Edgeworth Eagles v Broadmeadow Magic
3pm Sunday 4th September at Magic Park
Westfield FFA Cup (Round 4): Edgeworth Eagles 1 (4) defeated Broadmeadow Magic 1 (2) at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Round 4: Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Bradbury 27’) drew Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Taylor 13’) at Magic Park.
Round 13: Edgeworth Eagles 2 (Taylor 83’, Moriyasu 90+1’) defeated Broadmeadow Magic 0 at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Where they Finished:
Edgeworth 1st (46pts) Broadmeadow 3rd (32pts)
Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):
Edgeworth – Won Magpies 2-1 (h), Drew Magpies 2-2 (a), Won Rosebuds 3-1 (a)
Broadmeadow – Won Olympic 2-1 (a), Won Olympic 3-1 (h), Won Magpies 2-0 (a)
Best Result in Northern NSW Competitions:
Edgeworth Eagles: Grand Final Winners – 4 (1978, 2003, 2010, 2015)
Broadmeadow Magic: Grand Final Winners – 6 (2004, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013)
For the first time since 2003, the Edgeworth Eagles will meet Broadmeadow Magic in a Northern NSW decider. The fact the top two sides in the regular season in Edgeworth and Hamilton will not meet in the Grand Final is evidence of how tight the PlayStation® 4 NPL Northern NSW is. Once again on Sunday, this really is anyone’s match.
This season they have met on three occasions; the first Edgeworth won on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the Westfield FFA Cup. In the second contest at Magic Park, it was a tight affair and once more they finished locked at one a piece. In their last battle on a heavy pitch at Jack McLaughlan Oval, Edgeworth scored two late goals – a trademark of theirs in 2016 – to win the match 2-0.
The last time Broadmeadow beat Edgeworth was at the start of Damian Zane’s coaching tenure, in fact just his third match in the top job. Magic put on a clinical display that evening to win 4-1 at Edgeworth, as Kale Bradbury scored a double, Peter Haynes grabbed one along with Dino Fajkovic and Josh Evans scored Edgeworth’s only goal that night.
But, what a difference a year and a half can make. After winning just one of his opening three matches as head coach, Zane has lost just 4 of his last 38. After an amazing 2015 season for the Eagles, they have built on from that this year and taken their game to another level. They were pushed by Hamilton Olympic all the way in the premiership race and got the job done by four points. They also achieved their goal of making the final 16 in the Westfield FFA Cup and will play the Newcastle Jets and Bentleigh Greens over the coming weeks as their season winds to a close.
The question is, how much will they have in the tank come Sunday? They really have had no time to rest throughout the whole season and the battle for the premiership would have taken a lot out of them, as the trip to Cairns would have too. But, they have responded every time and got the job done. Over the last few weeks, the tiredness has seemed to creep in just a little, Edgeworth’s usual sharpness has not quite been there. On Grand Final Day though with the adrenaline pumping and the finish line on another massive season in sight there is no doubt the Eagles will be energised for the clash.
The Eagles finished off 2016, atop the ladder, with the best attack in the competition, 52 goals in their 18 regular season matches. In terms of their defence, they had the second best in the competition conceding 19 goals, six more than 2nd placed Hamilton. Without a doubt, the star of the show this season has been Japanese sensation Keigo Moriyasu who has scored 18 goals already and will be hungry for more on the biggest stage of them all.
The arrival of Daniel McBreen took all the limelight in the pre-season, but Moriyasu quickly took it away with a series of stunning free-kicks. McBreen though has been outstanding this season, with eight goals to his name to be the Eagles second highest scorer, one being a crucial goal in the Westfield FFA Cup match in Cairns which put the Eagles up 2-0. Across the park though Edgeworth has a lot of talent, including captain Josh Evans at the back and goalkeeper Jim Fogarty, showing what a brilliant goalkeeper he is as he saved the day on a number of occasions late against Maitland in the Semi-Final.
For Broadmeadow, the last two seasons have gone by with some disappointment for the proud club. They have been the most successful club in Northern NSW Football over the last 12 seasons, with all six of their Grand Final victories coming during that period. At one point it was six Grand Final wins in ten seasons for Broadmeadow, and it was somewhat strange that they haven’t been there over the last two.
Broadmeadow have played in nine Grand Finals, the first three they lost, to Highfields Azzurri, Hamilton, and Edgeworth in 2003 and since then they have won six straight. While Edgeworth may have won the Grand Final last year, Broadmeadow is the most experienced side on the biggest day of the season, with the likes of Peter Haynes and Josh Piddington to name just a couple.
Last season, Broadmeadow went within a whisker of making the Grand Final, going down 3-3 on away goals to the side they play today in Edgeworth. Is this a chance at redemption? In the big games, Magic come to the fore which was evident last season and once again this year when they met Hamilton Olympic. Not having beaten their rivals since 2013, they took them down twice in the space of a week to make it to the Grand Final.
This season started off superbly for Broadmeadow, as they lost just one of their opening 12 matches, however, it was draws against Adamstown, Weston and Valentine which cruelled their premiership aspirations through the middle part of the season. They finished up with the second best attack in the competition, scoring 49 in the regular season, while their defence was the area they let themselves down in, the fourth best in the competition as they conceded 28 goals.
The significant difference between Broadmeadow this season and last season has been the recruitment of James Virgili up front and Michael Kantarovski in the midfield. When Virgili missed the final three matches of the season, Magic lost two of their three matches, which shows just how important he is to the side. Kantarovski has provided a cool head and plenty of creativity in the midfield after coming over from the Jets.
Based on their two regular season fixtures, this match will be tight and will go down to the wire. How well Edgeworth recovers from Tuesday night’s Westfield FFA Cup fixture will have a huge influence on the result here. With an outstanding season behind us, Edgeworth and Broadmeadow should provide us with a fantastic contest to close out the season.
What the Coaches Said:
Damian Zane (Edgeworth)
“The last two years have been massive. Just before the Melbourne City game, talking about our Facebook site, I think we had 350 likes and we are about 1750 now. That all came from the FFA Cup and it’s happening again this year. When I took over I said I couldn’t promise success the first year but we have to start winning something because it had been close to five years since we had won something. I felt that teams weren’t looking at us as one of those ‘big’ clubs.”
“It’s going to be all about recovery pretty much and see how we get through the FFA Cup match. We don’t fear anyone and we will go out to play our game. We are respectful, they have obviously been good in the semis and are obviously very good up front. We are going to need a few of the young guys to come of age because we may need to tinker with the line-up to get some fresh legs in there.”
Bobby Naumov (Broadmeadow)
“The boys are all keen and happy. A few have them have been through it a number of times, and while they are still excited to make a Grand Final, they will probably handle it a bit better than people playing their first. Edgeworth have got plenty of experience as well from last year. Most of their players are there from last year. You can’t beat experience and we have blokes there who have been there and done that and they know what to do.”
“They have proven they are all dangerous, and as a side, they have played well. I don’t think there are any standouts to be honest except McBreen who is an experienced player who you need to watch. The thing is I think they have just played well as a side together. There is no particular area you can worry about, you just have to do your job and hopefully, things take care of themselves. They have a very good work ethic and are good all over the park without looking at one specific area.”
Key: The final 15 minutes. Edgeworth have been outstanding in that period this year and Magic need to be wary.
Sunday 4th September
U19’s GF – Weston v Magic 10.30am
U22’s – Magic v Emerging Jets 12.30 pm
NPL GF – Edgeworth v Magic 2.30pm