NPL Women’s NNSW Round 17 Preview: Magic, Magpies look to apply pressure in finals hunt

July 28th, 2022

Grace Clegg

Sproule Sports Focus


Broadmeadow Magic will look to continue their winning streak when they take on Maitland at Magic Park on Saturday afternoon.

Magic have won five matches in a row and are now level on points with leaders Warners Bay, though the Panthers have a vastly superior goal difference.

That is despite Broadmeadow thrashing New Lambton 15-0 in their rescheduled round 12 match at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Tuesday night, with former A-League Women’s player Rhali Dobson scoring eight goals.

With 12 wins under their belt and 64 goals scored so far this season, Jake Curley’s side will be looking to add to both tallies.

“We’re looking forward to the game,” Curley said.

“Maitland have a lot of good players and it will be a good test for us. Our girls have been impressive the last couple of weeks, so we want to keep that momentum going.”

For Maitland, a win this weekend will be important to keep their finals hopes alive.

After a tough 2-1 loss against Olympic last weekend, the Magpies are fifth place on 22 points, four points outside the top four.

In a season plagued by injury and illness, Maitland will again most likely be without two of their best in Emily Wicks and Tahlia Gossner who both suffered injuries in their loss to Newcastle.

“We’re certainly hoping for a different result following the Olympic game last weekend,” Maitland coach David Walker said.

“It was a good performance by our girls but we will likely be without two players this weekend that got injured in that game. We seem to take two steps forward with a couple of players coming back and then take two steps back losing two players.

“We really need our strongest team on the park going up against these top teams.”

Despite remaining in contention to play finals given the results go their way and an important match in hand, Walker said Maitland could be sitting higher on the table had their season not been so devastated by injury.

“Unfortunately [injuries] have affected a couple of results for us and we probably should have achieved a few results we haven’t and been more comfortably in the top four,” Walker said.

With a possible place in the top four on the line, Walker said he and his squad were focused on how they play and what they want to do with the football.

“We prepare for every weekend to play our best football,” Walker said.

“We’re focusing heavily on what we want to do with the football and those sorts of things rather than changing our formation each week to suit a particular opposition.”

Broadmeadow took the three points after a hard fought 4-3 victory over Maitland when they met in round 10, while Magic also won the round three encounter 3-1.

The match will also be Maitland captain Sophie Stapleford’s 100th first grade game across the NPL Women’s NNSW and Women’s Premier League competitions.


New Lambton will look to get their first win of the season when they take on Mid Coast in Taree on Saturday night.

The Eagles are still sitting on zero points with zero wins after 14 games played. With nothing to lose, New Lambton will be throwing everything they have at Mid Coast to get their first points of the season.

Coach Mackenzie Davis is confident her side can put on a winning performance after their tight match up against Mid Coast last time they played.

“Last time we faced Mid Coast it was a double header weekend against them,” Davis said.

“We narrowly missed out on points in both games and the squad is really eager to make an impact this Saturday night.”

Despite her confidence, Davis knows how tough Mid Coast can be.

“Mid Coast have been improving throughout the season and getting some better results against big sides so it will be a challenge to keep things calm but the team is hoping to have some great moments of play like we’ve seen in our recent fixtures,” Davis said.

It has been a tough week again though for New Lambton who lost their rescheduled round 12 match against Broadmeadow 15-0 on Tuesday night.

Mid Coast will be hoping to get just their third win of the season at home in Taree. Sitting on seven points, Middies have been unfortunate to lose several close matches throughout the season.

A win to Mick Grass’ side will see them jump to 10 points. Despite sitting in seventh place, Middies will throw everything they have at the possibility of securing their third win of the season.

Middies will be without striker Susie Coster through suspension after her red card in their defeat to Warners Bay last weekend.

Mid Coast won the round three match against New Lambton 3-1, before beating the Eagles 3-0 in round 10.


Newcastle Olympic will look to maintain their top four position when they host competition leaders Warners Bay at Darling Street Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Olympic are third on 27 points having won nine of their 14 games and are on a six-game winning streak.

Another important win against Warners Bay this weekend would further strengthen Olympic’s grip on a finals place, with Charlestown Azzurri and Maitland also in the hunt.

Devitis is under no illusion as to how tough the challenge will be but knows his side is up for the challenge.

“I’m definitely expecting it to be a very difficult football game,” Devitis said.

“They’re a team that likes to dominate possession, they’re probably the best team at doing that. They’ve been in form for obviously quite a while now, they’re scoring a lot of goals.

“I think obviously our defending is going to have to be at its premium to make sure we can keep them to the least number of goals as possible and keep us in the game.”

Olympic will also go into the match with plenty of confidence as one of only two sides to beat the league leaders this season, with Olympic winning the round 10 clash 4-2.

“We beat them last time, so they’ll obviously be looking for a bit of revenge but it’s not a game that we’re going in on the backfoot,” Devitis said.

“We want to keep our momentum going and I’m expecting it to be a pretty end to end game with a fair few goals.”

Devitis said welcoming the league leaders to Darling Street would give his squad extra motivation to get the win.

“Knowing it’s your home ground, you really want to put on a good show for the supporters,” Devitis said.

For competition leaders Warners Bay, the three points will be crucial in keeping them ahead of Broadmeadow with each on 37 points. The Panthers are top of the table thanks to a vastly superior goal difference.

A win for Craig Atkins’ side means more now than ever.

“We know it’s going to be a very tough game and all the girls are going to need to be on top of their game if we want to get a result on the weekend,” Atkins said.

“The girls were pretty disappointed with their performance the last time we played [Olympic] so they’re definitely looking to reverse that result and put in a better showing.”

“We’re heading towards the back end of the season, so we’ve got to start playing our best football and we’ve got a good opportunity to do that against a good side this weekend.”


Charlestown Azzurri will be looking to bounce back when they take on Adamstown Rosebud at Lisle Carr Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Niko Papaspiropoulos’ side went down 4-1 to Broadmeadow Magic last weekend and will need a win against Rosebud to maintain their top four position.

Azzurri are fourth on 26 points with Maitland attempting to hunt them down in the race for a top four spot.

Papaspiropoulos knows how tough Adamstown can be and said his squad needed to be prepared to have everything thrown at them.

“[Adamstown] are always very competitive and they always find a way to give you a few problems, so I think we need to be mindful of that,” Papaspiropoulos said.

“Every game starts to become harder at this stage. Everyone knows how every team plays having played each other a few times. We’ve played Adamstown recently in the State Cup and we obviously know their style of playing and how they approach the game, so we need to be mindful of that and take that into consideration in our preparation.”

With just five rounds left in the season before finals, Papaspiropoulos said his squad were focused on what they do well and keeping in mind the importance of each upcoming game.

“We want to focus on what we do well in a game and make sure we achieve that,” Papaspiropoulos said.

“The girls know where we stand and they know the importance of our upcoming games. The focus is what’s in front of us. We know we need to be playing well and getting results, so we’re just focused on the upcoming game and making sure we get the job done.”

Adamstown are sixth on 14 points with just four wins under their belt. But they have proved difficult against top sides and will be looking to get their fifth win of the season this weekend against Azzurri.

Azzurri got the three points with a 3-1 win over Adamstown when they last met in round 10.

Related Topics:
NPL Women's NNSW Round 17 Preview

NewsMore >

  More News  

NNSWF announces Local Champion Awards for July
Northern NSW Football is delighted to announce the recipients of its Local… [more]
MiniRoos Kick-Off sites to help clubs attract more young players
Clubs are being encouraged to become a MiniRoos Kick-Off site to help them… [more]
First Touch Football Supplies to close
Northern NSW Football has made the difficult decision to close First Touch… [more]

  Around the Clubs  

NNSWF Local Champion Awards announced for June
Northern NSW Football is delighted to announce the recipients of its Local… [more]
Office of Children’s Guardian webinar the focus of Working with Children Week  
Northern NSW Football will host a webinar in conjunction with the Office of… [more]
Applications for fourth round of NNSW Facilities Fund now open
Applications for the fourth round of Northern NSW Football’s Facilities Fund… [more]


Community Football

Newcastle Permanent Community Shield