Competitions

NPL Women’s NNSW Preview: Rescheduled games could hold the key in battle for finals football

June 9th, 2022

Grace Clegg

Sproule Sports Focus


BROADMEADOW MAGIC FC V MAITLAND FC
MAGIC PARK, MONDAY 3.40PM

Maitland will look to bounce back when they take on Broadmeadow for the second time in five days when they meet at Magic Park on Monday.

Broadmeadow won the rescheduled round 10 clash between the sides 4-3 at a cold Cooks Square Park on Wednesday night. The result saw Magic climb back level on points with leaders Warners Bay, who Broadmeadow lost to 1-0 last weekend.

Monday’s match is the highlight of a weekend which will feature a full fixture list of rescheduled matches. The Broadmeadow-Maitland clash is the rescheduled round three match between the sides, with Maitland likely to throw everything they have at Broadmeadow to win the three points, with Newcastle Olympic and Adamstown Rosebud hot on their heels.

The Magpies are fourth on 16 points and could potentially leapfrog Charlestown into third if Azzurri were to suffer an unlikely slip up against New Lambton.

Broadmeadow will look to continue their winning momentum and coach Jake Curley said the key to success was continuity.

“We’re bringing in [another new player], so we just need to work on getting some continuity into our game,” Curley said.

“We’re just getting used to playing with each other but I’m happy with where we’re at.”

Following their 1-1 draw with Charlestown Azzurri last weekend, Maitland coach David Walker said his side is in for another tight contest with Magic.

“I think based on the last month’s results, both teams will be hoping to get something out of [the game] which will make it a good contest,” Walker said.

It’s not all good news for the Magpies however with a couple of notable names out with injuries, leaving them a little light on.

“We are a bit light on numbers wise at the moment than we have been but we’re trying to work through that,” Walker said.

“We’re calling upon our reserve grade players and we’ve got some good youth coming through who will get some [first grade] exposure.”

Losing Toria Campbell and Ainsley Childs to injury has not been ideal for Walker’s squad but he was confident Maitland were still in with a chance.

“We’re still confident that we’ve got a squad that can get the job done,” Walker said.

“We’re just trying to return to a higher intensity level in the game and apply a lot more pressure to the opposition than what we have been over the past month.”

Both teams will also have new faces in action. Maitland have signed former Jets Academy defender Hannah Bourke and Adamstown Rosebud pair Kiarra Lewis and Jemma Lawson.

While Broadmeadow have signed former Junior Matildas midfielder Molly Arens, who is playing college football in the United States, to a short-term contract while she is back in Australia.


MID COAST FC V WARNERS BAY FC
TAREE ZONE FIELD, SATURDAY 3.40PM

Mid Coast face one of the more daunting double header weekends as coach Mick Grass aims for consistency from his young squad.

Middies host leaders Warners Bay in Taree on Saturday before travelling south to face a resurgent Newcastle Olympic at Darling Street on Monday.

Mid Coast are coming off a solid two weeks with two wins and a draw under their belt while the Panthers will be looking to continue their winning momentum after their win over Magic last weekend.

Whilst Mid Coast have not had an ideal start to the season they are now seven points clear of the basement and will be looking to continue to build points.

With one game on Saturday and the other on Monday, Grass is under no illusions as to how tough this weekend is going to be.

“Warners Bay have a star-studded line-up so it will be tough,” Grass said.

“We’re not doing anything different to be honest. We’re just looking at our past games and past performances and then trying to build on the things we’ve done well and improve on the things we haven’t done so well.”

Despite a strong last two weeks Mid Coast are still sitting in seventh place, four points behind Adamstown. Grass is confident though that his squad has plenty left in the tank.

“We’re just going to take each game as it comes and try to improve on each performance as we go along,” Grass said.

“If our performance improves, the results should improve and if you get to a point where you’re getting consistent results then you can start to put yourself in the frame [of being competition competitors].”

Warners Bay remained top of the table on 22 points after a late Adriana Konjarski goal got the Panthers their win over Broadmeadow last weekend.

But despite their strong hold on the competition Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins knows the game against Middies will not be easy.

“It’s always going to be tough going up [to Taree],” Atkins said.

“[Mid Coast] are coming off a good performance, so we’ll be trying to fine tune and keep working hard at training.

“The goal is to go out there, get the job done and get the three points.”

Warners Bay dominated the round two meeting between the sides running out 6-0 winners.


NEW LAMBTON FC V CHARLESTOWN AZZURRI
ARTHUR EDDEN OVAL, SUNDAY 3.40PM

New Lambton will still be searching for their first win of the season when they host Charlestown Azzurri at Arthur Edden Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The Eagles have scored just four goals from nine games so far this season, leading to no competition points.

Charlestown Azzurri on the other hand are third on 17 points and with their sights set on the top two.

While their position on the table is promising Azzurri coach Niko Papaspiropoulos said that with seven first grade players out of action Charlestown would be in for a tough fight.

“We have about seven first grade players out and at the moment we’ll be getting one back for this weekend’s game and at best three,” Papaspiropoulos said.

“At this point I’m still looking at about seven or eight players out which isn’t ideal.”

It was not all bad news for Azzurri, with a chance for reserve grade youth players to get their shot at a first grade start.

“The good thing is that we’re blessed with a very capable, young and very skilful reserve grade squad that’s top of the table and every time one of them has had to step up they’ve done a good job for us,” Papaspiropoulos said.

Following last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Maitland Papaspriopoulos sited an inability to kill the game early being what cost his side the three points, something he says they will be working on for this weekend’s game.

“It will be important for us to kill the game off early and take opportunities when we have them,” Papaspiropoulos said.

Azzurri and New Lambton are yet to face each other this season, with this weekend’s rescheduled round six clash being the first time they will meet.


NEWCASTLE OLYMPIC FC V MID COAST FC
DARLING STREET OVAL, MONDAY 3.40PM

Newcastle Olympic will look to continue their winning streak when they host Mid Coast FC at Darling Street Oval on Monday afternoon.

The match will be Mid Coast’s second of the weekend following their game against leaders Warners Bay on Saturday, meaning Mick Grass’ side are in for a tough weekend.

“I’m under no illusion as to how hard this weekend is going to be,” Grass said.

“Olympic are really hitting their straps so it’s going to be a huge weekend and getting results is going to be extremely tough.

“We’ll do our best and see how it all pans out.”

Following a 17-0 thrashing of New Lambton last weekend Newcastle Olympic will look to keep their winning momentum and goal scoring going.

Olympic, fifth on 15 points, could climb as high as third should other results go their way.

Despite their good form of late Olympic coach Paul Devitis said Monday’s clash would be a challenge.

“We’ll be expecting a tough game,” Devitis said.

“We’ve got Mid Coast who are coming off two wins and a draw so obviously their confidence is going to be red hot.

“I’m expecting it to be a hard game because they’ve had a really good couple of weeks and in general, they’re always a really good football team to watch and play against.

“It will be a good challenge for our girls and it’s definitely not a game we’re going to be taking lightly at all.”

Olympic are sitting in the middle of the pack with five wins and five losses under their belt, with a win to further strengthen their top five charge.

With the competition getting tighter, Devitis said his squad were focused on fine tuning any rough spots.

“The focus for us it just continuing our style of play,” Devitis said.

“We’ve been working on our attack and scoring goals and we’re starting to see the results of that now.”

“There’s a lot of close score lines now which is great for the competition. It’s important for us to focus on ourselves and make sure we’re fit and healthy because that’s going to play a big role in determining results.”

Related Topics:
NPL Women's NNSW Rescheduled Round Preview

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