Rosellas defence placed on alert

FRATERNITY CUP 

After dispelling any pre-season jitters in their opening Fraternity Cup clash, Bellambi continue their return to the Premier League against Wollongong Olympic tomorrow.

The Rosellas drew 2-2 with Wollongong United and have another tough assignment at Tarrawanna Oval.

Their round-two opponents, Olympic, caned Woonona 4-1 in the opening week, showing the same red-hot form that saw them score 59 goals last season.

Bellambi coach Greg Smart believes his defensive line will need to be on high alert.

"They looked very sharp. Their final third is very good so we will have to be on our toes at the back," Smart said.

"Our structure this year is to try and limit the balls getting to their forwards, so if we can try and do that we will be in with half a chance."

Bellambi's defence got their first real taste of the match speed of the Premier League last weekend and Smart plans on using those experiences as a base for the coming games.

"I think they look pretty strong, Olympic, but the key to it is that we have to be consistent every week now. We have set the bar, now we expect to play that kind of football week in, week out," Smart said.

While consistent performances in Illawarra's top flight will come in time, the gaffer maintains the Fraternity Cup gives the Rosellas a chance to adjust in other areas.

"We were in the District League for a while, so this is all a new learning curve for us, learning the new teams in Premier League," Smart said.

"We knew the District League sides inside out, now in the Premier League we don't know much about them.

"That is the key to it all, learning these new teams, and in the process they are learning about us as well.

"It is a good guide and a good hit out to see what these teams are all about."

In the earlier match Tarrawanna and Fernhill go head-to-head in search of their first victories, while Woonona meet Wollongong United in the late fixture.

Elsewhere at Wetherall Park, Bulli meet South Coast United, with both sides aiming to keep undefeated records.

Later, Albion Park White Eagles take on Dapto Dandaloo Fury as defending league champions Port Kembla play Cringila Lions.

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