EXCLUSIVE: After his two strikes sunk Sydney Olympic, Manly United coach Phil Moss says he’s resigned to losing his star striker Robbie Cattanach to the A-League.
“He’s a special talent, he really is and I’d be stunned if he was playing for in the NSW premier league next season,” Moss told au.fourfourtwo.com after his side defeated Olympic 2-1 to cement their spot at the top of the NSW Premier League.
“He’s too good for this league. What level he’ll end up only time will tell but he’s been a fantastic player for us and hopefully Catt stays a Manly United player for life. But I can’t see that happening.”
With Mariners’ staff coach Alex Tobin watching on, Cattanach, 23, did his A-League hopes no harm with two classy finishes to dash Olympic’s hopes. All the more creditable considering the goal sneak has been out of action for a couple of weeks with a knee ligament complaint.
Cattanach’s first strike, right on half-time, was a classic poacher’s finish. He picked up a loose back pass on the edge of the Blues box and nipped in front of Olympic keeper Michael Herbert before coolly rounding him and slotting home.
Olympic's best moment of the game thus far came early in the second half when the impressive Nathan Sherlock hit the bar with a sweet strike.
Manly rode their luck shortly after when Olympic hit the post but it looked like Olympic’s hard-working midfield star Peter Zorbas had rescued a point with a late goal.
However, Cattanach struck in the shadows of the final whistle to win the game. His superbly taken free kick from 25m out rocketed past Herbert to condemn a lively Olympic to a home defeat and seventh place on the ladder.
Manly proved why they are ladder leading with a masterclass in defensive organisation, hard work in midfield and intelligent counter-attack football on a windy night at Belmore. Moss was a satisfied man after the match.
“It’s good to have Catt back, he’s a proven goalscorer. The boy’s had to battle really hard against that wind away from home, and Olympic are a very good side who continually ask questions, but the character tonight was unbelievable,” he added.
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