Canberra United’s first ever Foxtel Y-League win came in a road victory against the Central Coast Mariners last season, and captain Antoni Timotheou is keen to have history repeat as the side heads to Gosford this weekend.
United are yet to win a game this season despite coming close on a number of occasions, including in round one against the Mariners.
Dean Ugrinic’s side held the lead for much of that game before going down to two late goals and Timotheou said this week that the performance in that outing has given the side confidence heading into Saturday.
“More than any other game we are a bit more confident because of how we performed in that that game,” he said.
“We led for much of the game and the Mariners’ two late goals were disappointing but it showed straight away that we could compete and we should have been up by more.
“But now that we have had that showing we know anything can happen here, and if there’s a game to win it is this one.”
The 20-year old midfielder netted the late winner in Gosford last season after Lachlan Griffiths’ earlier goal had been cancelled out and said the fixture holds a bit more weight for him.
“The fact that our only win last season was in this same fixture means a lot to the boys who were in the squad then, and we’d like to replicate that.
“For Lachie and I it’s particularly special as we scored our first NYL goals in that game, so it’s a big clash, everyone has been hungry for it at training and we can’t wait to get on the pitch in Gosford.”
At its heart the Foxtel Y-League is a development league for some of Australia’s most talented footballers, and Ugrinic touched on that earlier in the season as he praised the improvement of some of his players through the first part of the campaign.
Timotheou echoed that sentiment this week, saying that the added responsibility of captaincy has helped him improve both on and off the park.
“We have improved in every game in at least one aspect,” he said.
“But collectively in training we look better and fitter every session, so it is now about translating what we do in training sessions, video sessions and in recovery to games and getting the three points we have deserved a few times so far.”
“It was a bit of a surprise that Dean made me captain, I did think it might have been given to one of the overage boys.”
“But I took it on with open arms and Dean and I have discussed how we want to lead the team, and the core values we want to see in the side even if we are losing or not playing well.
“I’m only 20 and this is my first proper captaincy stint outside of the NPL, and while it has been a learning experience, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s developed my maturity and leadership, especially off the park with the young guys in their first season.”
Timotheou and his teammates will take on the Mariners at the Central Coast Centre of Excellence on Saturday, with the match set to kick off at 10:30am.