Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Australian National League:


The much awaited last round is upon us and any one of the top 3 teams could take out the National League title.

Defending champions, Ballarat City Stallions, have turned around a disastrous start to the season and will be determined not to relinquish their title without a fight.

Last year’s runners up, Newborough Power, have their eyes on winning but will have to overcome Bendigo Titans in the opening catch up game on Saturday 17th November and what a game that will be.

A quick look at the teams’ strengths could give us some idea of the outcome.

Newborough Power: Their full team listing is perhaps the strongest in the league but lack of discipline has cost them some very valuable points. When they put it all together they are very good and they are expected to be in top condition for this round. A national title would not be out of order as this team has traveled to all games held in Queensland, NSW and Victoria over the past 3 years.

Bendigo Titans: Their second season in the league has been very successful. Their loss of Xavier Clayton (America) has definitely affected the balance of the team but having said that they play very exciting free flowing futsal and are resolute in their drive to win the league this year and being on their home court will give them a slight advantage. The league ladder tells its own story, they are the top goal scoring side and the tightest defence in the league.

Ballarat City Stallions: Stallions have built their team with a large youth squad and with just a touch of experience, perhaps the futsal purists in the league. They have plenty of time to mature and they have a dogged determination that has to be admired. Their squad is the only squad in the league that play only futsal. That’s right, no soccer players in their team. Their biggest hurdle to overcome is not the opposition but the fact that they are such slow starters in their games, generally conceding an early goal or two. Their second half performances have generally been very sound and they never talk about losing.

All the top 3 sides will have to watch their step against City United Thunder who are improving each round and will be out to take some to scalps. The biggest advantage Thunder has is that they will be under no pressure to win games and they could be the spoilers and ruin the chances of the top 3.

The National Body wishes all sides the best of luck, if that’s the right word, in this final round for 2007.

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