NPL Preview: Finals fever hits Women’s Academy

It’s finals time for all FIVE of our Women’s Academy sides this weekend. The first team is on the road to take on Nepean FC in an elimination final on Saturday while the men’s Academy are also on the road this weekend as they take on GHFA Spirit FC in a must win game.

Nepean FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy Women

Finals fever has hit the women’s Academy with all junior grades joining the reserve and first teams, the Mariners are the only side in NPL 2 to have all grades feature. The first team are on the road to do battle with Nepean in a winner takes all bout.

The girls are no strangers to the finals, having made the grand final last season, the squad will be itching to do one better. After their incredible second half of the season that secured Dan Barrett’s side fifth place, the academy girls will be coming into this elimination final full of confidence. Danielle Wise returns to the side after being rested last week, she smashed in 28 goals in 22 games and narrowly missed out on the Golden Boot. Also returning are experienced duo Gabrielle Blanch and Jade Mcatamney who both starred during the regular season.

Nepean only finished one place above the Mariners in fourth, only losing three games during the season. They come into this game with the third best defence in the league, only shipping in 22 goals, which will make life tough for the Mariners front third. Stefanie Trovato is the sides leading goal scorer with 14 for the season, including 4 in the past month.

This will be the third meeting between the two sides this season. Nepean earned a 1-0 victory in round 4 while the girls bounced back with a 2-0 win in June. It is poised to be a blockbuster game on Saturday afternoon.

Last week’s Academy side: Indianna Auddino, Nina Collins, Sophie Coyte, Haylie Eyers, Jessica Hines, Jade-Anne Kroemer, Hannah Pratt, Willow Shorrocks, Elizabeth Shorter, Kirby Squires, Mikala Tucker

Match Details
Saturday, 10 August 2019
NSW NPL 2 Women’s Elimination Final
Match:
Nepean FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy Women
Venue: Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood
Kick Off: 3:45pm

Junior Grades

  • U14s vs. Southern Branch – 8:30am (Saturday)
  • U15s BYE 
  • U17s vs. St George FC – 11:45am (Saturday)
  • Reserve Grade vs. APIA Leichhardt – 1:30pm (Sunday) 

GHFA Spirit FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy

After last week’s superb 3-0 victory at home to Hills United, Nick Montgomery’s men are on the road to face another top six side, Spirit FC.

The men are still in contention for a finals appearance, but they must win the last three games of the season and hope other results go their way. The side will be bustling with confidence after their most emphatic win of the season against a side fighting for top spot. Montgomery will be hoping Matt Hatch can bring his goal scoring form with him on Saturday night. History favours the Mariners in this fixture, having only lost once to Spirit in seven games that date back to 2016.

Spirit have only just come out of a form slump and are on the back of two wins in a row, both with winning goals after the 80th minute. It is also a must win game for Spirit as they look to secure a home final, with Mounties only one point behind. Former Mariners Academy player Duncan Stewart leads the line for Spirit, he’s netted 17 for the season and can be a real threat to the Mariners defence.

Spirit FC took the spoils when these sides met at Pluim earlier in the year, however, fortunes look to be changing as the Mariners look for back to back wins for the first time this season.

Last week’s Academy side: Aidan Munford (GK), Alec Vinci (c), Cameron Windust, Daniel Hall, Matthew Hatch, Kyle Johnson, Maximilian Balard, Bilal Belkadi, Joey Jevtic, Jordan Smylie, Matthew Cahill

Match Details
Saturday, 10 August 2019
NSW NPL 2 Round 24
Match:
GHFA Spirit FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy
Venue: Christie Park, Macquarie Park
Kick Off: 7:00pm