SHOCK WEAPON: Jaffas speedster Luke Remington. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
TWO of the most dangerous attacking players in the NPL could come off the bench again this weekend.
Luke Remington, the 2015 player of the year, came on at half-time with two-goal hero Pat Brown for Lambton Jaffas on Sunday and helped spark their 3-2 win from 2-0 down. Remington was a constant threat and set up Brown’s winner.
Broadmeadow’s James Virgili was another shock bench player. He came on in the second half in Magic’s 1-1 draw with Edgeworth.
Jaffas coach James Pascoe said Remington had missed their training block before Christmas because of a shoulder reconstruction. He then spenttwo weeksoverseas and played only 90 minutes of pre-season games.He said Remington coming off the bench “might be his role for a couple of weeks until he gets as sharp as he can be”.
Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich said Virgili had agroin strain late in pre-season which had limited his training and “we were worried if we put him out there, he’d fatigue and hurt it and we’d lose him long term.”
“We’ve also got four or five quality strikers and there will be that rotation with the line-up anyway.
“For James, he’s got nothing to worry about. It was just a precaution with his groin and he’ll be back turning it around in no time.”
Zadkovich, whose side host Weston on Saturday night,was pleased with the performance in his NPL debut as coach but disappointed Magic did not get the three points after Edgeworth lost defender Ayden Brice to a red card in the 49thminute.
“I think we should have won it in the end, especially playing against 10 men after we scored,” he said
“It’s probably the only thing we haven’t worked on in our longish pre-season, that kind of scenario.
“You see it a lotin football, where the team who loses a player lifts their intensity and the other side let it slip a bit and be complacent, and that was probably us a little bit.
“But I thought my boys did a great job, to go to the reigning premiers and grand final winners two years in a row first game and perform like that, I think that says a lot about where we are and where we’re headed.”
Pascoe was delighted with how his side responded in the second half after Hamilton “pressed us high in the first half” and “we got rattled a little bit”.
He said themessage at half-time was to stay calm and play their own game and he was confident they would “run over them”.
“For some reason we fell into the trap of playing Olympic’s game, a very direct game, in that first half,” Pascoe said.
“Lots of little clip balls into Griffo, lots of things other teams do well but we don’t.
“For us, it’s about getting the ball down and playing, overloading into certain areas and creating that man advantage.”
The Jaffas host Edgeworth on Saturday at Edden Oval from 2.30pm.