Bulli out to keep title run on target

Bulli first grader Guy Knight takes a break at club training on Thursday night to chat to youth grade's Djordje Uzelac. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Bulli first grader Guy Knight takes a break at club training on Thursday night to chat to youth grade's Djordje Uzelac. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

ILLAWARRA PREMIER LEAGUE

Runners-up in the past two seasons, Bulli can take a huge step towards shedding the perennial bridesmaid's tag when they face Dapto Dandaloo Fury on Saturday.

The Northern Suburbs club is top of the league but lead the Fury by just one point with five matches remaining after this weekend's battle.

A win on Saturday would give Bulli some breathing room on their rivals ahead of a difficult run home featuring matches against several finals contenders.

Coach Ben Smith said a win on Saturday would be "a big step" towards claiming the elusive League Championship title.

He was preparing his troops for a mammoth duel against a star-studded Fury line-up.

"There are obviously a few guys that we need to keep a special eye on," Smith said.

"Their experienced guys like Noel Spencer and [Matt] Ceccoli have done really well this year and Sam Munro is back and scoring lots of goals.

"They have got good players all over the park but those guys have been scoring some goals."

Bulli's last loss in the league came in a see-sawing 3-2 defeat against the Fury close to three months ago.

Since then Smith's men have won 10 games and drawn one in a stretch dating back to the first week of May.

Their success has coincided with the scintillating form of the club's youth grade squad, who claimed the Youth Cup earlier this month and are 10 points clear at the top of the competition.

Smith believes the super form in both grades has assisted the teams in their journeys to the top of their competitions.

"When one team is doing well the other one wants to do as well," he said.

"It isn't something we talk about but probably subconsciously both teams are aware of it.

"It is just a great thing for the club. The youthies are doing sensationally well."

Bulli haven't been shy in using the strength of their youth-grade squad in a memorable period for the club.

"We have had a few guys come into the squad the last year or two and done really well and had a few guys get some first-grade experience from the youth team this season," Smith said.

"It is important for the future of the club and for those guys."

In other matches, Wollongong Olympic will attempt to arrest their stuttering season when they travel to Cringila.

Albion Park host Fernhill, Port Kembla play Woonona and Tarrawanna meet Bellambi.

On Sunday, Wollongong United can keep the pressure on the top two with a win against South Coast United.

Round 17

Saturday, 2.30pm

Bulli v Dapto Dandaloo Fury, Balls Paddock

Albion Park White Eagles v Fernhill, Terry Reserve

Tarrawanna v Bellambi, Tarrawanna Oval

Port Kembla v Woonona, Wetherall Park

Cringila Lions v Wollongong Olympic, Crehan Park

Sunday, 2.30pm

South Coast United v Wollongong United, Ian McLennan Park

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