Blockbuster to begin PS4 NPL Victoria season

National Premier Leagues football is back for 2015, with arch rivals South Melbourne and Oakleigh to kick off Round 1 of the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria.

30 out of the 34 teams will be in action this weekend, with the entry of Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory's NPL sides delayed until March, due to their Foxtel National Youth League commitments.

It promises to be an exciting year, with the addition of a three-week finals series involving the top six in the NPL.
The NPL 1 has been into two conferences – NPL 1 East and NPL 1 West – to accommodate for six new additions: Eastern Lions, Moreland City, Nunawading City, Murray United, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.
Each NPL 1 team will play every team in its conference twice, and teams in the opposing conference once. The champions of each conference will contest the NPL 1 Grand Final on September 18-20.
The runners-up of each conference will meet at a similar date, with the winner to come up against the 12th-placed NPL team on September 25-27 for a spot in the top division in 2016.
Read the official NPL Media Guide online here.
You can download logos for every club from NPL and NPL 1 here.
PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria – Round 1

South Melbourne v Oakleigh Cannons
8.15pm, Thursday February 19, 2015
Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #SMvOC #PS4NPLVIC

Defending champion South Melbourne comes into this game off the back of a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against Melbourne Knights in the FFV Community Shield.
South coach Chris Taylor has strengthened over the off-season, adding Tasmanian golden boot winner Andy Brennan to his squad, while luring former A-League player Jake Barker-Daish to the champions.
Its biggest loss over the offseason was New Zealand international James Musa, who departed for the USA. But it's not all bad news; South has replaced him with former Northcote captain Kristian Konstantinidis.
Oakleigh has similarly strengthened over the offseason, recruiting former Goulburn Valley Suns star Ben Clarke to strengthen its forward-line, as well as adding to its defence with Northcote's Adrian Chiapetta, who recently returned to the club following a trial with Newcastle Jets.
Their previous encounters have shown this promises to be a fiery affair.
With the added stakes of the first three-points of the competition on the line, it will make for an entertaining game.

Bentleigh Greens v North Geelong Warriors
8.30pm, Friday February 20, 2015
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #BGvNGW #PS4NPLVIC

Westfield FFA Cup semi-finalists Bentleigh Greens has left no stone unturned in its bid to win the league, bringing NPL Queensland's top striker down to Melbourne in Chris Lucas, as well as bolstering its stocks with some solid local signings.
The Greens have gotten a solid pre-season under their belts, playing their first fixture back on January 8, when they drew with Malaysian Super League side Johor Darul Ta'zim 1-1.
North Geelong returns to Victoria's top tier after more than two decades away.
Rather than making a slew of new signings, the Warriors have backed their current crop, and consolidated with few new additions.
Coach Micky Colina will be hoping to continue his good form in 2015, leading the Warriors to 13 victories in his 16 games in charge and eventual promotion.
Melbourne Knights v Avondale FC             
8.30pm, Friday February 20, 2015
Knights Stadium, Sunshine North
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #MKvAFC #PS4NPLVIC

Melbourne Knights will be hoping to bounce back after last week's loss in the FFV Community Shield to South Melbourne.
The Knights will be buoyed by the addition of former Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory forward Adrian Zahra, who is now available for selection after a dramatic deadline day signing, despite being pursued by a number of clubs.
Avondale FC's defence will have to be on their game, with Stipo Andrijasevic, former A-League player Andrew Barisic, and now potentially Zahra in its attack.
The NPL 1 winner will be without its coach Anthony Barbieri for Round 1, who is in Italy on business for another week.
Despite not being there, Barbieri has left his side in good shape, making some solid signings in proven performers Jonathan Munoz, Simon Tolli, and Chris Irwin to name a few.
Avondale enters its first ever season in Victoria's top-tier after a solid preseason, having defeated a number of NPL sides.

Hume City v Port Melbourne
3.00pm, Sunday February 22, 2015
Broadmeadows Valley Park, Broadmeadows
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #HCvPM #PS4NPLVIC

Hume City comes into the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria 2015 having strengthened its squad considerably since last year.
Coach Louis Acevski has added to last year's sixth-placed side with former Cameroon U20 international Calvin Mbarga, former Brisbane Roar youngster Jai Ingham, as well as promising local boys Deng Aguek and Marcus Schoren.
The new signings will complement an already-strong side from last year, and will be one to watch in 2015.
Meanwhile Port Melbourne only completed its preseason last night, with a 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory's youth side.
The Sharks will be hoping for a better year than last, when they only escaped relegation after a last minute equaliser against Werribee City.
Coach Eric Vassiliadis has made big moves to strengthen his front line, adding former Melbourne Victory and Bayern Munich youth player Julius Davies, as well as former Northcote City big man Trent Rixon, and South Melbourne former golden boot winner Shaun Kelly to the side.
Vassiliadis will be hoping his attack is enough to overcome a Hume backline led by Goalkeeper of the Year Chris Oldfield.

Heidelberg United v Pascoe Vale
3.00pm, Sunday February 22, 2015
Epping Stadium, Epping
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #HUvPV #PS4NPLVIC

Heidelberg will not have home ground advantage here, playing its opening game out of Epping Stadium, rather than Olympic Village as it is unavailable due to ground works.
Despite that, the Warriors come into this game with an attacking line to be feared, adding to last year's duo of Kaine Sheppard and Daniel Heffernan with former Box Hill United forward Kenjok Athiu.
Coach George Katsakis has also added to his stocks in midfield and defence, while managing to keep a hold of promising youngsters like Jakob Williams.
Pascoe Vale was stuck in mid-table obscurity in 2014, no thanks to a winless start in the first month of the season.
Vitale Ferrante will be hoping for better things from his boys in 2015, having lured back Davey Van 't Schip, and recruited youngsters Tom Black from overseas, Jake Halliday from NPL SA, as well as local lads Alex Pavlidis and Adam Nakic.

Werribee City v Dandenong Thunder
3.00pm, Sunday February 22, 2015
Galvin Park, Werribee
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #WCvDT #PS4NPLVIC

Nino Ragusa's men narrowly avoided relegation in 2014, with their survival coming down to that fateful day against Port Melbourne.
Not much has changed for Werribee, with the side keeping largely the same squad.
The Bees will be hoping the big-name additions of former Socceroo Simon Colosimo, and Avondale Heights' Arturo Ymeri will be enough to add some mental strength, skill, and experience to the side.
Dandenong Thunder saw its squad pillaged over the offseason, with key men Matt Millar, Kieran Dover, and Kris Kioussis all departing for greener pastures.
They've opted to replace youth with youth, with exception of one key man: homegrown talismanic striker Veton Korcari came home.
Thunder will be hoping its youth, featuring big man Korcari, can do enough to start its season with a win over an experienced Werribee.
Green Gully v Northcote City
8.30pm, Monday February 23, 2015
Green Gully Reserve, Keilor
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #GGvNC #PS4NPLVIC

Green Gully was not a side many thought would be in the relegation dogfight last year, but in the end, it only escaped by three points.
Gully's biggest problem was a lack of consistency, starting its year with a 4-0 win but then going on to lose the next four in a row.
After adding a few experienced names to the group, Bob Stojcevski will be hoping his side will have enough to start the year off with another win.
Gully's opponents in Northcote also had a notoriously slow start to the year, losing its first three games on the trot.
Despite the poor start, coach Goran Lozanovski managed to spur his men on to a respectable seventh-place.
It'll be a new look Northcote to face Gully on Monday night, having lost three key youngsters to Melbourne City, as well as Rixon, Konstantinidis, Munoz, and Liam Wooding.
Former Gully man Jason Hayne will play against his old club for the first time, while new signing Ryan Go may start, pending an international transfer clearance being readied in time for Monday night.

NPL 1 East - Round 1

Dandenong City v Eastern Lions
3.00pm, Saturday February 21, 2015
Frank Holohan Soccer Complex, Endeavour Hills
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #DCvEL #PS4NPLVIC

Eastern Lions makes its PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria debut in this game.

Murray United v Box Hill United
5.00pm, Saturday February 21, 2015
La Trobe University, Wodonga
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #MUvBHU #PS4NPLVIC
This will be Murray United's first ever competitive fixture.

Goulburn Valley Suns v Richmond SC
7.00pm, Saturday February 21, 2015
John McEwan Reserve, Shepparton
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #GVSvRSC #PS4NPLVIC

Kingston City v Nunawading City
8.30pm, Monday February 23, 2015
The Grange Reserve, Clayton South
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #KCvNUC #PS4NPLVIC
Nunawading City makes its PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria debut in this game.

Springvale White Eagles v Melbourne Victory
Delayed, until 7.15pm, Tuesday March 17, 2015
White Eagles Stadium, Keysborough
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #SWEvMVC #PS4NPLVIC
NPL 1 West - Round 1

Brunswick City v St Albans Saints
3.00pm, Saturday February 21, 2015
Dunstan Reserve, Brunswick
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #BCvSAS #PS4NPLVIC

Bendigo City v Moreland City
6.00pm, Saturday February 21, 2015
Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve, Bendigo
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #BFCvMC #PS4NPLVIC

This will be Bendigo City's first ever competitive fixture as a new entity.
Moreland City makes its PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria debut in this game.

Ballarat Red Devils v Sunshine George Cross
7.15pm, Saturday February 21, 2015
Morshead Park Stadium, Ballarat
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #BRDvSGC #PS4NPLVIC

FC Bulleen Lions v Moreland Zebras
8.30pm, Monday February 23, 2015
Veneto Club – David Barro Stadium, Bulleen
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #BLvMZ #PS4NPLVIC
Melbourne City v Whittlesea Ranges
Delayed, until 8.30pm, Wednesday April 1, 2015
Epping Stadium Epping
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #MCYvWR #PS4NPLVIC

Keep up-to-date with all the NPL Victoria news, video, features and more via the official website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.