Suns look to rise from slide

By Alex Mitchell

Werribee City will be the Goulburn Valley Suns’ next challenge as the club looks to get back to winning form.

It will be a clash of the National Premier League Two sixth-ranked sides; City sixth on the west table while the Suns occupy the same spot in the east division.

While the Suns’ season has taken a downward turn in the past fortnight, Werribee is in the middle of its biggest period of sustained success for the year, with four wins in its past six.

Suns coach Craig Carley expected a big challenge against a side which likes to go forward quickly.

‘‘They’re very physical, a big strong side that likes to go direct,’’ he said.

‘‘Again I think it’s a good opportunity to pick up some points.’’

After three consecutive wins, the Suns sat fourth at the end of round 12, but 4-0 and 1-0 losses to Moreland City and Altona Magic were a massive reality check.

‘‘The boys aren’t flat as such, but just a bit disheartened with the recent results,’’ Carley said.

‘‘Moreland was the better side and deserved to win, but when you put in a performance like we did against Altona it’s disappointing to lose.

‘‘The polish just hasn’t quite been there, but we’ll keep putting in the effort and that’s what I ask from them every week.’’

Young blood could breathe some new energy into the Suns, with regular member of the thriving under-20 squad Alou Kuol coming off the bench in the 78th minute last weekend.

‘‘There’s such a big difference between senior and under-20 football and we need to blood them the right way,’’ Carley said.

‘‘Alou has the quality to play at a high level, so we need to make sure we develop him correctly and he’ll get chances.

‘‘He tried his best and we play a completely different style in the 20s, so he’ll certainly get opportunities.’’

It was City which claimed maximum points when the sides last met, Angus Martin’s 75th-minute goal the difference in round 19 last year.

But with just 19 goals scored for the season, the Suns would like their odds of overpowering the opposition.

● When the Suns’ under-20s get a look at Werribee’s defensive record, their eyes will be as big as saucers.

City has scored 38 goals in 13 games, just a dash under three a game, and will have its hands full shutting out the rampaging young Suns.

The side, while defensively susceptible itself, scores for fun and will be looking for a few in the curtain-raiser.

Third on the table, the Suns are only eight points off the top of the ladder and are potentially in the best form of any side in the competition.