Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Sportspics
Gold Coast City winger Benjamin Lyvidikos says confidence is higher than ever amongst the team ahead of Saturday night’s PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Semi-Final against Western Pride.
Runners-up in the league, City host the third-placed Pride at Duncan McKenna Field, with a place in the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Grand Final up for grabs.
The match is City’s third foray into the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Finals Series in five seasons, while Pride will be in uncharted territory after their highest ever league finish.
City closed out the home-and-away season with a pair of defeats – including a loss to Pride – however, Lyvidikos said that their midweek Westfield FFA Cup triumph shows that City are back to their best.
“Winning the FFA Cup game is one of the best feelings we’ve had all season,” he explained.
“All the boys put in that little bit extra to get the win. It was a really great feeling to be out there with the boys and really fight for that win.”
He added, “You always like to get back at the teams that have beaten you and there is no way we are going down without a fight against Pride in the Semi.”
“We are switched on and we are ready. We have come off a good win and we’re going to come out all guns blazing.”
A fleet-footed and fiery attacking weapon, Lyvidikos is one of several players in the City squad recruited by coach Grae Piddick after departing Brisbane Roar’s youth system in recent years.
He said the understanding with fullbacks Jaiden Walker and Matt Schmidt, also part of the Roar youth system, has paid dividends during his time at City.
“Normally I am on the right so I combine really well with Jaiden on that side of the pitch and we really know how each other work."
“But it’s really good having Schmidtty on the ball too because he is quality. He knows how I’m going to run and where to put it.”
“Fullbacks are vital to a team and they will both be extremely important again this weekend.”
Lyvidikos’ contributions have alternated between the bench and the starting line-up this season, but despite limited minutes, he is the club’s third highest goal scorer in the league behind headline-stealing forwards Sam Smith and Jarrod Kyle.
He said the attention that duo commands from opposing defenders could open the door for him to find the back of the net again this weekend.
“I’m always lurking around the box, so let’s see what happens,” he concluded.
Should City prevail in their clash with Pride, they will play the winner of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Semi-Final between Brisbane Strikers and Moreton Bay United in the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Grand Final the following weekend.
PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland 2017 Semi-Final
Gold Coast City FC v Western Pride FC
Saturday, August 26 | 7:00PM
Duncan McKenna Field, Palm Beach
Gold Coast City FC Squad (starting XI TBC): 1. Matt STEIN, 2. Riley DILLON, 3. Oskar DILLON, 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn MCKAY, 8. Harry LIEBKE, 9. Jarrod KYLE, 14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS, 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 18. Jason CAMPBELL, 19. Ethan GRIMLEY, 20. Joshua LANGDON, 21. Sam SMITH, 22. Jaiden WALKER
The match will be LIVE STREAMED by Football Queensland on their official Facebook page