PS4 NPL NNSW Round 8 Preview
By Blake Jarrett
Broadmeadow Magic FC vs. Weston Workers FC
Sun 31 May 2:30 PM
Match of the Round
The PS4 Northern New South Wales National Premier Leagues Round 8 Match of the Round is one of just two matches to be played on Sunday this weekend, with the rest to be played on Saturday. Highflying Broadmeadow welcome Weston to Magic Park, to participate in a huge match that will have a big impact on how the top four finishes at the completion of the round.
Broadmeadow begin the round in first place. They are currently on seventeen points from seven matches, and along with Hamilton is still one of only two undefeated sides having won five and drawn two.
Weston was in some great form recently until their loss against Hamilton last weekend, which saw them slide down to fourth. They have won four of their first seven matches.
All eyes are on Broadmeadow after their dominant 5-2 win over the Jets Youth on Monday night. After a shaky 2014 new coaches Rob Virgili and Bobby Naumov have steadied the ship and have the 2013 champions thriving again. They are just a win away from twenty points; which is significant as it was their 2014 total tally and if they achieve it on Sunday it will have been in less than half a season.
Recruitment is a major factor behind this success, with Dino Fajkovic and Kale Bradbury shining again on Monday. Bradbury bagged a brace to make it six in a week and eight for the season. Fajkovic also scored, taking his total to seven.
The Bears were disappointed that they could not help Robbie Turnbull celebrate his two hundredth match in style with a win last weekend, however Troy Hearfield continued his hot form getting on the score sheet again.
Broadmeadow now know their fate in the FFA Cup Qualifying Quarter Final, as they drew South Armidale United FC midweek.
They will be most concerned about this weekend however, as they look to stay at the top of the table for the seventh week in a row, having been there since Round 2.
This match has well and truly earned the right to be named Match of the Round. It will be extremely intriguing as the best defensive side in the competition comes up against the best attacking side, and it will be interesting to see which one comes out on top.
Edgeworth FC vs. Newcastle Jets Youth
Sat 30 May 2.30 PM
Jack McLoughlin Oval
The Newcastle Jets Youth travel to Jack McLoughlin Oval on Saturday afternoon, desperate to get their season back on track.
Their run of three wins was ended two weeks ago, seeing them slip out of the top four, then they were demolished by Broadmeadow last weekend.
Those two losses have seen them move down to fifth on the ladder. They are on ten points and trail fourth placed Weston by three.
The home side is in great form. Five wins and two losses this season has them in third place, trailing Hamilton only by goal difference, and Magic by two points.
A major factor behind Edgeworth’s current success is an extremely successful week that started in Round 6. They won that match, followed by their Round 4 catch up game during the week, then topped the week off by defeating South Cardiff last weekend.
It was the perfect end to a three game week for the away side, whose coach Damien Zane challenged them to take away the maximum amount of points, which they did in style, scoring nine and conceding three.
The Jets Youth seem to be struggling in the attacking department as they were still without Brandon Lundy, Braedyn Crowley and Beau McDonald on Monday night. Michael Kantarovski has made a move up the pitch however, and has scored two goals in as many games, which is a positive for the side.
Edgeworth drew Coffs City United FC in the Quarter Final of the FFA Cup Qualifying rounds during the week. That match is not for three weeks, so they will be using the NPL to continue their momentum before competing in the knockout competition.
A win this weekend would be extremely beneficial for both sides. Both play an attractive passing style of football, which will make for an eye-catching game come Saturday afternoon.
Adamstown Rosebud FC vs. South Cardiff FC
Sat 30 May 2:30 PM
The second of three Saturday afternoon match ups sees Adamstown Rosebud host the South Cardiff Gunners.
The Rosebud enjoyed their first win a of the season in Round 6, however their luckless season continued last weekend in a 1-1 draw against Lambton having dominated that match.
They are currently in seventh on six points having won one and drawn three. They are seven points outside the top four.
South Cardiff can leapfrog Adamstown with a win on Saturday. They are one position and point below Adamstown after a win and two draws form seven games to start 2015.
Adamstown coach Graham Law has been impressed with his side’s dominant performances this season, but wishes to start converting these into wins.
‘We have played extremely well in six of our opening seven matches, yet we are only on six points. To me that highlights the strength of the competition this year,’ he added.
Law is also excited by the signing of former Jet Travis Cooper who hit the crossbar on the weekend in his debut.
‘Travis has fitted in very well into our shape. We are not sure how long we have him but he is already one of the boys and he will help us every week he plays’.
Adamstown had two first graders on the bench last weekend against Lambton, which is the most they have had this season. This weekend they will have three which Law sees as a huge positive for the side.
South Cardiff will more than likely be without their key man Jung Deok on Saturday which will be a major blow to the side, however Nathan Stevens will be returning after returning from injury last week in the Under 22s.
Gunners coach Greg Asquith was again disappointed last weekend as his side dominated the first half, but could not take their chances, the main reason behind their loss.
He will be aware that a similar fate can occur against a sharp Rosebud side, so he will be certainly stressing the need to take their chances during the week.
Adamstown Rosebud discovered mid week that they would be competing against Valentine in the Quarter Final of the FFA Cup Qualifiers.
They have several NPL matches before that match however, so they will be solely focused on those beginning this weekend against a Gunners side who also desperately need a win to get their season on track.
Lambton Jaffas FC vs. Maitland FC
Sat 30 May 2:30 PM
Arthur Edden Oval
The last of the trio of games on Saturday is between Lambton Jaffas and Maitland Magpies, at Arthur Edden Oval.
The Jaffas are still searching for the form they finished 2014 with. They are in sixth place on nine points, following two wins, three draws, and two losses.
Maitland have endured a slow start to the season also, however are boosted by their first win, which they scored last weekend against Charlestown. They have also had one draw and five losses, which places them in ninth on four points.
Jaffas have been frustrated this season after several quality first half performances where they have failed to take their chances and capitalize, then have gone on to draw or lose. Coach David Tanchevski is well aware of this and is looking for some change.
‘We keep putting pressure on ourselves by not taking our chances,’ he said.
‘We have been in every game, but we just need some luck to turn our way. We must start winning games to keep us closer to the top of the table’.
‘Defensively we have been a lot better since Michael Sessions came back, but we have a bit of a headache there at the moment with Tommy Smart, Frankie (Lee Soo-myung) and Michael Williams all injured’.
This weekend’s match up against the lowly Maitland is a chance for the Jaffas to pick up three points and give them some confidence, however it will not be an easy task.
Magpies coach Reece Thompson and his men are relishing the chance to get back out on the pitch, after tasting success for the first time last weekend.
Ben Martin and Jye McKellar are in amazing form for the side in black and white, and will again play key roles this weekend as they look to exploit a Jaffas backline down on troops.
Their defence also played really well, as they kept their first clean sheet in 2015.
Jaffas new signing Jamie Byrnes is another player keen for this weekend’s match, keen to get some game time for his new club. He was very content with his move, looking forward to learning from some experienced team members.
‘The allure of learning form Bridgey (Michael bridges) and Maj (John Majurovski) excites me and really cemented my decision to move to the Jaffas,’ he said.
This match will be the first time the sides have met since their NEWFM 1st Division days in 2012, and should be a very interesting affair between two teams who have a lot of motivation to pick up the three points.
Hamilton Olympic FC vs. Charlestown City Blues FC
Sun 31 May 2:30 PM
Darling Street Oval
The second Sunday afternoon match takes place at Darling Street Oval, as last placed Charlestown travel to take on Hamilton Olympic.
Olympic are in great form, undefeated after seven matches. They are in second place after four wins and three draws, trailing Broadmeadow by just two points.
Charlestown have won one match, but lost their other six and are rooted to the bottom of the table.
After missing out on the finals in 2014, Hamilton has responded extremely well this season. Coach Mick Bolch however is not getting carried away just yet.
‘It is very good to be up there at the moment, but there is a long way to go in the season,’ he said.
‘We are just focusing on the weekend’s match against Charlestown. They will be really hurting after another loss’.
The home side is travelling well injury wise, and should have a full squad to choose from this weekend according to Bolch.
The match will be significant for both sides as it provides each with a great opportunity. If Maitland or South Cardiff lose, then a win for the Blues gets them off the bottom of the table. If Broadmeadow lose, then an Olympic win will see them move to first.
It is also Kane Goodchild’s first match against his old club, having left Charlestown for Hamilton in search of more game time. It was a successful; move as he has shone at his new club, and is a major reason behind their early success.
The match provides a great chance for the Blues to silence their critics, and show they can be successful without Goodchild. They desperately need another win if they are to keep their finals hopes alive, with fourth place already ten points ahead of them. A win against a top two side would certainly give them a lot of confidence.
This match should be end-to-end and extremely entertaining, a great way to finish Round 8 of the PS4 NNSW National Premier League. There is one clear favourite, however the underdogs will certainly throw everything they have at their opposition for ninety minutes, and will leave nothing on the pitch.