National Youth League: week 2 preview

Week 2 of the National Youth League and plenty of teams and players will be desperate to make their mark on the season.

Sydney FC v Melbourne Heart Leichhardt Oval, Sydney 12pm Saturday

After failing to take maximum points last week in their home opener at the same venue against Adelaide United, Sydney FC will be looking to claim all three points when they host Melbourne Heart, who saw off crosstown rivals Melbourne Victory 2-0 last Sunday.

Sydney did take the lead against the Reds thanks to a 50th-minute goal to Mitchell Mallia but had to settle for a point after conceding an equaliser 17 minutes from time while the Heart began their first NYL campaign with an easy win thanks to goals to Stipo Andrijasevic and sub Zac Walker.

Having played his first game after an injury interrupted pre-season, Heart veteran Rutger Worm will be hoping for a recall to the Hyundai A-League squad but coach John van 't Schip may be keen for him to have another full game in the youth team to build on his fitness.

Gold Coast United v Newcastle Jets Owen Park, Southport 4pm Saturday

Two-time defending National Youth League champions Gold Coast United made a disappointing start to the new campaign last weekend when they failed to capitalise on their opportunities and were beaten 2-0 by the Brisbane Roar.

The Jets meanwhile began their season with a 1-1 draw against the Central Coast Mariners, with Chris Payne's 18th-minute volley not enough to secure the three points as the hosts levelled proceedings 30 minutes before time.

After running away with the league last season, Gold Coast will be eager to open their 2011/12 account on Saturday at Owen Park against the Jets who may be satisfied with another draw in their second successive game on the road.

Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United Cleveland Showgrounds, Cleveland 4pm Saturday

Brisbane Roar will be buoyant after overcoming a slow start to their game against reigning champions Gold Coast United to snatch a 2-0 win courtesy of Brandon Borello's opener against the run of play in the 65th minute and Kenneth Dougall's penalty moments later.

But having picked up a point on the road last weekend in Sydney thanks to Liam Wooding's equaliser with just over a quarter of an hour remaining, Adelaide United won't be overawed at having to travel again this week for the clash at Cleveland Showgrounds.

Three more points would make for a dream start for the home side while the Reds would love to take maximum points themselves but know that if they can at worst secure a draw they will have made a positive start ahead of their home opener against Heart next weekend.

Central Coast Mariners v Perth Glory Pluim Park, Central Coast 11am Sunday

Early league leaders Perth Glory travel to the Central Coast for this Sunday game looking to continue on from where they left off last week in their 3-0 demolition of the Australian Institute of Sport against a Mariners team that managed a point at home to the Jets.

Boosted by another home game as they open the season with four of their first five matches in Gosford, the Mariners will be desperate to take all three points this time after sub Kwabena Appiah-Kubi snatched a draw for them with his equaliser 30 minutes from time.

But taking on the Glory won't be an easy task after their star-studded National Youth League team, boasting names including Mile Sterjovski, Steve Pantelidis, Adam Hughes and Evan Berger, comfortably saw off the AIS through goals to Jesse Makarounas, Adam Taggart and Sterjovski.

AIS v Melbourne Victory AIS Athletics Track, Canberra 3pm Sunday

This game at the AIS Athletics Track in Canberra shapes as an important one for both sides after they were both comfortably beaten first-up last weekend.

The Australian Institute of Sport boys didn't have a happy time of it in their trip to Perth, succumbing 3-0 to the Glory while the Victory lost their Melbourne derby to National Youth League newcomers the Heart 2-0 in Thornbury.

Victory veterans Matthew Kemp and Billy Celeski both turned out for the club's youth team last weekend and could be in for another outing on Sunday as they look to push their cause for a recall.