Sunday, April 7, 2013

Canberra FC back on track

Canberra FC has well and truly shed the demons of a season ago to emerge as a serious contender to return to the top of ACT football.

A year after a tumultuous campaign that included sacking their coach mid-season and scraping into the finals, Canberra FC is a perfect four from four after Sunday's 9-0 thumping of lowly Woden Valley at Deakin Stadium.

Canberra FC captain Aiden Brunskill is optimistic about his side's chances of once again becoming a force in the competition.

"We don't take anything for granted because we started last season pretty well then it was about this time we started losing and drawing games,'' he said.

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"Woden was one of the teams we slipped up twice last year and it cost us dearly, so we made sure we were focused on not letting that happen again.

"We've got a young team that is really skilful, so we're confident we can go all the way, but it's only early days.''

Miro Trninic took over the coaching duties midway through last season when Robbie Graham was removed from the job after an embarrassing 2-1 loss to Monaro.

Canberra FC finished third in the league championship and were eliminated in the preliminary final, a below par result for the most successful club in the ACT, with 10 of 11 league titles from 2001-2011.

James Field got the goal spree going with a cracking 20-metre strike in the 17th minute in the top right-hand corner.

From there it was a procession, as Woden goalkeeper Evan Alexandrow-Ridley had little respite as the shots fired in at regular intervals.

Ivan Pavlak and Alex Oloriegbe both got doubles, while Brunskill scored a rare goal after several chances in the Woden six-yard box.

"I don't score any pretty goals, that's about as good as it gets,'' Brunskill said.

"I'm just happy to get one, I take any goal I get.''

Woden was expected to pose tougher competition given its 1-0 upset of reigning grand final winners Cooma Tigers on Tuesday night.

Tuggeranong United will also be in a dogfight at the bottom of the ladder after a 4-2 loss to an impressive Monaro Panthers.

Meanwhile, an injury-time strike from Mark Shields maintained Canberra Olympic's perfect start to the season in its 2-1 win against a gutsy Canberra City, while the Tigers beat Belconnen United 2-1 on Saturday.

Olympic and Canberra FC are equal leaders with 12 points each.

Canberra United star Ashleigh Sykes fired home four goals as Canberra Olympic got its women's Premier League campaign off to a perfect start.

Olympic thrashed Tuggeranong United 6-1, with Sykes showing the class which saw her have an impressive W-League season.

In Sunday's other opening round games, reigning league champions Belconnen United thrashed ANU 5-0, Monaro Panthers hammered Woden Valley 5-1 and Weston-Molonglo enjoyed a 5-0 win against Canberra FC in the joint venture's inaugural game.


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