NPL Previews: Women to host Olympic on Thursday

It’s another exciting round for our Academy teams in the NPL2. Whilst the men head south to take on Canterbury Bankstown FC on Saturday, it’s a massive week of football ahead for the women, with two home matches at the IFS within four days: Sydney Olympic FC on Thursday followed by UNSW FC on Sunday.

Central Coast Mariners’ Academy Women vs. Sydney Olympic FC

Central Coast Mariners’ Academy Women vs. UNSW FC

There’s barely time for the Academy Women to catch their breath after a solid 4-2 win over the Marconi Stallions before they face two home games this week. A tough game against competition leaders Sydney Olympic on Thursday evening will be followed up by a clash against UNSW FC on Sunday afternoon.

The Mariners’ Academy will finally get the opportunity to take on Sydney Olympic FC at home, after their Round 17 match was washed out. It’s sure to be a fiery top of the table clash - the undefeated Sydney Olympic currently sit in first place on both the competition ladder and the club Championship, with the Academy women hot on their heels in second place.

It will then be a very brief recovery period before they take on 10th placed UNSW. The Mariners’ Academy claimed three points from a 2-1 victory last time they took on UNSW, but after three games in eight days, our girls will have to dig deep to take on a fresh UNSW squad.

Head Coach Dan Barrett spoke of the importance of Thursday night's game. 

“This is the Academy's biggest game of the season that’s for sure and we eagerly await this clash," Barrett said. "It's first vs. second in both the league and club championship tables it’s my view that the competition's best two teams play off this Thursday night. 

“As I have stressed, I have been fantastically proud of the squad's depth that has been tested recently and still we are without the quality of Evans and Murphy but our young players have stepped up to the mark most notably on the weekend: defender Grace Bryant and attacking midfielder Iona Snape but these youngsters can’t play as well as they do without the support of our senior players lead by captain Gabrielle Blanch. 

“The whole group are ready and I anticipate a quality match. We will work it to ensure we push the whole 90 and more to get the job done," Barrett said. 

Match Details
Thursday, 26 July 2018
NSW NPL 2 Round 17 (replayed)
Match:
Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Sydney Olympic FC
Venue: International Football School, Kariong
Kick-off: 7:45pm

Match Details
Sunday, 29 July 2018
NSW NPL 2 Round 21
Match:
Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. UNSW FC
Venue: International Football School, Kariong
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Central Coast Mariners’ Academy vs. Canterbury Bankstown FC

The Mariners’ Academy Men are back on the road to face Canterbury Bankstown FC, a string of impressive recent results bolstering their confidence ahead of the clash with the 11th placed Berries.

Both teams walked away with a point after their previous meeting, their clash at Pluim Park ending in a 1-1 draw after a second half penalty was awarded to Canterbury Bankstown.

The Academy Men have remained undefeated in their previous six clashes and kept clean sheets for four of them, maintaining their position on top of the Club Championship and second on the competition ladder.

“Our recent clash with Western Sydney was a good check-point to reflect on some progress made by the group,” Vazquez said. “We believe potentially the match was closer than the eventual score, however many aspects of the match demonstrated some real development in individuals and the group as a whole. In particular, remaining resolute during periods where Western Sydney were dominating and in control illustrated some great maturity in the players, and this was driven by the boys themselves.

“This weekend we face a very unique prospect as we travel away to face Berries. This has been typically a difficult place to take points, however we see it once again as a chance to grow and have the players exposed to a new challenge. As the season heads to the final stages, rather than being daunted by difficulty of the task at hand, it has been extremely encouraging to see the players excited for the challenge of achieving our collective goals,” Vazquez said.

Match Details
Saturday, 28 July 2018
NSW NPL 2 Round 22
Match:
 Canterbury Bankstown FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy
Venue: The Crest Athletic Centre, Georges Hall
Kick-off: 7:00pm