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Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic v Newcastle Olympic
Magic Park, Thursday 7.45pm
Broadmeadow Magic coach Damian Zane says it will take his new team time to gel but expects a much-improved performance in their derby against Newcastle Olympic tonight.
Magic will look to kick start their season when they host rivals Olympic after an underwhelming start to the campaign.
Broadmeadow played out a 2-2 draw with Lake Macquarie City in the opening round but showed great spirit to find an equaliser deep in stoppage time having just barely conceded what looked to be a Lakes winner.
James Virgili and Luke Callen scored Broadmeadow’s goals at Lakes but it will be with the ball that Zane looks for improvement, with Magic looking rusty and lethargic following a disrupted preparation due to the weather.
“To be fair I know all teams were in the same boat with the weather but the rain hit at a bad time for us. We had a scheduled break and that was the last sunny weekend so we missed our last couple of hit outs,” Zane said.
“Being a footballing team I think it affected us because our passing was off and we just looked lethargic. On the flip side Lakes were super keen and full of energy.
“We had trained the house down last Thursday but it was on a synthetic surface which is nothing like Macquarie Field, which I thought Lakes got in a good state considering the rain we had. I’m not making excuses because our passing wasn’t good enough even when we weren’t under pressure so we need to improve that.”
“We’ve had a good week at training [this week] and I expect a few things will be better and if they are hopefully a positive result will follow.”
Tonight will be Zane’s first taste of the Magic-Olympic rivalry from the inside but he does have previous experience of intense derbies in his career and revealed he could have featured for Broadmeadow during his glittering playing career.
“It’s funny because when you get inside clubs you obviously get to know them more and even though it’s always been a big derby for years I guess you don’t realise how big until you’re inside the club,” Zane said.
“I played with Bankstown City Lions who were a Macedonian-founded club and we had derbies against Canterbury Marrickville back in the day. So I have seen it as a player, just not in Newcastle.
“I can remember I nearly signed for Broadmeadow when I left Adamstown and went to Highfields. I wouldn’t say I regret [not joining Magic] but it would have been a nice experience to play in this game.
“These games have attracted thousands of people at times. If you weren’t playing you were always going to watch. It’s really exciting to be part of it and hopefully we put in a good performance and get the win.”
Meanwhile Newcastle Olympic coach Joel Griffiths will want more of the same from his side after they demolished Adamstown Rosebud 6-2 in the opening round.
But Griffiths will know that he and his side will face a much sterner test at Magic Park.
Rhys Cooper and Jared Muller both scored doubles for Olympic against Adamstown, earning the pair selection in the round one Team of the Week.
The rivalry between Broadmeadow Magic and Newcastle Olympic is one of the most intense in the NPL NNSW competition with both sides looking to make an early statement in terms of their title aspirations.
Lambton Jaffas v Edgeworth FC
Arthur Edden Oval, Friday 2.30pm
Much like Newcastle Olympic, Lambton Jaffas will expect a much tougher examination than their round one fixture when they host Edgeworth on Friday.
Lambton crushed Weston Workers 7-1 in their opening round match last weekend thanks to a Kale Bradbery double and goals from Michael Kantarovski, Scott Pettit, Anthony Wood, Bren Hammel and Ben Hay.
The Jaffas looked a class above Weston but, with James Pascoe’s side looking to bounce back from a bitterly disappointing sixth-placed finish last season where they lacked consistency, the challenge will be to back up their performance against the reigning premiership-championship double winners.
Edgeworth were upset 1-0 in their opening round defeat to Maitland last weekend in Michael Bridges’ first match in charge. It was the Eagles’ first opening round loss since 2018.
While Lambton will look to back up their strong showing, Edgeworth will be under early pressure to claim a result at Arthur Edden Oval given their tricky run of fixtures over the next month which includes home clashes with Newcastle Olympic and Weston and trips to Macquarie Field and Lisle Carr Oval.
Adamstown Rosebud v Charlestown Azzurri
Adamstown Oval, Saturday 2.30pm
Adamstown Rosebud will look to bounce back from their embarrassing opening round defeat when they host Charlestown Azzurri on Saturday.
Adamstown were thrashed 6-2 by Newcastle Olympic first up leaving coach David Rosewarne with plenty to contemplate.
If Rosebud have one slight advantage it is that they have a competitive fixture under their belt as they face a Charlestown side who spent the first weekend of the season with their feet up.
Azzurri saw their opening round clash with Valentine washed out, with the match rescheduled for 1 May.
Charlestown will be keen to secure a positive result given they face a trio of tough fixtures to follow including heavyweights Broadmeadow and 2020 grand finalists Maitland and Edgeworth.
Lake Macquarie City v Maitland FC
Macquarie Field, Saturday 4.30pm
Two sides that scored encouraging results in round one will meet at Macquarie Field on Saturday.
Lake Macquarie City showed they will be much improved on 2020 as Josh Rufo’s side earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw with a strong Broadmeadow side in their opening day clash.
Lakes will be disappointed they did not hold on to all three points having taken the lead through Kaman Bol Bol in stoppage time, only to concede an equaliser moments later.
But there was plenty to like about Lakes’ performance, a showing they will be keen to replicate against the 2020 grand finalists.
Maitland showed why they should not be written off this season as they gained some sort of revenge for their grand final defeat with a 1-0 victory over Edgeworth in round one.
Flynn Goodman made it a debut to remember for the Magpies as he popped up to score the winner in his first match since joining the club from Adamstown, earning him a place in the Team of the Week alongside teammate Zac Thomas.
Michael Bolch will be keen for his side to back up the result against the Eagles as they look to set the pace at the top of the table.
Valentine FC v Weston Workers FC
Rockwell Automation Park, Saturday 4.30pm
Valentine will look to get their season up and running when they host Weston on Saturday.
Player-coach Adam Hughes has added genuine experience to his squad with Matt Thompson and new captain Joel Wood arriving in the summer with Valentine keen for the pair to settle quickly and help guide the team.
Valentine saw their round one clash with Charlestown Azzurri washed out, giving them an extra week to prepare for their clash with Weston.
The Bears suffered a humiliating 7-1 defeat to Lambton at home in front of their supporters in the opening round.
Proud Bears veterans Nathan Morris and Robbie Turnbull will be among the most hurt by the defeat, with Weston coach Leo Bertos looking for an immediate response from his players after the deflating start to the campaign.