NPL Women’s NNSW Round 7 Preview

May 5th, 2022

 Jack Antcliff

Match of the Round
Charlestown Azzurri v Mid Coast
Saturday 7 May, 3:40pm @ Lisle Carr Oval


Mid Coast are looking for their first win of the season when they travel south to play Charlestown at Lisle Carr Oval.

Middies have looked promising in patches this season, though have struggled to hold the ascendancy for extended periods. It is a fact coach Mick Grass is aware..

“Maintaining a high level of consistency for longer than the 20 minutes we managed last week will go a long way to seeing us put in a decent performance,” he said.

Evie Bobilak leads the injury list at Taree, with the regular to miss at least two weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury. Kirilly Hughes and Chelsea Hall are both in doubt, after illness ripped through the squad over the past fortnight.

“We’ve focused on how we circulate the ball to maintain possession for longer periods as well as being more aggressive with our off the ball movement in the final third.

At the other end, Charlestown will be hopeful of result after a weekend off due to wet weather. The side’s round six clash against New Lambton was called off, with coach Niko Papaspiropoulos confident the break of play wont negatively impact his squad.

Kick-off at Lisle Carr Oval is at 3:40pm.

Broadmeadow Magic v Newcastle Olympic
Friday 6 May, 8pm @ Magic Park

There will be no love lost when the whistle blows on Friday’s game between Broadmeadow Magic and Newcastle Olympic

The cross-town derby is one of the more historic rivalries in Newcastle football, with no shortage of action.. Expect the same this Friday.

“I think both groups of players are lucky to get to play in this derby,” Magic coach Jake Curley said.

“The history, the atmosphere and the competitive nature of the games always makes them more enjoyable for the people who come and watch.”

Magic head into the clash with a familiar face of the competition pulling on the fabled red strip, former A-League Women’s star, Rhali Dobson.

“Rhali is a very talented player with a great pedigree but more importantly I think she plays the game in a way that compliments how we want to play at Magic,” Curley said.

“She can play and be effective in a number of positions which is extremely valuable.”

A focus on possession has kept Magic players on their toes at training this week, with Curley of the opinion the game will likely come down to composure and control.

“The focus for us this week has been small-sided games to create pressure and keep possession in tight areas,” he said.

“I think the game will be won by the team who is more clinical.”

The task is made tougher for the visiting Olympic, who head into the match with an unavailable list long enough to fill a starting eleven. Jemma House, Keely Gawthrop, Danielle Nicol, and Alesha Clifford are all sidelined through injury, while Libby Copus Brown in overseas, and Brooke Summers is unavailable.

“For us, we will need to play at a high level for the full 90 minutes to be able to get a positive result,” coach Paul DeVitis said.

“We need to be strong in the midfield battle and to be clinical upfront like we were last weekend.”

The significance of the derby isn’t lost on anyone, though according to DeVitis it is at its core just another game in a long season.

“This week’s game is obviously a huge game in relation to it being the derby game. It is just another fixture, but it holds a bit more significance than other games,” he said.

“Magic have started the season on fire, and we respect what they bring to the table and Jake has done a phenomenal job with them since their inception.”

Kick-off at Magic Park is at 8pm.

Adamstown Rosebud v Warners Bay
Saturday 7 May, 7pm @ Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility

Warners Bay aim for consistency as they face off against Rosebud at the Home of Football.

With four wins and one lose the Panthers are genuine premiership contenders along with Broadmeadow Magic and Maitland. Coach Craig Atkins will be hopeful his side can build on their hard earned 3-0 victory against Maitland last weekend.

“The focus for this week is to lift the intensity in all areas,” Atkins said.

The Panther’s line up is unchanged, with the battle between the experienced Warners Bay and young Adamstown enough to get any football fan excited.

“Defense will be important again this weekend, both teams have shown they can score goals,” Atkins said.

Despite sitting in second position behind Magic, constant improvement remains high on the agenda for Atkins, who believes his side has plenty of room to improve.

“A good performance will be one where we have improved on those areas from last week and have been consistent for the entire 90 minutes,” he said.

Maitland FC v New Lambton
Sunday 8 May, 3:40pm @ Cooks Square Park

New Lambton will need to deliver the best performance of their season to upset the high-flying Maitland away from home on Sunday.

To do just that, coach MacKenzie Davis has implemented a new way of working at Alder Park.

“Training this week has been focused on a new shape,” Davis said.

“We are really using this first round of three to try new things and find a style that fits our players… Hopefully something new can shake things up a little.

According to Davis, she is hoping the side can be more dangerous in attack, and take greater advantage when opportunities arise with the ball.

“Executing our new shape and looking more dangerous breaking forward lines will be a great indicator of our progression this weekend,” she said.

The Eagles must excel across the park to outclass Maitland, with the battle of the young New Lambton midfield and experienced Maitland side likely to determine the result.

“This week’s game will be won or lost in our midfield,” Davis said.

“Our players are learning what the midfield workload needs to look like for us to progress forwards and look dangerous.”

At the other end, Maitland head into the match off the back of a 3-nil loss to Warners Bay away from home.

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