Experienced Western Pride defender Cam Crestani is eager to return this weekend after two weeks on the sidelines.
Experienced Western Pride defender Cam Crestani is eager to return this weekend after two weeks on the sidelines. Chris Simpson

Classy Cam's 'good to go' after U20 tune-up

FOOTBALL: Having helped Western Pride's under-20s consolidate second spot, Cam Crestani is back for another important role on Saturday night.

Pride's most experienced defender returns to the National Premier Leagues senior competition eager to beat Brisbane City.

A victory at Newmarket on Saturday night will keep third-placed Pride in the hunt to secure second spot for the finals starting next weekend.

However, Pride also need Olympic to lose to North Queensland on Sunday afternoon to retain their hopes of hosting a home semi-final.

Lions have top spot locked up with 66 points, ahead of Olympic (59), Pride (57) and Moreton Bay (52).

Former Brisbane Roar A-League player Crestani missed Pride's past two state league matches clearing his accumulation of yellow cards.

However, he enjoyed having a run in Pride's under-20 side on Monday night to sharpen up for Saturday night's game.

The Pride 20s beat Redlands United 4-0 to hold onto second spot preparing for Saturday afternoon's 5pm clash with Brisbane City at Newmarket.

They also need to win to hold out third-placed Brisbane Roar, who are just a point behind in their competition.

"The under 20s, playing with them on Monday night, they are more than capable of playing senior football,'' Crestani said.

"I have no doubt their opportunity will come, especially if they stay at our club because they are promoting all the young boys and there's definitely quality there.

"They are a good bunch of boys and keen to keep learning their football.''

Crestani is back in Pride's top side defensive line tonight along with Will McFarlane and Jacob Minett, who have also cleared their cards heading into the finals.

"I'm all good to go again,'' Crestani said.

"We've got everyone back except for Maxie (injured goalkeeper Max Davison).

"So we've just got to try and find some form running into the finals.''

With the Olympic result out of Pride's control, Crestani said "all we can do is perform on Saturday night.

"We know we are playing Olympic either way (in the semi-final),'' he said.

He rated Brisbane City "a decent side with a few younger boys with a bit of energy'' and "a quality coach (former Socceroo John Kosmina).''

However, he expected his side to respond to the latest challenge.

"The feeling is we have to work hard as a team and just stay composed,'' Crestani said.

Preparing for the crucial game leading into the playoffs, Crestani backed fill-in head coach Reg Davani.

"Reggie is coaching in his own way. He's got his own way to do stuff as all coaches do,'' Crestani said. "And he's still getting the best out of all his players regardless of Graham (former head coach Graham Harvey) leaving and stuff.

"We've had a pretty up and down season off the field . . . and he's the right person to steady the ship.

"I've got nothing but good things to say for Reggie.''

Western Pride's under-18 side have also secured a spot in the finals.

Currently in third, the Pride youth side can sneak into second if they beat competition leaders Brisbane City in Saturday's 3pm game at Newmarket, and other results go their way.