Our Own Zenith coach Sanoj Abdu says their win over Modernite has given them the confidence they can go all the way in the Under-14 ADIB NSL, but is wary of the threat posed by DPS Sharjah.
Zenith made everyone stand up and take notice in last month’s semi-final after ending two-time U-13 champions’ Modernite’s dominance. The thrilling two-run victory was the first defeat in 20 games for Modernite, paving the way for a new team to lift the trophy on Saturday.
It was the fifth consecutive victory for Sharjah-based Zenith this term and Abdu says the morale in the camp is high.
“That win was big for us because they (Modernite) thought they could win,” he said.
“The confidence is sky high at the moment, even during training. For sure, that will carry into the final and it has now given them the belief they can win.”
Aayan Khan was the star of the show in that game, taking 2-14 and 25 and Abdu believes he will be crucial, as well as in-form skipper and all-rounder Shoun Roger.
“They are both in good form, but as a team we must believe together and play together,” he said.
“DPS’ spinners are very good and we have to be careful of that.”
Last season’s U-13 runners-up DPS travel to Sharjah Cricket Stadium with a 100 per cent record, including a victory over Zenith this term in the group stage.
But coach Ayub Iqbal says that triumph is history and his players must concentrate on the test on Saturday.
“We will treat this game as another ordinary game,” he said.
“The players must not think it’s a final, they just need to play their game and do their best,” added Iqbal, whose side will be led by Nihil Ratesar, who sits second in the runs chart in the knockout stage with 58 runs.
“The boys have been practising hard and we want to end the tournament on a positive note.”
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