PHOTO: SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS
Edgeworth Eagles v Brisbane Strikers
4 pm Saturday 23rd September at Jack McLaughlan Oval, Edgeworth
Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Edgeworth – Won Canberra Olympic 4-1 (a), Lost Lambton Jaffas 0-2 (a), Lost Broadmeadow Magic 1-2 (h)
Brisbane – Won South Hobart 4-2 (a), Lost Moreton Bay 1-3 (h), Won Olympic FC 2-1 (a)
Best PS4 NPL Finals Result
Edgeworth – Runners-Up (2016)
Brisbane – Semi-Finalists (2016)
For the first time in three seasons of playing in the PlayStation®4 (PS4) National Premier Leagues (NPL) Finals Series, Edgeworth will play at home as they set their sights on a second successive appearance in the PS4 NPL Finals Series Grand Final.
The home side has played five matches over the last three years in the competition, venturing to Queensland, Victoria, Perth, Canberra and Sydney, before finally getting their chance on home turf against PS4 NPL Queensland powerhouses Brisbane Strikers.
While both sides took out the Premiership in their respective competitions, neither could get the victory on Grand Final day, as Edgeworth were beaten 2-0 by Lambton Jaffas in extra-time, while the Strikers didn’t even make it to the big dance as they lost 3-1 to Moreton Bay in the Semi-Finals.
Brisbane Strikers make their second appearance in the competition in 2017, after last year bowing out in the semi-finals, 2-1 to eventual Champions Sydney United 58.
This year marks the Eagles third appearance overall and their second in the semi-finals, last year at the same stage they defeated Perth SC 1-0 in the west.
Both sides have strike weapons all over the park, and while Edgeworth’s Daniel McBreen scored just five times during the PS4 NPL Northern NSW season, he has found his scoring touch of late, finding the back of the net four times in his last four matches – including a double last week in Canberra.
Englishman Kieran Sanders also scored against Canberra and has proved his class in 2017. The Strikers would remember him from last season when he played for rivals Far North Queensland Heat.
Edgeworth’s other goal scorer last week, skipper Josh Evans comes up against one his former clubs. The towering defender played one match for the Strikers in the 2003/04 NSL season.
Meanwhile, the Eagles will need to be wary of Jeremy Stewart at the point of the attack for Brisbane. Stewart scored last weekend against South Hobart from the penalty spot, adding to the 15 he scored in the PS4 NPL Queensland season to be the Strikers leading scorer.
Jake McLean also scored a double in the win, making it nine goals for him in PS4 NPL competitions, while Ryan Palmer scored the other in the 4-2 win in Tasmania.
It shapes as a cracking showdown this weekend, with the scales tilting slightly in Edgeworth’s favour given the home ground advantage. The Eagles have lost just two of 11 matches at home this season, while Brisbane were undefeated at home and lost four of 12 on the road in 2017.
Key: Can the Eagles take advantage of their first home game in three years of playing in the competition?