Zero derby pressure
Catch-up could see ACE back into top four
FIVE weeks ago ACE against Mitchelton was a top-of-the-table derby clash. Tomorrow night (June 9) at Wolter Park (kick-off 8.30pm) it is third against seventh – but with just as much at stake.
Only three points separate second-placed Lions and ACE, in seventh. Victory tomorrow would see ACE leap back into the top four or Mitchelton go joint top with Easts.
But ACE coach Pouria Nabi is not buying in to the extra hype against our nearest geographical rivals.
“There’s zero pressure,” he said, “this a catch-up game. It will mean we have played the same number of games as most other teams.
“Of course we want to win and get three points, but we’re aiming to win every game. We want to make the top four and reach the finals.
“(Despite the last two results, defeats at Holland Park and Lions) I am really optimistic about this year and this group of boys.
“We know Mitchy have some good players. We know we have to keep the ball away from them and battle for everything in midfield.”
ACE have arguably the Premier League’s most inform striker in Chom Arop who has eight goals in the last four games.
“We have been working with Chom since about round five last season,” said Pouria.
“I knew he had the potential to be one of the best strikers in Queensland. Chom is like Royce (Brownlie), he’s an instinctive goal scorer.
“Chom has worked hard. He’s playing really great, he’s such an intelligent player. I think he has all the abilities to be an outstanding striker.”
Pouria also paid tribute to midfielder Hamish Maguire, who injured a shoulder against Moreton Bay United and has only just returned to training.
“Hamish knew we were short of defenders to face Lions,” said Pouria, “but he put his hand up to play and help us. He did it for the team.
“It was a great gesture and a great effort by him.”
ACE Reserves take on their Mitchelton counterparts at Wolter Park tomorrow at 6.30pm.