Talking Points: Round 2
By Declan Payne
Lambton aren’t quite at full fitness, Broadmeadow love the full 90
On paper, a 2-all draw with Broadmeadow away from home doesn’t appear to be a particularly bad result for Lambton, but the worry for Jaffas is the fact that for they’ve surrendered a two-goal lead in consecutive weeks.
They managed to overcome it and finish Edgeworth off last week but got away with a point after Broadmeadow surged home in the final twenty minutes of Sunday’s match.
Game management is the key for Lambton due to a number of players still working their way up to full fitness, which James Pascoe has made clear in the early stages of the season.
In comparison, Broadmeadow are rampant in the backend of matches – they’ve scored five of their eight goals this season in the final twenty minutes.
It’s only early days but Magic are starting to assert their credentials as genuine title contenders in 2018, and if they can knock off Edgeworth next weekend that talk will only intensify.
Charlestown are gelling fast, Maitland need to do the same
There are big names aplenty at Charlestown this season, but the worry from coach David Tanchevski was that his side would take some time to gel well enough to be a threat.
That’s not to say the Blues aren’t being given every chance to form relationships on the pitch – they fielded the same starting eleven for the second week in a row in their 3-1 win over Maitland on Sunday.
It appears that early on the immense quality of the individuals in the side is beginning to shine through, and as the season wears on it appears they’ll only improve.
On the other hand, Maitland’s raft of new signings seems to be struggling to bring it all together with the old after things didn’t quite work out for them.
That’s not to say they won’t be a threat as the season wears on and they continue to improve – chances were aplenty on Sunday, and on another day they may have taken the three points themselves.
Hamilton need to make possession count, Adamstown are on the up
Possession football has been a hallmark of Peter McGuinness’ sides, with the likes of Adamstown, the Jets Women and now Hamilton endeavouring to play good football.
It’s important that they make the most of this possession though, with both of their goals so far this season coming from the boot of Jed Honery after incisive breakaways.
Keeping the ball is all well and good, but if Hamilton are to contend this season they need to be more incisive when in possession – the return of Stu Musalik may help them in doing that.
Meanwhile, despite only boasting a point from their first two matches, there are clear signs Adamstown are building positively on a dour 2017 under the tutelage of rookie coach Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.
They levelled late last week and could have done the same this weekend in the 1-0 loss to Hamilton, but the signs are good and the young side will only get better if they can stay positive.
Lakes are struggling to score, Weston stronger at the back
They’ve conceded eight goals in two matches so far this season which is no doubt a huge worry for Nick Webb, but things aren’t much more positive at the front end of the pitch.
While goals weren’t an issue in the Heritage Cup, Lakes have only scored once in their two league matches this season and the goal came from the boot of Weston defender Nathan Morris.
Sam Walker is shaping as more crucial than ever for the Roosters this year, but the onus may be on Paul Sichalwe to step up and show the competition just what he can do.
Weston have conceded three goals in two matches, but have been unlucky to leak them and the signs at Bear Park are pointing towards an improved defensive resolve this season.
They were solid against Maitland without Jordan Jackson and Kew Jaliens, even better against Lakes with the return of the former, but the big challenge will be this weekend against Lambton.
Jets Youth may be in for an improved season, Valentine still an unknown
Last year was far from competitive for Jets Youth, who suffered a number of big defeats and shipped 56 goals across the year but things look on the up this season.
A younger A-League squad gives way for some more quality among the NPL ranks, with the likes of Kosta Petratos, Mario Shabow and Angus Thurgate all expected to play big roles in this year’s NPL campaign.
The former two both scored in Sunday’s win while Thurgate is still playing a role in the senior side’s charge for silverware, but have no doubt this is a side which will do much better than they did in 2017.
Valentine went down in their first match of the season, but given they lost two key personnel in the opening half hour and started the year with the bye it’s early to make any judgements.
Their squad looks thinner than last season and while it’s too early to ascertain the gravity of the injuries to Chris Brown and Zac Sneddon, if the pair are out for an extended period it will be bad news for Phoenix.