United’s big test

Ashley Webster has been among the goals this season. (Shawn Smits) 206070_06

Tara Murray

Strong defence is proving the catalyst for Sunbury United’s strong start in the FV state league 3 north-west competition this season.

Sunbury has kept a clean sheet five times in their first eight games, which has resulted in six wins and the side sitting second.

This has come despite a number of injuries and illness, which has left the side with the bare minimum of players at times.

President Greg Czapnik said that they were tracking along nicely. He said the two games that they had lost, were ones that they should have won, including against top side Westvale in round one.

“We’ve had a bit of adversity as all teams go through,” he said. “We seem to be going quite well though.

“We’ve won six games and in five of them we’ve had clean sheets which shows a team in form.

“Winning is good and it’s what it’s about, and everyone seems happy.”

Czapnik said the side’s depth had been tested with the number of outs they’ve had in recent weeks.

Damian Rastocic returned on the weekend after a shoulder injury, but wasn’t 100 per cent fit.

Matthew Campelj is currently in a moon boot, while Ryan Davies is out for the year.

Rakan Flifel is hopefully back this week, while Tony Stalevski is set to hang up the boots after struggling to get his body right.

“Everyone is going through it,” Czapnik said. “When we played Moonee Ponds we barely got the 11 on the park. We only had two fit players on the bench.

“Unfortunately it’s what you have to go through. We started the season with 23 now slimmed down to 18 and then you get injuries.”

Czapnik said they would potentially look to add a couple of players before during the transfer window closed, but they had to be the right people.

They have already signed Costa Mesourouni, from Heidelberg Eagles. He made his debut coming off the bench in their most recent match.

Sunbury are set to face Western Eagles on Saturday night. He said the Eagles had been one of the favourites heading into the season, but had struggled with injuries.

Czapnik said the next four matches would tell them where they are really at this season.

“We’ve only three weeks until the halfway mark and then we play Westvale [the top side]. It will tell us a lot.

“If we can win the next three and beat Westvale, we will be right up there pushing for top spot.”