NPL Queensland Round 7 Preview

Round 7 of the NPL Men’s and NPL Women’s competition kicks off this weekend, headlined by double headers at Lions Stadium and Capalaba’s Max Haynes Field on Saturday night.

In the men’s competition, defending premiers Peninsula Power are on top of the table alongside Gold Coast Knights, with both sides facing bottom four sides Eastern Suburbs and Redlands United on Saturday evening. 

Also on Saturday, Lions FC host Olympic FC in a grand final rematch, while seventh-placed Capalaba FC play eighth-placed Logan Lightning. 

On Sunday, last-placed Brisbane Strikers host Gold Coast United at Perry Park, with the Strikers in desperate need of a win to kickstart their season after six consecutive losses. 

Meanwhile, Round 7 of the NPL Women’s competition promises to be a cracker as two more W-League stars – Sharn Freier and Georgina Worth – enter the fray. 

Form teams Souths United and Sunshine Coast Wanderers will meet at Wakerley Park on Sunday, while top plays bottom as unbeaten powerhouse Lions FC host winless Peninsula Power at Lions Stadium. 

Lions will be keen to get back to winning ways after letting a 3-0 halftime lead slip away last weekend against Mitchelton FC, who rallied spectacularly to draw level at 3-3 and steal a point. 

Mitchelton, who sit in 11th place, now have the opportunity to enter the top eight with an all-important away game against fifth-placed Moreton Bay United. 

In the bottom half of the ladder, The Gap FC will be desperate to bounce back after a humbling 8-1 loss to Gold Coast United last weekend, while Eastern Suburbs and SWQ Thunder meet in Toowoomba with both sides in need of a win. 

Fans can watch all First Grade NPL Men’s and Women’s matches live on NPL.TV, free for Australian residents.  

Feature matches 

Lions FC v Olympic FC   

Queensland powerhouses Olympic FC and Lions FC will meet on Saturday night in a rematch of last season’s NPL grand final. 

After three consecutive wins in the league and the FFA Cup, Lions FC will run onto their home ground full of confidence. 

The defending NPL champions have been in red-hot form, following up a 5-1 win over Redlands United in Round 5 with a convincing 4-0 win over Gold Coast United and a thumping 5-0 victory over Southport Warriors in the FFA Cup. 

Sharp-shooter Jordan Farina leads the way up front, with four goals in the league and three in the Cup, while Max Mikkola and Alex Fiechtner have also pitched in to make Lions one of the most potent attacking sides in the competition. 

Not much separates the Lions from Olympic, however, with both teams having won three of their six games so far this season. 

After a fast start to the season with consecutive wins over Gold Coast United, Magpies Crusaders United and Moreton Bay United, Olympic proceeded to lose two in a row before playing out a 0-0 draw in their last outing against Sunshine Coast Wanderers. 

With quality all over the park for both sides, and Olympic FC hoping to avenge last season’s grand final loss, it should be a terrific match at Lions Stadium. 

Match details:
Saturday 1 May, 7:00pm
Lions Stadium, Richlands 

Gold Coast United v Brisbane City 

After five consecutive victories, Gold Coast United are arguably the form team of the NPL at the moment, sitting second on the ladder one point behind Lions FC with a game in hand. 

Last Sunday’s 8-1 rampage at The Gap reaffirmed Gold Coast’s quality, with hat-tricks to Deeanna Thompson and Isabella Habuda and a brace to 15-year-old pocket-rocket Kira Richards-Bassett. 

Canadian import Habuda now has an incredible 11 goals in five games to lead the Golden Boot race, while Richards-Bassett announced herself as a player to watch with a sensational solo goal to open her NPL account. 

Late in the first half, Richards-Bassett collected the ball in midfield and burnt The Gap defence with superb pace and close control, running the ball from the halfway line to the six-yard box before sliding her shot home at the near post. 

However, the Gold Coast may have a huge fight on their hands this Sunday afternoon as Brisbane City return to action after a bye last weekend. 

After a strong start to the season, new NPL entrants City are coming off a tough 4-1 loss to Capalaba FC and will be looking to turn things around with four games scheduled against top five sides in the next six weeks. 

While Gold Coast United must surely be favourites at home, a win for City would move them into second spot and give them the confidence that they can go all the way this season. 

Match Details:
Sunday 2 May, 4:00pm
Coplick Family Sports Park, Tallebudgera 

Key players: 

Jordan Farina (Lions FC): The Lions front-man is in a rich vein of form with seven goals in eight league and Cup appearances, including a brace in last weekend’s 5-0 rout of Southport Warriors.  

Daniel Leck (Olympic FC): Like Farina, Leck has seven goals in eight league and Cup appearances, and will be crucial this weekend for Olympic if they are to get a result away from home against Lions. 

Georgina Worth (Capalaba FC): The shot-stopper will be back in goals for Capalaba this weekend after spending the summer with Brisbane Roar, joining fellow W-League players Larissa Crummer and Anna Magraf in a star-studded lineup. 

Sharn Freier (Moreton Bay United): The Brisbane Roar striker returns to her junior club this weekend and will no doubt add to an impressive attacking line-up at Moreton Bay United. 

NPL Men’s Schedule: 

Gold Coast Knights v Redlands United
Saturday 1 May, 4:00pm
Croatian Sports Centre, Cararra 

Eastern Suburbs v Peninsula Power
Saturday 1 May 6:30pm
Heath Park, East Brisbane 

Capalaba FC v Logan Lightning
Saturday 1 May, 7:15pm
Max Haynes Field, Capalaba 

Magpies Crusaders United v Brisbane Roar Youth
Saturday 1 May, 7:30pm
Sologinkin Oval, Mackay 

Sunshine Coast Wanderers v Moreton Bay United
Sunday 2 May, 4:15pm
Ballinger Park, Buderim 

Brisbane Strikers v Gold Coast United
Sunday 2 May, 6:00pm
Perry Park, Bowen Hills 

NPL Women’s Schedule: 

The Gap FC v Virginia United
Friday 30 April, 7:30pm
Walton Bridge Reserve, The Gap 

Moreton Bay United v Mitchelton FC
Friday 30 April, 8:15pm
Wolter Park, Albany Creek 

SWQ Thunder v Eastern Suburbs
Saturday 1 May, 3:45pm
Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba 

Lions FC v Peninsula Power
Saturday 1 May, 4:45pm
Lions Stadium, Richlands 

Capalaba FC v QAS
Saturday 1 May, 5:00pm
Max Haynes Field, Capalaba 

Souths United v Sunshine Coast Wanderers
Sunday 2 May, 5:00pm
Wakerley Park, Runcorn 

Olympic FC v Western Pride
Sunday 2 May, 6:00pm
Goodwin Park, Yeronga 

BYE – Logan Lightning