13/04/2024

Macarthur's Jake Hollman competing for the ball against Modbury's Michael Doyle (Image: Ken Carter)

Dwight Yorke’s Macarthur progressed in the Australia Cup after a win against the Modbury Jets, but he was most pleased to see his side succeed despite not starting the game off particularly well.

A cold and rainy night at Gepps Cross may have affected most of the 1,080 people that showed up to watch the Modbury Jets take on Macarthur, but Yorke is not only accustomed to it, but as a successful forward in his playing days, he thrives off it.

“The weather was great. For me, I think it is perfect when the weather is like that, especially if you are an attacking player, the ball is coming off the surface quite a lot and you can get past defenders in various ways,” Yorked said post-match.

“I can enjoy this type of weather, I am not sure if the Aussie boys enjoyed it but I do and it makes me feel like I am back in Manchester.”

Macarthur defender Matthew Millar taking a throw-in on a rainy Wednesday Night at Service FM Stadium (Image: Adam Butler/80Kms)

Despite the local opposition finding itself in the second division of South Australia, albeit recently securing promotion, The Bulls took some time to get going, affording the hosts big chances in the opening ten minutes. Yorke’s side may have run out four-goal winners, but the Jets would have felt hard done by the final score.

“Modbury was outstanding from the start and we needed to get a grip on the game. We are still early into the process of this team in terms of getting to know the personnel three and a bit weeks in so this was a bit of a learning curve for us. Nevertheless, we got through to the next round which was our main aim,” Yorke reflected.

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Despite Yorke being visibly agitated at the beginning of the encounter regarding his side’s ball movement, moments like Macarthur’s first goal, which saw the Bulls absorb pressure and in turn hit back with a lighting-quick counter, please Yorke early in his professional reign as coach.

Yorke wants his side to be respected by the opposition as a tough side to win. He is doing that reputation no harm, albeit facing inferior opposition, the Bulls scoring ten times in two games while not conceding a single goal.

“My team has shown some character in that sense today, but getting that first goal certainly helped us settle down a little bit better,” Yorke said.

“Teams are going to come at us and you’ve got to be resilient and fight to win a football match. Then teams won’t go light against us, they’ll have to understand that when you come to play, you’ve got to earn the right to win, it is something I stress in the dressing room when I do our team talk.”

Al Hassan Toure, Macarthur’s first scorer has had a tough time scoring consistently since getting injured during his time at Adelaide United. Yorke hailed the young forward’s work ethic and is glad to see it bearing fruits with three goals in two games.

“I am delighted for him, he has been working extremely hard and you can see he is growing in confidence having scored three goals in two matches. I think any striker would be delighted and I am very happy with his progress, he is a person that can be a very important player for us,” he said.

Meanwhile, Daniel Arzani showcased his quality in the middle of the park, effortlessly beating Modbury’s press and picking out teammates in good positions throughout the evening.

“We are lucky to have someone of his quality and experience,” Yorke remarked.

“We are working on his fitness, he has not been with us very long so he is still a bit short on that but his contribution tonight shows he is a huge player for us that can be very compelling. We are excited to have him on board and it is my duty to try and get the best out of him which I am sure we will.”

Daniel Arzani effortlessly glid past Modbury players during his side’s Australia Cup match at Service FM Stadium (Image: Adam Butler/80Kms)

Despite never playing in the Australia Cup himself, Yorke understands the importance of the competition, not just in terms of silverware but for pre-season preparations during the infamously long Australian football off-season.

“It means a lot and we certainly want to try and get as far as possible,” Yorke commented in regards to the Australia Cup.

“It certainly gives you momentum because the season is a little bit unusual to what I am used to. So these games are really important in terms of the progress and in terms of getting ready and prepared so it is good for us to advance to the quarter-finals.”

It is only early days, and the luck has been on its side, but Macarthur looks like a real handful for any side drawn against it. Reaching the quarter-finals, Dwight Yorke is only a couple of strong performances away from fighting for silverware very early in his stint as Macarthur’s head coach, with his side undoubtedly “earning the right to win” so far.

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