Match of the Round
Adamstown Rosebud JFC v Warners Bay FC
Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, Saturday 7pm
Adamstown Rosebud can move level with Warners Bay on the Herald Women’s Premier League table with a win on Saturday evening.
The Buds sit fifth on 16 points while the Panthers are third on 19 points. Warners Bay maintain a game in hand over their opponents.
“The girls are quite confident at the moment that we are moving in the right direction. However we understand that results are more important than performances,” Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.
Brianna Trappett will miss the match due to work commitments, while Charli O’Connor could return after she badly rolled her ankle a fortnight ago.
“This weekend we are just focused on creating good chances and taking them when they come,” Campbell said.
“We are just focusing on us and how we can be effective in the game.”
Live on BarTV from 7pm, Campbell noted his side’s focus remained on their own performance despite the potential to move inside the top four.
“We are focusing on ourselves and being more comfortable passing the ball with quality and composure. We have gone away from this slightly over the last few weeks,” he said.
Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins will hope for better fortunes on Saturday after what the Panthers mentor described as a “frustrating” loss to Charlestown last weekend.
“It hasn’t been our best form the last couple of weeks but it is only going to be a matter of if we can hit the back of the net nice and early on Saturday, I think that might turn things pretty quick,” Atkins said.
Warners Bay are expected to be unchanged after a weather disrupted week of training.
“We’ve have worked out a game plan so hopefully the girls can execute that,” Atkins said.
“Everyone getting that fight back and working really hard for each other. We have done that in patches but in this competition, we need to be doing that all time.
“Not being able to hit the back of the net has been a little bit deflating but if we can do that the girls will lift pretty quick.”
Maitland FC v New Lambton FC
Cooks Square Park, Saturday 3.40pm
After 12 rounds of the competition Maitland find themselves fourth on the table, just a point behind third-placed Warners Bay and two points clear of fifth-placed Adamstown.
The statistics read well for Magpies fans in their debut season with six wins and six losses. By comparison Thornton, who held the WPL licence prior to the start of the season, had recorded just a handful of wins in their time in the competition.
“I think the match will be won by whichever team executes more consistently through the 90 minutes,” Maitland coach Keelan Hamilton said.
“The target is to keep trying to be the best we can be. We are on the right track but there is a lot of football to be played yet.”
The turnaround has been in part led by the Magpies’ mentor Hamilton, a former championship-winning coach who just two years ago led Saturdays opponents New Lambton to the title.
Having clinched the silverware in 2019, it has been a tough two years for New Lambton, though according to coach Maddy Searl confidence around the squad remains high.
“Things around the squad are good. We have continued to work on our game and the girls are showing more confidence and belief each week,” she said.
As for what it will take to defeat the Magpies, Searl believes execution in the final third will likely be the difference.
“We need to stick to our own style and control the play. It will be critical that we take our chances against Maitland,” Searl said.
Charlestown Azzurri v Newcastle Olympic
Lisle Carr Oval, Saturday 3.40pm
Charlestown will be out to deliver an upset when they welcome the competition leaders Newcastle Olympic to Lisle Carr Oval on Saturday.
Azzurri scored what could only be described as one of the most important wins of their season last week. The two-goal win over Warners Bay ensured sixth-placed Charlestown remain just three points shy of fourth-placed Maitland.
Newcastle Olympic could be without Jorja Hogg for the match after she pulled up injured at training and coach Harmonie Attwill will not take any chances with her fitness.
“We will need to be switched on defensively. The girls are very confident and they seem to be doing their job really well,” Attwill said.
“We know they can score goals and we know they can be very dangerous on the counterattack, so we need to be aware of that.”
Charlestown tested Olympic in their last outing before the women from Darling Street ran away with it in the second half. Attwill will be expecting more of the same from the home side on Saturday.
“I really like playing against them. They have got some quality players and they play a good style of football,” she said.
“You can never relax or be complacent against them.
“We would love a clean sheet. A good performance will be us not conceding and continuing to build up through our midfield.”
Broadmeadow Magic v Mid Coast FC
Magic Park, Saturday 3.40pm
Broadmeadow Magic head into Saturday’s clash against Mid Coast with its strongest side of the year after injuries prohibited coach Jake Curley from naming a full-strength line-up for the first half of the campaign.
“Our squad is in a good place at the moment. Everyone is available for us for the first time this year which is good,” Curley said.
“Our focus will be a little bit of work on timing of runs and passes for forward runs and some shape.”
Magic sits second on the table, narrowly trailing Newcastle Olympic.
“For us, a good performance is effective possession and not giving the ball away cheaply,” Curley said.
“We averaged 2.7 passes before we turned it over against New Lambton which wasn’t good enough. To the girl’s credit, they were much better against Adamstown which was really good to see.”
One man happy to see blue skies and a clear forecast this weekend is Mid Coast coach Mick Grass, who so far this year has been luckless on the quest for consistency.
“It has been another disjointed week for us due to the weather conditions. We’ve managed to get on the field for one session,” Grass said.
The search for results has led Grass to a simple message for his side to “maintain the ball for longer periods.” If Middies hand too much space to Magic it could prove to be a long afternoon.
“The match will be lost for us if we give them too much space in and around the box,” Grass said.
“A good performance for us would see us being more aggressive in our movement off the ball.
“We’ve been far too passive in that area so far this season so have found it difficult to apply much pressure to our opponents.”
Middies’ match against New Lambton was postponed last weekend due to wet weather, with a date for the rescheduled fixture yet to be confirmed.
That game, along with next weekend’s Women’s State Cup, has created a busy schedule for the side which is still without Chelsea Hall, Xanthe Parsons, Emily Stanford and Jess Watts due to injury.
“As a squad we’re looking forward to having some fun at the State Cup next weekend but also see it as an opportunity to implement a few new things and try to develop some combinations,” Grass said.