- Saturday night St Michaels showdown for Rocks and NYAC
- Geraghty’s charges bidding to smoke the Aces in Women’s Division A
- Legends and 1960 aiming to bounce back
- Over 30s can extend unbeaten run to 30 games
Saturday night soccer returns for the Shamrocks as Kevin Grogan’s men get set to host NYAC at St Michael’s this weekend (kick-off 8pm).
Buoyed by last weekend’s solid 1-0 victory over Division 1 new boys Zum Schneider, the Rocks are expecting an equally tough test from the perennial play-off challengers from Travers Island.
NYAC won their opener at home to Polonia Gwardia last Sunday and will be a dangerous prospect for the Rocks.
“It’s a big game on Saturday,” said Grogan. “We have a few players down with the flu but we anticipate most of them to be better for Saturday.
“As always, it’s one game at a time. We respect everyone but we don’t fear anyone. We’re all very excited for Saturday night games – we hope to see a lot of our supporters out there!”
Meanwhile, the reserves will need to be alert to the dangers of their NYAC counterparts who topped the division last season, prior to losing to the Greek Americans in the play-offs.
A new central defensive pairing is required with Nikle Guzijan (out of town) and Sergio Sanchez (injured) both missing but the return of Brendan Lane, Larry Slaughter, Leo Nizzi, and Alex Wasilewski will be a huge boost for the Rocks.
“Our players were disappointed to be denied a competitive game last Sunday,” admitted reserves coach John Riordan referring to the 3-0 forfeit awarded against Zum for missing paperwork.
“But it was a good chance to play together and we learned a few things from the friendly. I’m expecting a very tough game against them – NYAC’s reserves will always be strong and the only consolation is that we’re getting them early in the season. It will be a good test of where the squad is at.”
Sunday will begin with an Over 30s East Division encounter at Randalls Island 75 where Paddy Mc Carry’s men will take on Brooklyn Gunners at 8am.
“It’s very important that we win our section games and Brooklyn Gunners got off to a good start wining their first game 2-1 against Partizan,” pointed out Mc Carry.
“We will be boosted by the return of Sean Riley and we’re welcoming back Eugene Reynolds to the club. He is an excellent center half. We have also added Pa Ryan as goalkeeper – another great addition.
“We are missing three for Sunday but this gives other boys a chance to step up to the plate. It’s a home game so we expect to win it and hopefully keep another clean sheet in the process.”
Elsewhere, the Legends will take on Over 37 Division newcomers Manhattan Kickers at East River Park on Sunday at 9am.
The Rocks are bidding to bounce back after last weekend’s opening round loss at home to Eintracht.
“It’s another tough game in store for us,” said assistant coach Eoin Sweeney. “We will all do our best to get a result to please the gaffer Emmett Harvey who is currently on vacation in Hilton Head.”
Meanwhile, the Rocks’ CSL action rounds off on Sunday with a tough away test at Metro 2 champions Williamsburg for Shamrocks 1960 (Flushing Meadow 9 – 4pm).
Andy Connolly’s men have been boosted by the addition of a strong pair of players, Rory O’Leary and Joe Flynn, but Williamsburg began their league campaign with an impressive 4-2 home win against Lansdowne Bhoys Metro.
“It’s important we get a response this weekend after a disappointing reversal against Ridgewood,” admitted assistant coach Neil Mannion. “Although they were technically a strong side, we know we didn’t play to our potential that day and we will need to improve to get a result against our old foes in Williamsburg.
Meanwhile, there will be a very special double header at St Michaels with the women’s teams playing together at the same location for the first time.
The Division B game between Shamrocks B and Astoria will serve as an entertaining curtain raiser to the Division A showdown between the Rocks and Smoking Aces (St Michaels – 11am/1pm)
“We are looking forward to this weekend as both teams are home for the first time at St Michael’s.,” said coach Paddy Geraghty.
“We have a few new signings for the B team that impressed at practice on Tuesday so we’ll be going for our first win. Hopefully the home field support can be the difference!”