Edgeworth Eagles v Broadmeadow Magic
Jack McLaughlan Oval – Saturday 5pm
Edgeworth will take on Broadmeadow in the major semi-final at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday evening to decide the first grand final spot for 2020.
The two best teams over the course of the regular season will collide in a highly-anticipated fixture with the sides finishing first and second respectively.
Edgeworth had the week off last week after finishing at the top of the table, with the Eagles heading into the finals off the back of a 9-0 win against Adamstown.
The Eagles expect to have the majority of their squad available for the game against Magic.
Broadmeadow knocked over Newcastle Olympic in week one of the finals, winning the qualifying final 3-1 to be able to challenge for a spot in the grand final.
Edgeworth downed Magic 1-0 in the previous clash between the pair this season while few can forget the last finals game between Broadmeadow and Edgeworth with Magic winning the 2018 grand final.
Edgeworth player-coach Josh Rose said the week off had helped his side’s preparation.
“We just got to sit back for a week and it’s that mental freshness that helps a little bit and not having to stress about a game,” Rose said.
“The message this week is to keep a very similar structure as to what we’ve been doing all year and it has worked well for us and we won’t go away too much from that.
“We’ll be trying to keep thing simple and low-key.”
Broadmeadow Magic coach Anthony Richards said his side know they are going to have to match Edgeworth across the field.
“We’re really excited. They’re the best side in the competition and really well balanced across the park. They’re probably one of the best Edgeworth side’s over the last 20 years,” Richards said.
“This is a game where we could be playing five-a-side in the Queens Wharf Hotel car park and we’ll still want to beat them. The rivalry is big between the clubs and it doesn’t get any harder than Edgeworth at Edgeworth.
“We created a lot of opportunities against Olympic but we weren’t defensively sound as we would have liked to have been and Edgeworth have the ability to punish you. Every player and the subs need to be at their best.”
Newcastle Olympic v Maitland FC
Darling Street Oval – Sunday 2.30pm
Newcastle Olympic will host Maitland in a do-or-die minor semi-final at Darling Street Oval on Sunday.
The two sides had differing results in their previous finals games but both will be determined to stay in the hunt to chase the championship.
Newcastle Olympic endured a 3-1 loss to Broadmeadow Magic last weekend but earned another shot after finishing third on the table.
On the other side, Maitland overcame Charlestown Azzurri, winning on penalties to advance to week two of the finals.
Newcastle will now feel the intensity of a sudden death playoff but will go in confident after doing the double over the Magpies this season.
Olympic defeated Maitland on separate occasions in 2020 including a 4-0 win earlier in the season at Darling Street Oval.
But Maitland have won their last four games in a row and are well accustomed to the pressure cooker of finals football.
Newcastle Olympic interim coach Alex Tagaroulias said he was wary of Maitland’s strengths.
“We have to take our opportunities and it shows the importance of taking chances from the Magic game,” Tagaroulias said.
“As far as Maitland are concerned, beware of the wounded tiger. Some people have got injuries but they have got enough ammunition to make life difficult.
“Now we’ve got to try and beat them a third time and we have to do it again.”