Round 2 NPL Preview

Port Melbourne Sharks v South Melbourne
8.30pm, Friday March 28, 2014
JL Murphy Reserve
Radio: Live on NPL VIC Live (can also be streamed via the TuneIn app on smartphones – search ‘Live Cast’)
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #PMvSM #NPLVIC

Last round:
Port Melbourne Sharks 2-2 Dandenong Thunder
Heidelberg United 0-3 South Melbourne

Port Melbourne squad from: Luke Prelevic, Stefan Nigro, Lisandro Paz, Andrew Milicevic, Nick Krousouratis, James Riccobene, Connor Redden, Kamal Ibrahim, Amadu Koroma, Andrew Viola, Kosta Stoumpos, Nick Tzoulis, John Lazaridis, Alessandro Venezia, Phillip Riccobene (C), Chris Grossman, Adam Hrehoresin, Kevin Braniff, Lambros Honos

South Melbourne squad from: Jason Saldaris, Tim Mala, Andrew Mullett, Michael Eagar (C), Mathew Theodore, Dimitri Tsiaras, Nick Epifano, Milos Lujic, Tyson Holmes, Brad Norton, Iqbal Jawadi, James Musa, Kobbie Boahene, James Reed, Slaven Vranesevic, Christopher Maynard, Andy Kecojevic, Leigh Minopoulos

It’s all going to script for South Melbourne; a strong win in the NPL opener backed up by its progression to Round 5 of the Dockerty Cup, all while keeping a clean sheet in both games. Port Melbourne looked to be cruising to victory against Dandenong Thunder in Round 1, but was stunned by two quick goals and had to settle for a draw. Milos Lujic was last year’s Victorian Premier League Golden Boot winner and has already hit the scoresheet for South, but he may have some stiff competition from Port Melbourne’s Northern Irish recruit Kevin Braniff, who scored a brace against Thunder. NPL VIC Live will be at JL Murphy Reserve to call the action in this Friday night blockbuster.

Pascoe Vale v Melbourne Knights
8.30pm, Friday March 28, 2014
Hosken Reserve
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #PVvMK and #NPLVIC

Last round:
Hume City 3-0 Pascoe Vale
Melbourne Knights 3-2 Northcote City

Pascoe Vale squad from: Stefaan Sardelic, Eli Luttmer, Nathen Megic, Tomislav Milardovic, Alvaro Carrillo, Adrian Talarico, Michael Ferrante, Carl Recchia, Joseph Youssef, Luca Santilli, Jonathon Voulgaris, Roberto Di Vito, Daniel Chaabani, Davey Van’t Schip, Marco Santilli, Mark Pistininzi, Matthew Lazarides, Yaren Sozer

Melbourne Knights squad from: Shayan Alinejad, Leo Athanasiou, Shayan Alinejad, Milan Batur, Adrian Barresi, Dallas Colelough, Anthony Colosimo, Jacob Colosimo, Rodrigo Covarrubias, Marijan Cvitkovic, Anthony Duzel, Tomislav Fadljevic, Daniel Gicevski, Ivan Grgic, Luke Jurcic, Billy Kathopoulis, Michael Katiforis, Dennis Koutroulis, Antun Kovacic, Ante Kozul, Chris May, James McGarry, Michael O’Farrell, Damien Rastocic, Michael Simms, Nikola Srbinovski, Chris Stefani, Ben Surey (C), Christopher Talajic, Sam Torrens, Tomislav Uskok, Daniel Visevic

The Knights have assembled a strong squad and backed up a solid pre-season with a thrilling Round 1 win over last year’s VPL champion Northcote City, with new signing Rodrigo Covarrubias stealing the headlines with a brace. The story is not the same for Pascoe Vale, however, which was comprehensively beaten by Hume City before being knocked out of the Dockerty Cup at the weekend. The hosts will need to be at their best to match the Knights’ firepower and will go into this contest as underdogs.

Oakleigh Cannons v Heidelberg United
8.30pm, Friday March 28, 2014
Jack Edwards Reserve
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #OCvHU and #NPLVIC

Last round:
Goulburn Valley Suns 0-1 Oakleigh Cannons
Heidelberg United 0-3 South Melbourne

Oakleigh Cannons squad from: John Honos, Aron Wilford, Dominic D’Angelo, Thomas Lakic, Goran Zoric, Evan Christodoulou (C), Bonel Obradovic, Veton Korcari, Dean Piemonte, Dusan Bosnjak, Nate Foster, Alexander Connell, Laurent Coralie, Stelios Konstantinidis, Ariel Ritz, Gideon Sweet, Andreas Govas, Ian Kamau, Jordan Lowdon, Omar Ammache, George Krommidas, Thomas Lakic, Michael Karuiki, Loui Paraskevas, Evan Kraloglou

Heidelberg United squad from: Stefan Baricevic, Luke Byles (C), Leslie Doumbalis, Andrew Cartanos, Gianluca Fantacci, Daniel Heffernan, Dean Jancevski, Kostas Kanakaris, Petr Kratky, Mark McGough, Griffin McMaster, Paul Miller, Steven Pace, Jack Petrie, Phillip Petrovksi, Zane Sole, Haris Stamboulidis, Daniel Vasilevski, Jordan Wilkes, Yusuf Yusuf

Heidelberg United coach George Katsakis drew many positives out of the loss to South Melbourne and promised his side would bounce back. It will have its work cut out against the Cannons though, who kept a clean sheet to grab the three points in a fairly even contest with Goulburn Valley. Coach Miron Bleiberg has opted to play with three defenders so far, but the Cannons were opened up when conceding two goals on the break in their Dockerty Cup loss to Werribee City.  Heidelberg goalkeeper Griffin McMaster will be hoping for a strong performance in his return to the club he played for last year.

Goulburn Valley Suns v Ballarat Red Devils
6.30pm, Saturday March 29, 2014
McEwen Reserve
Highlights to be shown on FFV TV
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #GVSvBRD and #NPLVIC

Last round:
Goulburn Valley Suns 0-1 Oakleigh Cannons
Bentleigh Greens v Ballarat Red Devils (postponed)

Goulburn Valley Suns squad from: Nick Kalafatis (C), Craig Carley, Naum Sekulovski, Kristian Sarkies, Stipo Andrijasevic, Hernan Espindola, Fahed Alghazaly, Rudy Saglam, Ben Clarke, Zac Paraskevas,  Josh Glover, Phillip Petrovski , Riley Hamilton, Cody Sellwood, Tom Langman, Anthony Calandro, Frankie Lagana

Ballarat Red Devils squad from: Aaron Romein, Tristan Romein, Daniel Tinker, Dane Milovanovic, Adrian Curtain, Liam Harding, Nelson Salvatore, Michael Trigger, Dom Swinton, Charlie King (C), Shaun Romein, Danny O’Donnell, Daniel Firth, Bolish Salvatore, Pat Karras, Jai Cartledge, Steven Thomson, Simon Murphy, Jordan Franken

It’s the battle of the two regional clubs on Saturday night, and one which will go down in the NPL history books. Ballarat is somewhat of an unknown quantity following its postponed Round 1 match, and it will again be without injured player-coach James Robinson. The Suns will improve with time given their squad was assembled quickly, but they have some serious star power and were considered unlucky by some to not score in their 1-0 loss to Oakleigh.

Dandenong Thunder v Green Gully
7.00pm, Saturday March 29, 2014
George Andrews Reserve
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #DTvGG and #NPLVIC

Last round:
Port Melbourne Sharks 2-2 Dandenong Thunder
Green Gully 4-0 Werribee City

Dandenong Thunder squad from: Frazer Siddall , Jarryd Barnes, Ilir Pali, Ramazan Tavsancioglu, Faisal Sakhi Zada, Alan Mulcahy (C), Kieran Dover, Matthew Miller, Ivan Skorich, Feston Azizi, Kristopher Kioussis, Brendan Elmazovski, Anthony Giannopoulos, David King, Ryan Burns, Alan Kearney, Marcus Schroen, Brendan Craig, Zaim Zeneli, Jake Nakic, Jack Caminiti, Jarod Blackbourn

Green Gully squad from: Jem Berkant, Mitchell Bissinger, Ratip Cileli, Cameron Davies, Akim Abdul, Stephen Downes, Brent Fisher, Jeffrey Fleming, Kieran Gonzalez, Sean Harding, Jason Hayne, Daniel Jones, Osagie Ederaro, Matthew Sanders, Shaun Timmins, Andy Vargas (C), Rodrigo Vargas, Brian Vanega, Ardian Vuniqi

Green Gully looked the goods in its 4-0 win over Werribee City, and it backed it up with a solid 2-1 win over Ballarat in the Dockerty Cup. There is a sense of stability at Green Gully, given its squad is the least changed from last year of all the NPL squads.  It has a strong record over Dandenong too and emerged the winner in the two sides’ 2013 State Knockout Cup Grand Final, but Thunder coach Dean Hennessey, who was sacked by Green Gully last year, will be out with a point to prove on Saturday night.

Werribee City v Hume City
3.00pm, Sunday March 30, 2014
Galvin Park
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #WCvHC and #NPLVIC
Last round:
Green Gully 4-0 Werribee City
Hume City 3-0 Pascoe Vale

Werribee City squad from: Steven Cudrig, Matthew Cundari, Milan Savic (C), Oliver Rowland, Tommy Dunn, Zois Galanopoulos, Nemanja Govedarica, Joshua Groenewald, Ryan Filipovic, Domenico Marafioti, Ray Markley, Damir Marusic, Daniel Petrov, Ivica Praiz, Anthony Ragusa, Daniel Sweeney, Simon Symeoy, Bobby Vidanovski, Simon Zappia

Hume City squad from: Chris Oldfield, Evan Alexandrow-Ridley, Izzy Erdogan (vice captain), Shane Rexhepi, Baki Efe, Matthew Hennessey, Petar Franjic, Johnny Stojcevski, Jose Guerrero, Nick Hegarty (C), Kliment Taseski, Devon Bonne, Kaan Korkmaz, Aaron Turner , Joseph Franjic, Ali Turgut, Johnny Buceto, Nick Marinos, Samed Altundag, Richie Cardozo

Werribee City coach Nino Ragusa has admitted he has a young side which will be prone to inconsistency, and so far that has been the case. The Bees were stung badly by Green Gully in Round 1, but upset Oakleigh Cannons in the Dockerty Cup to show they won’t be pushovers this year. They’ll come up against the rampaging Hume City, which is scoring at will and looking ominous, particularly with star striker Richie Cardozo leading the charge.

Northcote City v Bentleigh Greens
3.00pm, Sunday March 30, 2014
John Cain Memorial Park
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #NCvBG and #NPLVIC

Last round:
Melbourne Knights 3-2 Northcote City
Bentleigh Greens v Ballarat Red Devils (postponed)

Northcote City squad from: Chris Theodoridis, Luke Gavalas, Adrian Chiappetta (C), Kristian Konstantinidis, Ersin Kaya, Tremayne Sadler, Steve Sifinos, Metekan Yilmaz, Benjudah Fitzpatrick, Philip Petreski, Josh Hiles, Jonathan Munoz, Marino Gasparis, Greg Lombardo, Aaron Ward, Jonathan Bounas, Liam Wooding, Evan Kounavelis, Michael Catalano, James Kalifatidis, Wade Dekker

Bentleigh Greens squad from: Wayne Wallace (C), Kyle Nix, Ross Archibald, Stuart Webster, Luke O’Dea, Luke Pilkington, Alastair Bray, Luc Jeggo, Tom Matthews, Liam McCormick, Steve Hatzikostas, Jamie De Abreu, David Stirton, Nick Modaffari, Perry Lambropoulos, Brent McGrath, James Cumming, Anthony Proia, Christian Cavallo, Jack Webster

It will be billed as the 2013 VPL Grand Final replay, though both squads have a very different look to them in the NPL. Bentleigh’s list has undergone major changes and features some talented National Youth League players from Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart, but the Greens’ first NPL match – their Round 1 fixture was postponed – will be a daunting task away to the reigning Victorian champion. Northcote City lost a topsy-turvy encounter with the Knights in Round 1, but it was clinical and ruthless in its victory over Port Melbourne in the Dockerty Cup. One to watch here is Northcote’s new recruit Liam Wooding, a dangerous winger who has impressed so far.

NPL 1

Richmond v Springvale White Eagles
8.30pm, Friday March 28, 2014
Kevin Bartlett Reserve
Highlights to be shown on FFV TV
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #RSCvSWE and #NPLVIC

Sunshine George Cross v Avondale Heights
3.00pm, Saturday March 29, 2014
Chaplin Reserve
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #SGCvAH

Brunswick City v Dandenong City
3.00pm, Saturday March 29, 2014
Dunstan Reserve
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #BCvDC and #NPLVIC

North Geelong Warriors v Box Hill United
3.00pm, Saturday March 29, 2014
Elcho Park
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #NGWvBHU and #NPLVIC

Whittlesea Ranges v FC Bendigo
6.00pm, Saturday March 29, 2014
Epping Stadium
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #WRvFCB and #NPLVIC

St Albans Saints v FC Bulleen Lions
3.00pm, Sunday March 30, 2014
Churchill Reserve
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #SASvBL and #NPLVIC

Moreland Zebras v Kingston City
3.00pm, Sunday March 30, 2014
De Chene Reserve
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, hashtags #MZvKC and #NPLVIC

Pictured: Northcote City recruit Liam Wooding (left). Image credit: Steve Starek




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