Indigenous Round Sponsor: RTC Group
Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic v Edgeworth FC
Magic Park, Sunday 4.30pm
Broadmeadow coach Damian Zane will meet his former club for the second time in five days when Magic host Edgeworth on Sunday.
Magic overcame the Eagles 4-3 after extra-time in an incredible FFA Cup fifth preliminary round clash at Magic Park on Wednesday night.
How both sides back up from that encounter could determine who walks away with the three points on Sunday, with Edgeworth coach Michael Bridges having the tough task of lifting his players after a deflating exit from the cup.
Zane left Edgeworth having built a dynasty at Jack McLaughlan Oval, turning the Eagles into the dominant force in Northern NSW Football before joining Broadmeadow for the start of this season.
Zane has led Magic to the top of the table in recent weeks, though Broadmeadow slipped to third following their 1-1 draw with current leaders Maitland last weekend.
Edgeworth will sense an opportunity to put themselves back in the premiership picture following a slow start to the campaign. A win would see the Eagles climb above Magic into third place behind Maitland and Lambton, who meet on Saturday.
The reigning premiers and champions have been on a good run of form, winning their last four league matches including a 3-0 win over Adamstown Rosebud last weekend.
The match is one of the feature clashes of Northern NSW Football’s inaugural Indigenous Round played across its Premier Competitions this weekend.
Adamstown Rosebud v Lake Macquarie City
Adamstown Oval, Saturday 2.30pm
Adamstown Rosebud will look to bounce back from their deflating FFA Cup exit when they host Lake Macquarie City on Saturday.
Adamstown were eliminated from the fifth preliminary round after they suffered a 4-1 defeat to HIT106.9 Northern League One club Belmont Swansea United on Tuesday night.
Rosebud are ninth on the NPL table with three points. They are one point above Valentine, the only side Adamstown have beaten so far this season.
Adamstown went down 3-0 to Edgeworth last weekend and have lost their last four league matches in a row.
Lake Macquarie meanwhile advanced to the FFA Cup sixth round with a 2-1 victory over Valentine on Wednesday night.
But Lakes missed an opportunity to close the gap to the top five last weekend when Valentine held them to a 1-1 draw at Macquarie Field.
Lakes are seventh, five points behind fifth-placed Newcastle Olympic who have a match in hand.
If Josh Rufo’s side have aspirations to play finals football, this is a game they simply must win.
Lambton Jaffas v Maitland FC
Arthur Edden Oval, Saturday 2.30pm
Lambton will look to climb to the top of the table when they host leaders Maitland on Saturday.
The Jaffas will be buoyed by their epic FFA Cup comeback win over Charlestown Azzurri on Wednesday night.
Lambton were 2-0 down at Lisle Carr Oval with six minutes to play before late goals to Nathan Verity and Scott Pettit forced the match to extra-time, with Ben Hay scoring the winner with five minutes remaining.
The match was a much tighter affair than that on Sunday as Lambton crushed Charlestown 6-0 in their round eight clash.
Maitland meanwhile will look to pick themselves up following a 3-2 defeat to Newcastle Olympic that saw them crash out of the FFA Cup on Tuesday night.
The Magpies though have been in strong form in the league with 4-0 wins over Valentine and Adamstown followed by a 1-1 draw with fellow heavyweights Broadmeadow last weekend to see them remain first.
Maitland are one point clear of Lambton at the summit, with the Jaffas eyeing off the competition lead at the halfway stage of the season.
Weston Workers FC v Charlestown Azzurri
Rockwell Automation Park, Saturday 5pm
Weston and Charlestown will know defeat is not an option when they meet on Saturday night.
The Bears and Azzurri have endured inconsistent first halves of the season to sit in sixth and eighth places respectively.
If they are to play finals football this is realistically a match neither can afford to lose. Weston are three points behind fifth-placed Newcastle Olympic, while Azzurri are a further three points back of the Bears though have a match in hand against Olympic.
Weston threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Olympic last weekend, while Azzurri suffered deflating defeats to Lambton this week.
Charlestown went down 6-0 to the Jaffas on Sunday after Cal Bower was sent off early in the second half. Azzurri then led their FFA Cup fifth preliminary round clash against Lambton 2-0 on Wednesday night before conceded two goals in the last six minutes and an extra-time winner to see themselves eliminated.
Weston enjoyed better fortune in the FFA Cup, knocking out Zone Premier League side Dudley Redhead United 3-0 at Lydon Oval on Wednesday night.
Valentine FC v Newcastle Olympic
CB Complex, Sunday 2.30pm
Newcastle Olympic will look to strengthen their place in the top five when they take on struggling Valentine on Sunday.
Fifth-placed Olympic have the chance to drag themselves into premiership contention with a win over last-placed Valentine, with the rest of the top five playing each other this weekend.
Olympic are on 13 points with a game in hand and could be within four points of the lead at the halfway stage if other results go their way.
Joel Griffiths’ side will also be buoyed by their 3-2 FFA Cup fifth preliminary round win over Maitland on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Tom Curran, Luke Vallone and the in-form Kane Treble.
But Olympic will be without Rhys Cooper for the foreseeable future after their captain underwent surgery for a broken eye socket and cheekbone suffered last weekend as they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Weston.
Valentine meanwhile suffered FFA Cup disappointment on Wednesday night as they exited the competition following a 2-1 defeat to Lake Macquarie City at Cahill Oval.
Valentine remain last without a win so far in 2021, their two draws placing them one point behind Adamstown.
Adam Hughes will be desperate for his side to cause an upset to give Valentine some sort of momentum heading into the second half of the campaign.