Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic FC v Newcastle Olympic FC
Magic Park, 4pm Saturday
It will be a battle for the top of the table when Broadmeadow Magic face Newcastle Olympic on Saturday afternoon.
The winner will take the top spot with only two points separating the sides, heating up the premiership race.
Both teams are looking forward to an entertaining but challenging contest, with Magic coach Jake Curley labeling the match a derby not to miss.
“It’s a bit of a derby between teams,” Curley said.
“It is always a good occasion. Everyone is excited about the match.
“I think the games against Olympic have always been a challenge for us and always been competitive.”
Curley is aware of the attacking threats Olympic have in their arsenal but know that they can back their own forwards to get the job done, with the likes of Adrianna Konjarski and Lucy Jerram in the mix.
“Olympic are coached well and have good players,” Curley said.
“We know they have players such as Jemma House who are good.
“The outcome of the game will be the team who takes their chances.
“It will be all about finishing.
“The thing that AJ does really well is that she is always composed in front of goal.
“Lucy, Chelsea (Lucas) and Kirra (Lewis) have also been very strong for us in attack.”
Gemma Harrison remains in doubt for Magic this Saturday after missing out on last week’s clash with a quad strain.
The league-leaders know how tight the Premiership race is and know what their gameplan heading into Saturday.
“For us the general focus is on ourselves,” Curley said.
“I think it is the pointy end of the season and we need to maintain what we are doing and get the three points.”
Olympic’s coach Neil Owens is also aware of how important the three points are in the race for the Premiership.
“This is the game of the season,” Owens said.
“It is super important to get the win or they (Magic) are five points ahead and we are done.
“It would be nice to go to the top and beat Magic knowing that we don’t have to play them again.”
The confidence is high within Olympic’s squad coing off the baxk of a 7-0 thumping of Mid Coast in Round 17.
“We are feeling quite good and are on a roll,” Owens said.
“We haven’t dropped many points for a while now.
“The girls look really good and we are pretty confident we can get the job done.”
Similar to Curley, Owens knows the danger of Magic’s attack but is certain that he can rely on more than his strikers to cause just as much damage.
“Jemma (House) is an exceptional player,” Owens said.
“But it’s great that we can share the load of goalscoring with our midfielders also scoring goals.”
“It will all come down to when there is an opportunity and making the most of it.
“We need to close down AJ as she is the main threat. Eliminate the service to the attackers.”
Owens is always impressed with the standard of football both sides bring to the table when they go head-to-head and hopes the same can be said in this weekend’s clash.
“I am really looking forward to the battle. The games against Magic have been really great quality football and a high standard.”
“The last two games that we have played Magic have really shown off the girl’s game at this level and it will be a really good spectacle to watch and see what the game is growing into.”
Olympic will be at full strength besides missing attacker Georgia Amess, who is away.
The two sides also have Maitland FC knocking on their door, sitting two points behind Olympic and four back from Magic, making three points invaluable.
Adamstown Rosebud JFC v New Lambton FC
Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, Saturday 7pm
Both teams will be desperate to keep their seasons alive when Adamstown hosts New Lambton at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Saturday night.
Although it will be a difficult task, it is still mathematically possible for both sides to make the top four and play finals football.
Rosebud’s slow decline in the second half of the season has seen them drop to sixth on the table.
Ryan Campbell’s side are 11 points outside the top four and suffered a 4-1 defeat to league-leaders Broadmeadow Magic last weekend.
It will be crucial for Rosebud to shut down New Lambton’s Newcastle Jets duo of Cass Davis, Tara Andrews and Lauren Allan, who have caused many teams headaches in attack.
Campbell will be hopeful that his own Jets players Leia Puxty and Josie Morely can use their experience to help guide their team to a result.
New Lambton were confident they could get the job done last weekend against Maitland but went down 5-1.
The defeat has put a major dent in their last-minute sprint to finals but the Golden Eagles will be determined to bounce back.
Greg Lowe will be eager for Davis, Andrews and Allan to lift in the attacking areas of the field and take their chances.
Davis alongside her sister and co-captain Airlie Davis will also need to lead in deference and shut Rosebud’s lively strikers down.
New Lambton are nine points below Charlestown Azzurri in fourth It is difficult but mathematically possible for both teams to make finals, making a win crucial.
The last time these two teams played in Round 11, New Lambton were victorious with a 4-0 defeat. This will be the last chance for both sides to keep their final’s hopes afloat, making it a game not to miss.
Warners Bay FC v Maitland FC
John Street Oval, Sunday 4pm
Warners Bay will face a tough task in breaking Maitland’s hot streak when they face the Magpies at John Street Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Maitland made it nine games unbeaten against New Lambton last weekend and will be looking to hit double figures against a struggling Warners Bay side.
The Panthers have had a season to forget, yet to pick up a point and have only scored four goals this season. Ryan Swinkles will need his side to lift in a big way in order to try and break the best in-form team in the competition.
The Magpies continue to ride high, after defeating New Lambton in a confident 5-1 full-team performance.
Although coach Keelan Hamilton is not too concerned with keeping a tally of their success rates, he is pleased with the consistency across the park the Magpies have shown this season.
The side have secured their spot in the top four and are set to play finals football for the first time in the club’s history.
The Magpies have the ability to move up the table from third to second if they can secure three points, sitting just two points behind Newcastle Olympic.
Charlestown Azzurri FC v Mid Coast FC
Lisle Carr Oval, Sunday 4pm
Azzurri will be hoping to continue their winning ways when they take on Mid Coast at home on Sunday afternoon.
Charlestown dominantly defeated Warners Bay last week 7-0, picking up not only three points but some much-needed confidence for the group.
The Blues got themselves back in the winning circle after three games without a point, boosting their position to play in finals football.
Azzurri striker Cassie Corder will hope to replicate her goal-scoring prowess this weekend, after scoring five last against the Panthers last weekend and taking her total to 14 for the 2023 competition.
If Charlestown can get the job done in back-to-back performances, they should be able to secure their spot in the top four.
Mid Coast will be looking to bounce back after going down 0-7 to Newcastle Olympic last weekend. The goal for the side will remain the same; improve upon the last time they faced Azzurri, going down 0-7.
Emma Stanbury moved Grace Davies back into goals against Olympic last weekend after moving her out onto the pitch to striker in recent weeks.
Middies will need to put up a strong fight to keep out a hungry passionate Charlestown side.