James to focus on Wolves ahead of A-League decider

James Baldacchino's focus is on Saturday's match between Wolves and Manly. Picture: ADAM McLEAN
James Baldacchino's focus is on Saturday's match between Wolves and Manly. Picture: ADAM McLEAN


In line for a starting spot with the Wolves, Western Sydney Wanderers youth player James Baldacchino's focus is on resurrecting South Coast's season before he turns his attention to the A-League grand final on Sunday.

The Wolves meet Manly United at WIN Stadium on Saturday but Baldacchino will have the fate of senior members of his other club in the back of his mind.

He played for the Wanderers National Youth League team throughout last season and will be every bit a red-and-black when Western Sydney take the field at Suncorp.

"I saw a couple of boys at the presentation night on Tuesday and it was a different vibe," he said.

"They were all pumped for the big game and are all hurting from last season so they have something to bite back at.

"I have a good vibe and with Uno leaving it will be such a big occasion.

"All of us are at one club and we are very happy with what we have achieved this year."

While his Wanderers' teammates will battle for their first A-League title, Baldacchino will be a likely starter in Wollongong on Saturday with regular centre back and skipper Jacob Timpano sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The young defender stepped up in the second half last week against Blacktown and put on an assured display against one of the league's best attacks.

But while he was happy to fill the void, he accepts a fulltime starting role may still be some way off.

"Timpano and Robbo [Michael Robinson] are both quality players and experienced so I have to wait my time, I am only young," Baldacchino said.

"It is no one's fault for the opportunity so I will hopefully go all out and give it a go."

"Hopefully the spot is up for grabs. If I get a chance I will be grateful for the opportunity."

Saturday's match with United - rescheduled to avoid a clash with the A-League title decider - is the first of four crucial fixtures for the Wolves.

The club is at the bottom of the ladder but play all four teams just above them in coming weeks.

Baldacchino said it was a perfect time for the club to turn the season around.

"We've set goals. We have to try and achieve them," he said.


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