NPL Men’s NNSW Round 9 Preview

May 5th, 2022

 James Paras

 Valentine Sports Photography

Match of the Round
Adamstown Rosebud FC vs Lake Macquarie City FC
Saturday 2 pm, Adamstown Oval

Lake Macquarie coach Keelan Hamilton says fixing their defensive errors will put them in a good position to take all three points from a gutsy Adamstown Rosebud side this weekend.

Rosebud has had a tough start to the season yet to find a result in their opening five matches.

Tasked withtough fixtures sympathy could be shown for the young side that has faced the likes of Edgeworth, Maitland, Broadmeadow Magic and Charlestown Azzurri in the opening weeks.
The bye and strong performance against Charlestown Azzurri on Anzac Day will provide Adamstown with confidence to secure a maiden win.

Lake Macquarie were the victims of a revitalised Edgeworth side last week, going down 4-2 to the Eagles and seeing them slip to ninth with just the single win against Newcastle Olympic.

Lakes coach Keelan Hamilton says Adamstown has proved difficult despite their results and says his side will learn a lot from their loss against Edgeworth.

“To get a result against Adamstown, we need to have more defensive concentration,” Hamilton said.

“We made a couple of big defensive errors (last weekend against Edgeworth) and when you’re coming up against players like Jeremy Brockie, you get punished. So we learnt some hard lessons there, but I see some improvement in our game.

“To get a result against Adamstown, we just need to cut out those little defensive errors.”

Cooks Hill United vs Lambton Jaffas FC
Saturday 2 pm, Fearnley Dawes Athletics Field

The reigning premiers are looking to build momentum after a rain delayed start to the season, playing only four games in 2022.

Coming of the back of a mid-week draw with Olympic, Jaffas crave the match time of their key rivals Azzurri, Magic and Maitland

Cooks Hill baptism of fire in the NPL continues as they chase their first win of the season.

The Cookers have been valiant in 2022, taking on competition heavyweights and it doesn’t geteasier against the Jaffas this Saturday.

Jaffas coach Shane Pryce says his side will welcome the challenge of the short turn-around between games and  he expects a tough challenge from a desperate Cooks Hill side.

“We have got enough fresh players, so we’re right to go,” Pryce said.

“We still have Nathan Verity out with a knee [Injury] and Thomas Waller is out with sickness. [Besides that] it’s just good to know that we have a game and challenge ahead.

“you let your guard down against anyone or don’t turn up on gameday you can lose points. They [Cooks Hill] were beaten last start and they will be keen to make amends, they will be fired up to get a result on their home ground.

Broadmeadow Magic FC vs Valentine FC
Sunday 2 pm, Magic Park

The high-flying Broadmeadow  plan to make it five wins in a row when they welcome Valentine to Magic Park.

Magic was on their way against Weston last weekend, before a serious injury to Bears keeper Stuart Plant forced the game to be abandoned, with the Magicians one goal up.

Magic has shown despite the loss of  key personnel, they are serious contenders for the premiership. Players like Jarred Baker and Jacob Dowse have found  form in front of goals, seeing Magic equal leaders Maitland with 18 goals scored.

Valentine aren’t without admirers heading into the clash, with a swag of new recruits, including ex-Socceroo Dean Heffernan and Ryan Clarke, seeing them two and one in 2022. Valentine, like Lambton, are eager for match fitness with only three games played due to bad weather.

Magic was convincing winners in their first meeting against Valentine last year but Valentine was able to grind out a scoreless draw in the reverse fixture. Will Valentine’s new look squad be enough to make their own magic on Sunday? Head to Broadmeadow at 2pm to find out.

Weston Workers FC vs Charlestown Azzurri FC
Sunday 2 pm, Rockwell Automation Park

Weston will look to end Charlestown Azzurri’s unbeaten start to the season when they welcome Graham Law’s men this Sunday.

The Bears have looked good in patches this season and with a new roster they are genuine contenders for the premiership. Overseas imports Moustafa Mohammad and Michael McGlinchey have added much needed strike power and they will need to fire if the Bears hope to make it three on the trot

After downing a a spirited Rosebud on Wednesday, Weston must shift gears to face the sizable challenge of knocking over Charlestown, where Maitland and Lambton have failed.

Charlestown Azzurri are the early season pace-setters, and despite remaining undefeated, were challenged by Maitland last week. Azzuri showed their quality reigning in a two-goal deficit to share the points with Maitland.

Speaking in the leadup to the match, Weston assistant coach Anthony Richards says  Charlestown are standard right now. Richards eased fans’ fears revealing injured keeper Stuart Plant has been released from hospital.

(Charlestown Azzurri) are the best team in the competition,” Richards said.

“They have experienced A-League (talent) all over the park, like Nigel Boogaard directing (the game) from the middle at the back and some good young players in the squad as well. We are expecting a real tough game.

“Stuart Plant will obviously be out injured for the next couple of weeks but that gives a great opportunity to Jacob Zissis to make his starting debut. Jacob is a fantastic shot-stopper and he has been great in reserve grade so he has probably earnt his shot.

“Stuart is at home now, he is very ginger getting around but the signs are positive and hopefully he will make a return by the season’s end. It’s not about football with him at the moment, we just want him happy and healthy.”

Edgeworth FC vs Newcastle Olympic FC
Sunday 4:30 pm, Jack Mclaughlan Oval

Newcastle Olympic shoot for back-to-back wins when they travel to Mclaughlan Oval.

Olympic returned to the winner’s circle after consecutive losses when they downed Cooks Hill 3-0 at home last weekend. It marks a good return to form, securing their second win of the year in the process.

Olympic backed up the weekend’s win with a draw against reigning champions Lambton Jaffas mid-week, playing out a tough 1-1 draw at Arthur Edden.

Olympic also received a boost in the form of new signings heading into last weekend’s victory, welcoming Musa Kamara, Malk Thom and Joey Langlois , giving coach Joel Griffiths a host of new talent at his disposal.

Edgeworth has shown positive glimpses early in the season but have struggled to get  results. They take on Olympic with a renewed confidence, after breaking their three-game losing streak against Lakes last weekend.

Edgeworth has been dominant in previous seasons and will again be a challengers despite their slow season start.  They will be counting on star striker Jeremy Brockie to repeat his recent hat-trick heroics if they are to take the points.

Olympic coach Joel Griffiths says that while the quick turnaround from their midweek clash against Lambton Jaffas will be difficult, he is excited for what’s to come for his young squad.

“The signs were definitely encouraging at the weekend,” Griffiths said.

“I’m excited about what lies ahead, that’s for sure. We have got a pretty young team, I think our midfielders are all under 20-21 years of age but it shows that the club is going in the right direction with youth and development.

“Edgeworth looked good on the weekend, they have picked up a few new boys as well. Obviously with players like Josh Rose and Jeremy Brockie, it definitely helps. It’s really good for my young guys to play against this calibre of players because they will learn a lot during the process.

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