NPL Preview: Crucial clashes for academy teams

With the business end of the NPL season fast approaching, both academy sides have finals football in their sights. The men’s Academy take on a travelling Bonnyrigg side while the women travel to the South Coast to take on Southern Branch FC.

Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Bonnyrigg White Eagles

It is a battle for the top six at Pluim Park this Sunday as the eighth place Mariners Academy take on sixth spot Bonnyrigg White Eagles.

Last week saw a variety of attacking outlets for the men’s Academy during their win over Canterbury. Matthew Hatch has become an unlikely scoring hero with two goals in the last three games at Pluim Park. The young Mariners have struggled for consistency this season but the possibility of back to back wins at Pluim could put the men’s Academy in the driver’s seat to finish in the top six.

Wayne O’Sullivan’s Bonnyrigg will arrive at Pluim Park in great form, having been undefeated for the past month. During this time, the White Eagles have knocked off three top six sides Hills United, Mounties and Spirit FC. The dangerman for Bonnyrigg has been Asmir Kadric who has scored five goals in five weeks, including a brace last weekend.

It was a tight encounter last time these sides met, with the game finishing 1-1. Nick Montgomery will be hoping last week’s victory as well as home advantage will give his side the confidence to defeat Bonnyrigg.

Last week’s academy side: Aidan Munford (GK), Sasha Kuzevski, Alec Vinci (c), Lewis Miller, Matthew Hatch, Maximilien Balard, Kyle Johnson, Joey Jevtic, Mario Shabow, Michael Katsoulis, Jordan Smylie

Match Details
Sunday, 14 July 2019
NSW NPL 2 Round 20
Match:
Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Bonnyrigg White Eagles
Venue: Pluim Park, Lisarow
Kick Off: 3:00pm

Southern Branch FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy Women

After an important mid-week victory over Marconi Stallions, Dan Barrett’s side make the long trip south to take on Southern Branch FC.

Last weekend saw the girls fall to a heartbreaking injury time defeat against Sutherland Shire, but their fortunes were turned around as they defeated Marconi 4-3 after a second half brace from Danielle Wise. The academy girls now have a healthy buffer in fifth spot as they remain in the hunt for finals football. Danielle Wise has jumped to third on the goalscoring chart with 19 for the season. The Yellow and Navy have proved throughout the season they can match it with any NPL 2 outfits despite the injuries the side has suffered this season.

Southern Branch grabbed an important win last week over fellow strugglers Inter Lions. It has been a difficult season for Southern Branch however, Shaylee Meehan has stood out, netting eight for the season with a double last week. The side will be hoping their home advantage will create momentum against a very dangerous Mariners Academy side.

It was a goal fest last time these sides met with the women’s Academy edging out 5-3 winners at Pluim Park.

Last week’s academy side: Rhiannon Hines (GK), Gabrielle Blanch (c), Leisel Collins, Nina Collins, Jordyn Drysdale, Jade Mcatamney, Brooke Miller, Kaitlin Murphy, Elizabeth Shorter, Mikala Tucker, Danielle Wise

Match Details
Sunday, 14 July 2019
NSW NPL 2 Women’s Round 19
Match:
Southern Branch FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy Women
Venue: South Nowra Football Complex, South Nowra
Kick Off: 3:00pm