La Fiamma prepare to face Northern City as they look to get out of ‘mid-season blues’
Ugle Fabrications La Fiamma will be looking to turn their recent form around as they take on Northern City FC this weekend.
After a promising start to the season where they were well in a promotion fight, they have taken just four points from their last five games to see them drop down to sixth spot, eight points behind second place.
They let an opportunity get away last weekend, after taking a two-one lead they couldn’t keep up the intensity and were held to a three-all draw against Noranda FC.
It is the second time they have let points slip against Noranda after giving up a three-one lead earlier in the season in a four-all draw.
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With seven rounds left the task for promotion is looking increasingly steep but the Reds will still be wanting to finish 2022 strong in what has been one of their better seasons in recent years.
This week they face Northern City FC who they had an emphatic four-nil win over in the reverse fixture.
La Fiamma President Mark Gray said the team has been struggling with consistency.
“There’s been some really poor weather lately and we probably haven’t had the numbers at training that we would like,” he said.
“We don’t seem to be having trouble scoring goals but we seem to be conceding them just as easily.
“We lack that elder maestro to marshall the team and be the one barking orders and firing the boys up.”
Gray said it was not uncommon for the team to fall away in the latter part of the season.
“You could call it mid-season blues, work commitments, weather and injuries tend to build up and it starts to eat away at the squad,” he said.
“We had a great start to the season but then a couple losses came and I think that might just be playing in the back of some of the boys minds.
“A few of the performances just seem like the boys are a little bit flat.”
The Reds face travel challenges like no other team being the only country team to play in the metro division.
They have perhaps the most gruelling time-slot of all this weekend at 3pm Sunday meaning a late arrival back in Geraldton Sunday night.
Gray said it was definitely less than ideal.
“At the end of the day it’s our choice to play down there but it is very difficult,” he said.
“Hats off to the boys to make that commitment.”
Despite the dip in form Gray is still positive about the squad with plenty of potential still to be uncovered.
“It’s been good to get the young guys learning new plays and they are getting some really good experience,” he said.
“We still love being a part of the competition despite the challenges, matches are always difficult to read and provide a good level of play and you really see players grow with each season.”
There is some conjecture about whether the match will go ahead this weekend after Northern City were involved in an incident with Sutherlands FC in their round 14 clash in which a fight broke out with some involved allegedly brandishing machetes but at this stage, the match is going ahead as scheduled.
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