The NZ King Salmon Nelson Falcons will be hoping their second and final bye of NZ Football's ASB Youth League this weekend is preparing them for a big run home over the final three rounds.
Heading into round seven this weekend, the Falcons, including Marlborough players Tore Waechter, Omar Guardiola and Taine Swete, have seven points and sit fourth out of five teams in the Southern Conference standings.
Canterbury United, who a 10-man Falcons outfit went down 2-1 to in Christchurch last weekend, lead on 10 points. Team Wellington, who have a game in hand, and Otago United are one back on nine points, followed by the Falcons and last-placed Youngheart Manawatu, who are yet to get on the board.
Falcons' run home consists of away matches against Manawatu and Otago, which doubles as the curtain-raiser to the Wellington Phoenix's match at Forsyth Barr Stadium, and a final home match against Team Wellington.
Given Manawatu sit at the bottom of the ladder and Falcons handed them an 8-0 drubbing when the two sides met at Trafalgar Park in round two, the Nelson side will be optimistic about coming off the bye and collecting the maximum three points.
However, only the top team from either conference qualifies for the March 17 grand final and if they are to keep their hopes of reaching that final alive wins against Otago and Wellington are also a must.
- The Marlborough Express