Rocks ready for old foe Polonia

  • Grogan’s men prepared for tough battle
  • Irish Derby for Rocks 1960 at Lansdowne
  • Women aiming to stay top going into spring

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The Shamrocks will host Polonia Gwardia at St Michaels on Saturday evening (8pm), almost six months after May’s infamous Williamsburg clash pf the pair which ultimately led to a reversal of the result and a reprieval for the Rocks.

That 1-0 defeat to Greenpoint’s Polish club initially relegated Kevin Grogan’s men but the inclusion of an ineligible player caused an overturning of the final score, thus preserving the Division 1 status of the Shamrocks. Polonia subsequently survived due to United FC’s disbanding and have since merged with Gwardia to bolster their resources.

All that aside, the focus for Grogan this week has been very much on achieving an immediate response to last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at champions Lansdowne who now lie five points behind the league leading Rocks.

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“It’s the biggest game of the season and we will learn a lot about our players this weekend,” emphasized Grogan.

“Consistency, concentration and intensity of training and games are the key component’s for success. We can talk about a million other things but without these three things nobody can achieve success.

“The Shamrocks have some amazing football people behind the scenes. I’m lucky because i have a support structure that I can always count on to give me solid, honest opinions and that is priceless. Listening is a massive part of being a successful manager.”

Both Polonia teams are bottom of the respective divisions and reserves coach John Riordan stressed that his team would not be taking the opening game lightly (6pm).

Several key players miss out again, including Joey Aronovsky, Brendan Lane and Sean Steed while Larry Slaughter, who performed brilliantly in last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Lansdowne has family commitments. However, goalkeeper Jesse Corke and target man Sean O’Neill return to the fold for a vital game in what is a tight division.

Joey Aronovsky (left) and Sean Steed both miss out this weekend due to injury.
Pictures by Dennis Schneidler

“I don’t really care where they are in the standings, we have to put together a full 90 minutes of effort and work on our own confidence,” pointed out Riordan.

“We showed glimpses of what we can do last weekend and it bodes well but we need to apply that more consistently and get back to winning ways.”

Meanwhile, Sunday will bring the second trip in a row for the Rocks to Lansdowne with the long-awaited Metro 1 clash of the derby rivals taking place at Tibbetts Brook Park at 9am.

Last Sunday’s 4-0 loss at home to NYFC Iliria brought a shuddering halt to what was a three-game winning streak in the league and player-assistant coach Neil Mannion called on his players to respond positively in what will be a hard fought battle.

“Halloween came early last weekend against Iliria,” said Mannion dryly. “But it’s time to show some bouncebackability in our first Irish derby. Derbies are only memorable if you win them so we’ll need to be bullin’ in the Bronx!”

Elsewhere, Partizani will host Paddy Mc Carry’s Over 30s at Randalls Island 74 at 4pm on Sunday, a game which pits second from top against second from bottom, both teams with mirror opposite records.

“We have been playing really well of late,” said Mc Carry. “We hope that continues Sunday because we almost have our strongest panel of the season to chose from. As usual, we will be going for all three points. Our goal remains to win all our of games from now until the winter break.”

It’s a late kick off for the Legends on Sunday who must wait until 8pm to head for Herbert Lehman High School to take on struggling Doxa who have yet to win a game this season.

Emmett Harvey’s men are confident after a ten-goal blitz of Hoboken but are down a couple of players this weekend as they bid to try and stay in touch with leaders Gjoa.

“On the back of two terrific wins we go into this game against Doxa with confidence,” said Harvey. Even though we are missing a few players through injury, we hope to get the right result!”

And in the Metro Women’s League, the Division B Shamrocks have the weekend off while the Division A leaders are at home to Fuel FC (St Michaels at 1pm).

Last week’s 2-1 win sent Paddy Geraghty’s charges three points clear of the team they beat that day, CPR White, and with Fuel having won just one game from six, the Rocks are keen to maintain that three-point gap at the top.

“This is our last league game of the fall,” said coach Paddy Geraghty.

“We played great last week but we need another win to consolidate first place. We are happy to add Denise Wilson to the squad and have Georgia Frost returning to bolster our attack.”

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