Olympic’s Philippe Bernabo-Madrid finds his way around Woden’s Christopher McEwan. Photo: Rohan ThomsonFFA Centre of Excellence coach Tony Vidmar insists his side won’t be motivated by the chance to spoil Canberra Olympic’s Premier League title hopes when they clash on Saturday.
Olympic can seal the regular season league title if they beat the Centre of Excellence in the final round of the Capital Football Premier League campaign.
Olympic are level with Tigers FC on 42 points, but can leap ahead given they’ve got a game in hand.
The Centre of Excellence are fifth and will miss the play-offs, but can finish their season on a high and shake up the finals campaign for the top four.
Vidmar said the FFA development team was only focused on winning, not crushing Olympic’s championship hopes.
“Our plan is to go out there and play the game as if it’s any other game through the competition,” Vidmar said.
“We’ll go out there to win the game as normal and to play how we should be playing. It’ll be our last game so I think the players owe it to themselves to put in a good performance.
“Even though there’s something riding on the game for Olympic we’re going to go out there and focus on ourselves.”
Tigers FC are ranked higher than Olympic on goal difference, despite winning one less game during the regular season.
Olympic are also finalising their preparations for an FFA Cup clash against Redlands United on Wednesday night.
“We’ll just worry about ourselves. It worked for us previously and we’ll just stick with that,” said Olympic coach Frank Cachia.
Cachia said multiple do-or-die fixtures will benefit his team in the match against the Centre of Excellence.
“This year, with the FFA Cup and the Federation Cup, we’ve had to win every game,” Cachia said..
“It’s definitely one of those things where the pressure’s on and we’ve risen to the occasion a few times now so I think we’re getting acclimatised to it a little bit.
“We’ve brought that [do-or-die] mentality into the club now and the boys are proud of their record so they’ll be looking to maintain it.
“We’re not going to approach [the game against the Centre of Excellence] trying to avoid a loss, we’re going to still go out there and try to play our game and do our best to get a result.
“We’re in a position where we obviously want to get three points and put ourselves on the top of the table when it counts.”
“Whoever misses out – either us or Cooma – will feel a bit stiff to miss out. Whoever wins it will deserve it and whoever doesn’t get it will look back at the season and think ‘how did we not win the premiership’.”
Meanwhile, in other games Belconnen look to solidify third spot on the ladder when they host Woden Weston FC and Canberra FC will do their best to leap frog the Blue Devils by beating Gungahlin United on Sunday afternoon.
The home and away season finishes on Wednesday when Tuggeranong United play Vidmar’s Centre of Excellence.
CAPITAL FOOTBALL PREMIER LEAGUE
Saturday: Canberra Olympic v FFA Centre of Excellence at AIS Grass Fields, 3pm; Belconnen United v Woden Weston FC at McKellar Park, 5:30pm
Sunday: Canberra FC v Gungahlin United at Deakin Stadium, Tuggeranong United v Monaro Panthers at Kambah 2-1. Both games at 3pm.
Wednesday: Tuggeranong United v FFA Centre of Excellence at AIS Grass Fields, 7pm.
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