for Ballarat to tighten up defensively.
City FC is looking to take an unchanged line-up into the 6pm clash with Whittlesea.
The under-20s kick off at 4pm.
TABLE (2 rounds)
Altona Magic 6
Ballarat City 4
Moreland Zebras 4
North Geelong 4
Melbourne Victory 3
St Albans Saints 3
Whittlesea Ranges 1
Brunswick City 1
Sunshine George Cross 1
Werribee City 0
BALLARAT City FC is launching its season at Morshead Park on Saturday, with a family day and all NPL senior and junior games at the venue.
Family activities start about 3pm, including Kelly Sports and face painting.
NPL West Vic junior round 2 fixtures:
Under-18: v Brunswick City (pitch 2) 10am
Under-16: v Brunswick City (pitch 4) 10am
Under-15: v Brunswick City (pitch 4) 1pm
Under-14: v Brunswick City (stadium) 11.45am
Under-13: v Brunswick City (stadium 4) 1.30pm
Under-12: v Brunswick City (pitch 2) noon
Round 1 results:
Under-18: Avondale Heights 1 d Ballarat 0
Under-16: Ballarat 8 d Avondale Heights 2
Under-15: Avondale Heights 5 d Ballarat 1
Under-14: Avondale Heights 10 d Ballarat 0
Under-13: Avondale Heights 12 d Ballarat 0
SEBASTOPOL Vikings play fellow state league team Mazenod Victory in a Football Federation Australia Cup second round tie at home at St George's Park on Saturday.
Kick-off is 3pm.