Match of the Round
Newcastle Olympic v Adamstown Rosebud
Darling Street Oval – Sunday 3pm
It will be a case of youth versus experience at Darling Street Oval on Sunday as the star-studded Newcastle Olympic face off against a young Adamstown, with Rosebud top spot of the Herald Women’s Premier League table.
A win to Olympic on Sunday would see them jump Rosebud at the top but Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said it was not something her side were putting too much focus on.
“At this point the focus is just on us,” Attwill said.
“Looking at the situation, we’ve only got a number of sessions under our belt and one or two games tackling and playing in our desired style so I wouldn’t say we’re focusing too much on anyone else, other than just trying to execute the things we’ve been working on at training.”
Olympic are expected to be without changes for the top of the table clash. Georgia Little had been under an injury cloud early in the week but has since been given the all clear to take the field.
The inclement weather earlier this week has proved a challenge for both sides in the lead up to the match, though neither coach believed it would impact the quality of play come Sunday.
“The weather has made it difficult to do any real tactical preparation leading into the weekend,”Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.
“We are still training our three sessions but only one of those we will get area to do larger scale tactical work.”
Rosebud appeared well structured against an experienced Merewether side at the weekend, with Campbell predicting a similar performance from his young squad.
“This weekend we are aiming to be more composed in possession in order to progress with the ball,” he said.
“Last week we were rushed at times which meant that we turned over the ball too often in dangerous areas.
“All players are fit and ready to go for the weekend which is great… it gives me lots of options in relation to the starting 11.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 3pm.
Merewether United v Broadmeadow Magic
Arthur Edden Oval – Friday 8pm
WPL football makes a return to Friday night this weekend as Merewether do battle with newcomers Broadmeadow Magic at Arthur Edden Oval.
United head into the showdown having recorded just the one outright win across the first three rounds of the competition alongside two draws including last weekend’s scoreless clash with Adamstown.
“I’m pretty keen to go up against Magic and see where they’re at… I don’t think they’ve played any of the teams we’ve played yet, so it’s a little bit unknown,” Merewether coach Scott Ellis said.
The wet weather has done little to impact the Lammas preparations, despite the shorter than usual turnaround.
“We didn’t train on Tuesday. We had an indoor session on Wednesday. I think we’re going to be fine for Friday,” Ellis said.
“The girls as a whole are at a pretty good fitness level. We didn’t really have anyone who struggled through the game on Sunday… [we’ve had] no injuries and we’ve got a pretty strong bench.”
Friday’s match will be Merewether’s first visit to Arthur Edden Oval in season 2020, as the side switches match-days from its traditional home at Myamblah Crescent.
“Arthur Edden is a fantastic venue and the Jaffas have been great in helping us out,” Ellis said.
Meanwhile, Broadmeadow Magic will be buoyed by the return of Kalista Hunter as they look to make it two-in-a-row following their late win over New Lambton in round three.
“Kalista will be back this week after suspension which will strengthen the depth of the squad,” Magic coach Jake Curley said.
As for what to expect from the women in red, Curley said they would not change the formula which saw them defeat New Lambton 2-1.
“Similar to our performance on the weekend, good defensively and hopefully we create scoring opportunities,” he said.
“I have watched a replay of their game [Merewether v Adamstown] on the weekend looking for things we may be able to capitalise on. They look to be a strong team.”
Friday night’s clash is the first in a hectic 10-day window for Magic, who play Warners Bay in a deferred round one fixture next Wednesday, before heading to Adamstown to take on the Rosebuds the following Sunday.
“The girls have a big schedule coming up but they will have this weekend off which will give them a good rest in preparation for the upcoming weeks,” Curley said.
New Lambton v Mid Coast
Alder Park – Sunday 3pm
Mid Coast will look to continue its strong form when they travel to Alder Park on Sunday to take on a New Lambton side hurting after a narrow loss to Broadmeadow Magic.
“Whilst the girls were hurting on Sunday afternoon, no one likes to lose in the 89th [minute]… I take a lot of positives from that,” New Lambton coach Brad Jones said.
“We did a recovery session in the gym on Monday night. There was a fair few battered and bruised bodies.”
The focus for the Eagles ahead of the clash with Mid Coast will be ensuring polish in the final third.
“I think we were pretty good. I’ve watched the game back. The chances we created were good, we just at the end of the day [rued] our finishing,” Jones said.
“We won’t change our approach. The football we played was good.
“We should be [unchanged]. [A] couple of girls [are] still a little bit sore but I expect everyone to be okay.
“We’ve got individual roles for our midfielders and a group task for the midfielders… so those guys have got to do a job there.”
Mid Coast head into the clash full of confidence despite a week interrupted by wet weather.
“We got washed out on Tuesday night… it cuts down the time we get together during the week. Wednesday will be it basically,” Mid Coast coach Mick Grass said.
“I don’t know how New Lambton are going to set up… it’s basically us concentrating on us.
“Getting our style, our processes. Get that right, we’ll be right.”
Courtney Anderson netted four goals for Middies at the weekend, with Grass confident she would have a similar impact this weekend.
It presents another challenge for young Eagles keeper Ruby Jones, who last week looked right at home matched up against Magic strike-weapon Adriana Jones.
“One of the things Rugby’s got is she is very quick over 10 metres, which is nice to have as a goalkeeper. If someone tries to put a ball through, we know she can get up and out really fast,” Jones said.
Heading into the clash New Lambton sit seventh on the table, while Mid Coast sit two points clear of the defending champions in sixth.
Thornton Redbacks v Warners Bay
Thornton Park – Sunday 3pm
Thornton will look to bounce back from a disappointing result at the weekend when they host Warners Bay on Sunday afternoon.
Mid Coast outclassed the Redbacks at Taree but coach Alan Primmer was not reading too much into the result given the shortened preparation.
“Everyone’s a little sore after the weekend, understandably. You can do lots of ball work and running [at training] but games are completely different and by following the rules we had only really had 10 days to properly prepare,” Primmer said.
Thornton will also be without Susan Randall and Thysje Hattaway.
“We will again try and knock the football around and get good numbers forward like last weekend. We have to remain alert at the back though, so we do not get countered like last Sunday,” Primmer said.
Thornton face a Warners Bay side also out to improve after a disappointing clash against Newcastle Olympic.
“We had a good indoor session on Tuesday and everyone’s pulled up okay and looking forward to making amends this weekend,” coach Craig Atkins said.
“The focus is still on us. We played some really good football last weekend so hopefully looking to build on that and just fix a few little areas.
“We know those areas we need to work on and looking forward to hopefully working on that on Thursday night.”
Star signing Jen Hoy is yet to receive an international clearance but Atkins is hopeful the 29-year-old will be able to take the field come Sunday.
“She’s training with us… she looks extremely fit and extremely sharp,” Atkins said.
“We want her out there and she wants to be out there playing.”
Sunday’s clash will be the first of three games in seven days for the Panthers, who face Broadmeadow Magic on Wednesday, before they meet New Lambton the following Saturday.
“Hopefully we’ll look to do some sort of recovery session next Tuesday, nice and light in preparation for the Wednesday night fixture,” Atkins said.
“It’s going to be a pretty hectic seven days.”