NPL Preview: All or nothing for Men's Academy

It’s the final weekend of the regular season for the men’s NPL 2 and all will be on the line as the academy boys battle it out against Northern Tigers for the final spot in the elusive top six.

Northern Tigers vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy

The men are on the road this weekend as they head to North Turramurra to play Northern Tigers in the decisive round of NPL action.

It has been a sensational run for the men’s academy who have picked up 10 points out of their last 12 and are currently undefeated in five games. The side has shown a lot of dominance and the ability to run away with victories as well as showing a lot of tenacity in grinding out results. It seems that Nick Montgomery is getting the best out of his side at the right time with all players firing on all cylinders. Monty's men must win on Sunday and hope that the Blacktown Spartans slip up against St George FC. The academy is also involved in a battle for promotion as they sit just below North Shore Mariners in second spot.

For the Northern Tigers, they have also followed a similar run of form with three wins and a draw in their last five games. Rory Spiers has found some goalscoring form of late, netting three goals in four games with Alexander Brown proving to be a major threat from set pieces. The Tigers head into the weekend two points above the yellow and navy but also have to rely on the Spartans result.

Recent history favours the Tigers in this clash, having won their past two games against the academy. These sides last met at Pluim Park earlier in the year as the Tigers ran out 2-0 victors.

The Equations:

Men’s Academy: Must win against Northern Tigers and hope Blacktown Spartans either draw or lose against St George.

U20s: A win confirms first place! 

U18s: Second spot confirmed, no matter what the result.

Club Championship:

The Mariners sit in 2nd spot on the Club Championship table and 16 points behind North Shore Mariners who are in top spot. The academy can claim 1st spot but will need to achieve the maximum of 21 points and hope all the North Shore teams feel the pressure and slip up.

Nick Montgomery:

“The young boys have been fantastic. They’ve really got their heads down, trained really well and it’s no secret that they have worked hard to keep our season alive to the final day.

“NPL 1 is a very strong league and for us to be in that league would be a great test for the young boys as well as a major bonus for our recruiting.

“Aidan Munford has been brilliant, Alec Vinci, who I gave the armband to, has kept the winning culture after Glassock's departure. Max Balard and James Bayless have really stepped up from playing 20s to first grade and made their spots their own. Smylie, Johnson and Jevtic are scoring the goals. I can go through most of the players through most of the grades who have played well so it’s hard to single anybody out.”

“To be able to mentor the young boys and make sure they’re meeting those expectations for when they step up to the A-League team is really beneficial and we have seen some examples of that already.”

Last week’s Academy side: Aidan Munford (GK), Alec Vinci (c), Cameron Windust, Dan Hall, Matthew Hatch, Maximilien Balard, James Bayliss, Kyle Johnson, Michael Katsoulis, Jordan Smylie

Match Details
Sunday, 25 August 2019
NSW NPL 2 Men’s Round 26
Match:
Northern Tigers vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy
Location: North Turramurra Recreation Area, North Turramurra
Kick Off: 3:00pm

APIA Leichhardt Tigers U17s vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy Women U17s

Good luck to the women’s U17 side who are just one win away from the Grand Final.

Sunday, 25 August 2019
Location:
Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood
Kick Off: 11:45am