Bay Olympic look to turn tables against Springs

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When Bay Olympic square up against a quick-witted and pacey Western Springs side on Saturday night, Shane Knowles’ men look to turn the tables after receiving a spanking in the reverse fixture earlier in the year.

Going down by 4-1 in round two of the Lotto NRFL Men’s Premier Division against Springs, Knowles knows this weekend’s task will prove to be no easy task, but a glimmer of hope sparks the Bay Olympic camp, as a turnaround is on the cards, with the side dead-set on attaining a mid-table finish.

“They’re [Western Springs] a solid team, they’ve obviously produced plenty of young products and they’ve got some solid players and Adam Dickinson is scoring goals for fun at the moment.”

Bay Olympic. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

“It’ll be a tough challenge and every team you come across in this league will bring a new challenge, so you can’t play the same way you played Onehunga as you did against Western Springs.”

“I don’t have a crystal ball, so I am not sure where we’ll end up, but we’ll certainly be working hard to get out of the relegation zone as we’re aiming for a mid-table finish, so we’re hoping to start the job this weekend against Springs.”

Coming off the back of a successful national league season with Auckland City FC, midfielder Mario Bilen was welcomed back to Bay Olympic and has made an instant impact.

Starting in all eight matches since returning the side, Bilen has locked in a solid 720 minutes so far this season.

“He’s a loyal person to the club, he adds a huge amount of experience, considering he’s had years in the national league and with that comes a massive amount of calmness on the ball.”

“When you’re coaching a group of young players, everything seems to be rushed and quick and you can lose the ball quite quickly, whereas, Mario has that calming influence of relaxing everything down and playing at a tempo that we require.”

“He just dictates play quite a lot, he just has the x-factor, which can be infectious if you get the right mix of players around him on the park, but overall, he’s a very valuable player to us, he adds a huge amount.”

The match is set to kick off at 5:15pm at Seddon Fields on Saturday.

Other Lotto NRFL Men’s Premier Division Fixtures: 
Glenfield Rovers v Three Kings United – McFetridge Park, 3pm
Eastern Suburbs v East Coast Bays – Madills Farm, 3pm
Waitakere City v Birkenhead United – Fred Taylor Park, 3pm

Postponed Fixtures (Due to Chatham Cup):
Onehunga Sports v Manukau United
Central United v Hamilton Wanderers

Lotto NRFL Men’s Premier Division Table: