Suns continue to shine

by Mark Robinson

COMPLACENCY could be the biggest threat to the in-form North Coast Suns when they host Redlands United in the fifth round of the Summer Soccer Youth League at Crozier Field, Lismore, from 5pm today.

After three good wins on the trot, the second-placed Suns are eyeing a semi-final spot and should be relatively untroubled against United, which is last on the league ladder.

While the Suns will be the obvious favourites, it will be only their second game on home soil and the weight of expectation to perform in front of their home crowd could mean some early nerves.

Coach Jonathan Harlen expects a few changes with holding midfielder Daniel Morrow suspended and several others with niggling injuries.

"Joel Rudgley or Jack Williamson will probably take Daniel's place and we'll leave Tom Ruhl up front with Tom Guttormsen after they combined well last week," Harlen said.

"Self-belief is high and we're a very confident team at the moment; our intensity levels are good during games and the boys are very focused at training, so our only enemy is complacency."

The North Coast Flames face the ultimate challenge in the Women's Summer Soccer League today when take on the un-defeated competition leaders Brisbane Lions at Peninsula Power's home grounds at Kippering from 3pm.

While the girls are still buzzing after their well-earned 3-all draw with The Gap last week, the Lions present an even tougher prospect and after a disrupted week of training, the Flames will need to rekindle the intensity and commitment they displayed against The Gap.

"The Lions are not just fast and fit, they're also a very big, physical side and this is certainly our biggest test," Flames coach Brendan Logan said.

To counter the Lions' size, the Flames will look to push the ball wide where flankers Teoni Rushton and Amanda Brett will play crucial roles.

Defensive midfielder Gypsy Hectl will also play an important role and is sure to be in for a busy game, but she is in good form and could help defuse the Lions' attack.

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