Broadmeadow Magic v Maitland FC
Magic Park – Sunday 3pm
Broadmeadow Magic will host Maitland in a blockbuster preliminary final at Magic Park on Sunday to determine the second NPL NNSW grand finalist.
It will be the 2018 champions up against the 2019 premiers with both squads filled with valuable big game experience.
Broadmeadow went down in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to Edgeworth in the major semi-final last weekend after a scintillating 3-3 draw.
Magic will be determined to have another chance at Edgeworth on grand final day but will have to get past an in-form Maitland side first.
Maitland have risen to the occasion in the finals series so far, winning their two elimination finals games to put themselves one win away from a second consecutive grand final berth.
Maitland put in a terrific performance against Newcastle Olympic to win 4-0 and advance to the preliminary final.
The two sides played out a tense 0-0 draw earlier in the season while few can forget the last semi-final clash between the two clubs with Maitland scoring an injury time equaliser to advance to last year’s grand final at Broadmeadow’s expense.
Both outfits boast tremendous attacking players and the match looms as another potential classic, which may come down to the best defensive performance on the day.
Broadmeadow coach Anthony Richards said he was wary of Maitland’s strengths and is looking forward to another big game.
“In that front third they have some real attacking prowess and it’s going to be a very tough game,” Richards said.
“They pulled up really well from last Saturday. The spirits are high and everyone has been happy with training. They’re preparing really well and love the hard work.
“We need to keep the ball better than we have been. Playing with our fans and our supporters is a big boost for us and we hope everything goes well.”
Maitland coach Michael Bolch said he was impressed with Broadmeadow’s performance against Edgeworth and that his side would need to be on their game defensively.
“Magic have threats all over the park. Virgili, Walker, Rooke,” Bolch said.
“We have been doing really well defensively as a unit and only conceded two goals in our last five games.
“We have been creating plenty of opportunities.
“This weekend will all be about working together as a unit for 90 minutes as we did in the [Newcastle] Olympic match.
“We have won our last five matches as sudden death games and are now only one win away from back to back [grand final] appearances.
“I am sure the boys are up for it.”