MATCH PREVIEW | Essendon Royals sharp in training ahead of Lara United test

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Essendon Royals face the prospect of securing promotion to the State League 1 North-West division on Sunday, but first, they need to overcome a goal-friendly Lara United.

Despite sitting in the seventh position on the ladder, Lara boasts one of State League 2 North-West’s most potent attacks with 53 goals and will no doubt be out to spoil Essendon’s promotion roadshow this Sunday.

The Royals are anything but goal-shy themselves, having scored 59 goals this season and coach Johno Clemente was proud to report that training has been exceptional in the lead-up to another important match.

“We have trained the best we have in a few weeks and I feel we arere extremely prepared to deal with Lara’s quality attack this week,” Clemente said.

But even with the prospect of promotion so close for the Royals, Clemente is refusing to let his team’s season be defined by promotion alone.

“We should all look at the last two games as a celebration of the season,” he said 

“I won’t let an extra three points decide if the season has been a success or a failure, it’s been an incredible season and not winning the next two games won’t change that.”

Clemente’s team have been served well by the coach’s cool and calm approach to the club’s potential promotion this season, and the players will know that a win on Sunday would mean only a disaster of unprecedented size could rob the Royals of their promotion.

Essendon head into the weekend’s fixtures with a three-point lead over third-placed Hume City, who take on bottom-placed Maribyrnong Swifts.

A win for the Royals would see them maintain at least a three-point lead over Hume and what should remain a sizeable goal-difference advantage, which will decide the final finishing places should the two sides finish on equal points.

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