MATCH PREVIEW | Essendon Royals look to start second half of season in style against Altona City

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With half the season behind them, the Essendon Royals are looking ahead to the second round of Men’s State League 1 North-West fixtures with renewed vigour and confidence.

The 2019 season got off to a slow start for the Royals, but a relative upturn in form in recent weeks has helped to provide a slightly sunnier outlook for the club.

With a return to Cross Keys reserve pending, the Royals have plenty to be excited about for the remainder of the season.

Before that, though, the Royals welcome round one opponent Altona City to Ormond Park this Saturday with revenge well and truly on their mind.

City took a 1-0 win from the Royals visit in round one, but both sides have experienced mixed fortunes since then.

Altona has picked up impressive victories against the likes of North Sunshine Eagles and sit in fourth on the table, but recent losses to Clifton Hill FC and Yarraville Glory FC - two of the three teams the Royals have beaten in recent weeks - suggest there is plenty to play for Vaughan Coveny’s men.

Looking ahead to the game and the second half of the season, Coveny made no secrets of the fact that his team would need to improve defensively, but was happy to see a greater level of intensity at training over recent weeks.

“We always expect a tough/physical encounter against Altona City,” he said.

“They’re always a difficult team to break down and are hard to beat.

“The boys have been working hard all week which is a good sign with no particular focus but ensuring the intensity and standards are high.”

“Narrow losses are never good but if we defensively tighten up and are clinical at the other end we can eventually get better results.”

A win could see the Royals move up to as high as sixth on the table, pending other results.

In the Reserve, Emmet Sheehan’s men are looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing 3-0 loss to North Sunshine.

Altona’s reserves suffered an identical loss to Yarraville FC last week.

A win this week could see the Royals jump into fourth on the ladder.

Reserves kick-off at 12.45 pm at Ormond Park.

Seniors kick-off at 3.00 pm at Ormond Park.

Get down to the home of the Royals and support the boys as they look to kick off the second half of the season in style!

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