There is not a lot that Shane Cansdell-Sheriff has not seen in a long professional career, but even at the age 33, he is up for new experiences.
Post-season finals are something of a foreign concept to the Australian who has spent the last 17 years of his career playing in England and Denmark, but that is exactly what Cansdell-Sherriff is in for with Manly United FC.
A third-placed finish earned Manly a second chance after going down 4-1 to Blacktown City FC, but there will be no second chances in their Minor Semi-Final against the reigning champions Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC.
And should Manly lose, it would see them bow out to a side that finished two places below them at the end of the home-and-away season, but Cansdell-Sheriff is a fan of the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s finals system.
"I think it’s good. It gives everyone a chance to continue after the season because if a team runs away with the league then there can be little else to play for," he said.
"That’s especially true in this competition without the prospect of promotion to the A-League so it gives the clubs something extra to achieve.
"It’s a good set-up. For us at Manly I suppose we started a bit slow but we finished the league season well and we think we can win it. Likewise, Bonnyrigg just snuck into finals,but they still have everything to play for, so I think it is a good system.
But Cansdell-Sherriff is not here to just take in the sights.
After the disappointment of last week, and having already been beaten by Bonnyrigg in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32, he is hungry to help his side to a much-needed victory.
"We are positive, but we know it is going to be a tough game," he said.
"I think we will be well-prepared and organised for the game.
"Bonnyrigg showed in the FFA Cup they’re a good side and they have good players, and we didn’t stop them from playing their game.
"We changed our game plan too early and it just was not a great night for us as individuals on the pitch and as a team.
"They capitalised early and once you go a goal down or two goals down, things become very difficult."
Cansdell-Sherriff said Manly’s success in this Minor Semi-Final would come down to his team’s ability to impose themselves on the contest.
"They stopped us playing last time, and they effectively completely shut out our two wide men and that made it very difficult for us," the former Burton Albion defender said.
"But this is a quality league and there are some talented players here.
"Everyone focuses on getting forward and scoring goals and that is what we will look to do against Bonnyrigg."
Saturday 27th August
Manly United v Bonnyrigg White Eagles @ Seymour Shaw
7:30pm kick off
-By Matt Galea