His initial, general thoughts on the game.
It's a new year and it's a year where we have a group of 20 plus players that all believe. We don't have a sub bench that's not fit, not ready mentally. To be able to take off Tommy Stewart, Mark Sherrod, [Chase] Minter... and bring in players who make a difference shows you the change, that's the change.So I was confident that Iwasa would score. He was very close to starting on the left for us. I decided to go with Minter because I knew Sherrod wouldn't last the game - he hasn't had a lot of football. I really fancied Iwasa to come on and score. It was a decision between him and Pridham, Pridham's good in the box but Iwasa has been training great. Fonzy (Alfonso Motagalvan) coming on... he's waited a long time.That there is what you get from when you work hard for eight weeks and keep the team together. All the staff have worked very hard with the players that are not playing. Them players that came on couldn't wait to get on. You didn't see one player walk off the pitch like maybe last year we saw at times. They come off, shake their peers's hand, and went on.It was a job well done. We deserved to win the game, we fully deserved to win the game. We attacked and attacked all night and there was only one team in the end that was going to win it.If you look now, the work starts now. The boys are working now. Iwasa's running now on the pitch. He's not thinking about his goal and all that, he's thinking about being fit and strong now for the next game, which is next Sunday... This is where we raise the bar. You saw a Sacramento team that was able to run from minute one to minute 95. And we're going to have to do that because teams again are coming in, sitting in, making it difficult.The biggest thing for me is that we didn't get sloppy, we didn't run out of shape. Before, teams might have come through us. That's not happening. If we hadn't have got the win, we would've taken a point, but in the we were able to continue going right to the very end to get the win.
On the disallowed goals
Well that's when you have to try and keep your calm... Ok, so the corner. I don't see any foul on the goal, I think it's a perfectly good goal... When I see Emrah Klimenta ... clean in, miles onside, be dragged back and a goal being taken away from Sacramento and him, that's disappointing because it wasn't even close. It was, in my opinion, two perfectly good goals. But again, the team's mentality was good. We didn't dwell on that. We continued to attack. We continued to believe we could score goals.
On Chase Minter, who got his first start for the Republic.
Well it's a big night for Chase Minter. He's played a lot of college football and this is very different. He's super skillful and works very hard. It was a big decision to play him because there would have been some nerves there... Minter will get better and better. He's a Sacramento player, and what I mean by that is he's very good on the ball and can keep possession.
On the defensive strength the team displayed
I'm so pleased you recognized that. Of course we have a brand of attacking - we attack all the time - but there are two sides to football... You've got to defend. Teams have worked us out over the last few years. We've got to be resilient.What you saw was people like Chris Christian, Derek Foran - another person that's waited a long time for a chance. Kiffe and Emrah, who we know can go that way and put good balls in, but now they're learning that it's very important not to allow shots on our goal.When we went to Seattle, I don't think Dominik touched the ball for maybe 17 minutes. We pride ourselves on that. You have to if you're going to be successful. But at the same time you have to make sure you're creative enough. It was a very good defensive display from the whole team.
On whether or not Danny Barrera is the captain
Well I've got 20 captains, and I mean it. Everybody had the armband in preseason. I don't want to build anybody up. It's a team game. Danny's captain, yeah, for now. He's doing a great job, but it might get swapped around now and then because it's a big thing to captain the club. It's not something that everybody's been talking about because the ethos this year is about team not individuals.
On coming on as a late sub and making an impact
I was buzzing to get on the field. As a sub you just want to come on and make something happen and fortunately I was able to do so. Ultimately its just a huge win. Three points is crucial.
On the game winning goal he scored
The defender was late to step so I cut him on the inside. Then I just picked a spot, hit it low, hit it hard. It skipped a little bit on the wet surface and saw the back of the net.
On the lack of the backflip celebration
Too in the moment. I was just fired up, you know? I ran to the team and was just fired up, didn't think about it. I'll definitely be pulling it out a few times this season.
On what the pair of early wins means for the team
Early in the season it's huge to set the tone. Put the pressure on the other teams, make sure we keep getting maximum points. We feel like we're good enough to win every single game when we step on the field. It's just about getting out there, executing, and making it happen.
On Buckle's emphasis on the team over the individual player
It's more than just a team, you know. it's a real bond between the guys. I can speak for myself. Amongst the other forwards, we're all pulling for each other whenever each of us is out on the field. One of the first guys to come up to me when the final whistle blew were Thommy Stewart and Mac Pridham... Ultimately the team is what matters. Everyone's happy for each other. When Thommy scored last week I couldn't be happier and now vice versa.
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