NPL Final Series Preview: Wollongong Wolves v Canberra Olympic

It’s a first venture into the National Premier Leagues Finals Series competition for Wollongong Wolves.

But Luke Wilkshire's side come up against experienced opposition in Canberra Olympic who will be looking to improve on their disappointing performances in past instalments of the NPL Finals Series.

The season that was

Wollongong claimed the NPL NSW Premiership after cruising to the finish line nine points clear of APIA Leichhardt in second place, scoring on average more than two goals per game and conceding less than one.

But with a double chance in the finals Wollongong bounced out of contention for the Championship with two consecutive losses to APIA Leichhardt and Sydney United 58, finishing their NPL season with a whimper.

SCHEDULE: National Premier Leagues 2019 Finals Series fixtures confirmed

Wollongong Wolves get their hands on the trophy
Wollongong Wolves were 2019 NPL NSW Premiers

Not to be outdone, however, were Canberra Olympic who also bundled out of the NPL ACT Finals after blowing their own double chance, losing first to Tigers FC before eventual Champions Gungahlin United knocked them out in the Preliminary Final.

Prior to the finals campaign Canberra Olympic were the dominant team in a 16-game NPL ACT season, finishing five points clear of Tigers in second and nine points clear of Gungahlin in third.

Past NPL Finals Series Ventures

As Wollongong prepare for their first taste of NPL Finals Series action Canberra Olympic will take their third shot at progressing through the Quarter Finals to the final four.

In both 2017 and 2016 Canberra fell short in Elimination Finals to Edgeworth Eagles and Brisbane Strikers respectively.

Who wins and why

With both teams sharing such similar paths this season – both in cruising to the Premiership and collapsing in the finals – it’s hard to predict a winner.

Canberra’s priors in this competition don’t make for pretty reading but the experience gained in their previous two NPL Finals Series campaigns could be the difference against a Wollongong side taking their first steps into the competition.

Over the 16-game NPL ACT season Canberra Olympic scored an average of three goals a game, and although they come up against a solid Wollongong defence I’m predicting plenty of goals for either side with Canberra just managing to come out on top.

Every match in the  NPL 2019 Finals Series will be streamed LIVE on as well as via the official National Premier Leagues Facebook page (

National Premier Leagues 2019 Finals Series


National Premier Leagues 2019 Elimination Finals





Kick-Off (Local)


Sunday 22 September 2019

Lions FC (QLD)


Campbelltown City SC (SA)

Lions Stadium, Richlands, QLD

1:00 PM AEST


Saturday 21 September 2019

Maitland FC (NSW)


Devonport Strikers (TAS)

Cooks Square Park, Maitland, NSW

1:00 PM AEST


Saturday 21 September 2019

Wollongong Wolves (NSW)


Canberra Olympic (ACT)

Albert Butler Park, Primbee, NSW

3:00 PM AEST


Sunday 22 September 2019

Heidelberg United FC (VIC)


Perth SC (WA)

JL Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne, VIC

4:30 PM AEST


National Premier Leagues 2019 Semi Finals





Kick-Off (Local)


28 or 29 September 2019

Winner of Match 1


Winner of Match 2




28 or 29 September 2019

Winner of Match 3


Winner of Match 4




National Premier Leagues 2019 Grand Final





Kick-Off (Local)

Grand Final

5 or 6  October 2019

Winner of Match 5


Winner of Match 6



*Please note this schedule is subject to change