Even contest looms in Parramatta

Brisbane Roar defender Jade North believes Friday’s Hyundai A-League Semi-Final against Western Sydney Wanderers will be an evenly matched contest, despite the difference in form between the two sides across the whole season.

Brisbane Roar defender Jade North believes Friday-s Hyundai A-League Semi-Final against Western Sydney Wanderers will be an evenly matched contest, despite the difference in form between the two sides across the whole season.

The Wanderers surprised many by finishing top of the competition ladder in their debut season while two-time defending Champions the Roar snuck into the finals series win with a final round win over Sydney FC.

Brisbane beat third-placed Adelaide United in last week-s Elimination Final, earning the right to fight the Premier-s Plate winners - who had a week-s break between matches - for a place in the Hyundai A-League-s 2013 decider.

There have been discussions in football circles on whether the lack of big game experience would prove to be Western Sydney-s Achilles- heel but North said it was the same for both teams.

“[Adam] D-Appuzzo, Bridgey [Mark Bridge], [Labinot] Haliti, [Ante] Covic - they-ve got some great experience in finals too,” said North, who captained Newcastle Jets to Championship glory five seasons ago.

“There are three Grand Final winners from my team back in 2008 right there.

“We-re probably in the same boat as well when you look at boys like Brattsy [Luke Brattan], [James] Donachie - they haven-t got a lot of finals experience either.

“I think it-s fairly balanced for both teams.”

North also pointed out the strong focus of team unity at both clubs.

“You can-t single out one player, they work hard as a team and I think that-s what we-ve got at the moment too,” he said.

“The last six, seven, eight weeks or however long it-s been, we-ve come together as a team since Mike [Mulvey] came on board.

“He-s brought that belief back in.

“That-s what they-ve had and that-s what we-ve got so that-s why I say this will be a great game.”

North said the team would relish in the atmosphere and occasion of Friday night-s do-or-die final at a packed Parramatta Stadium.

“It-s going to be fiery but I hope both teams will let their football do the talking,” he said.

“Full credit to Popa [Tony Popovic] and his team - they-ve had a fantastic start to his coaching career and they-re a hard team to break down.

“The boys are pumped, the game is sold out and what better way for us to meet Western Sydney at this stage.

“Come finals, it-s game by game, 11 v 11 and now, we don-t see it as a disadvantage playing away from home.

“We thrive for these moments.”

Brisbane Roar take on Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night at Parramatta Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.30pm with the winners earning themselves a place in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final 2013 against the winner of the second Semi-Final between Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory.