United show touch of class
NEW A-League football club, Gold Coast United, want to make an exhibition game against Byron Bay Rams an annual pre-season fixture following the major success of Sunday's inaugural game at the Recreation Ground.
Rams coach, Peter Ware, said Gold Coast officials were delighted with the huge crowd that turned out and the organisation of the day which as well as the match, also featured coaching clinics involving scores of regional junior players.
Before the game, Gold Coast players signed autographs for the young players, with Socceroo, Jason Culina, a popular target.
While Culina didn't play in the match, United's assistant coach and former Socceroo, Paul Okon, did field a classy side, bringing on Socceroo Adam Griffiths late in the game.
The A-League newcomers finished the game 5-1 winners, but the Rams never gave up and were down only 2-1 with 15 minutes to go.
Coach Ware said his players put in a 'fantastic' performance.
“Our boys ran themselves into the ground,” he said. “It was a class above them, but they loved the challenge. We were just run off our legs.
“Their (United) fitness and skill levels were far superior.”
United went to the half-time break leading 2-nil, but it could easily have been 2-1 with Ben Casagrande putting his shot from a defensive error just over the bar.
In the second half, Rams striker, Jordy Campbell, who had a strong game, put one into the back of the net to make it 2-1.
But it didn't take long for United to hit back and make the game safe.
Rams officials deserve high praise for putting on a well-organised day at very short notice.