NNSW NPL: Hamilton Olympic resigned to facing semi-finals without top keeper Danny Ireland

Danny ireland

TOP GUN: Danny Ireland had his left foot in a CAM boot on the weekend.

HAMILTON Olympic are not counting on having No.1 goalkeeper Danny Ireland back for the semi-finals against Magic.

Ireland damaged ankle ligaments early in the 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets Youth in round 16 and Olympic hoped to have him back for the finals. However, coach Michael Bolch said on Tuesday that Ireland “could maybe be back for the grand final, if that”.

With Ireland out, Pullin is set to again deputise in goals when Olympic play Magic away on Sunday and at home the following Saturday. Pullin came back from a 2-2 draw with Valentine to keep a clean sheet against Charlestown on Sunday.

“Tom did well,” Bolch said. “He was a bit nervous against the Jets but he talked and organised the defence well on Sunday and made a couple of good saves. He’ll give a good account of himself.”

Magic co-coach Robert Virgili said James Virgili, who dislocated his shoulder against Olympic in round 15, would play some part in the first semi. He said there was some instability but good strength in the shoulder.

James and brother Luke Virgili were rested for the 2-0 win over Maitland on Sunday at Cooks Square Park but both will be back in the Broadmeadow squad this week.

Edgeworth coach Damian Zane said his side should be full-strength for their semi against Maitland at Cooks Square Park on Saturday after they rested five players last Sunday in the 3-1 win over Adamstown.

Zane said Bren Hammel, Brody Taylor, Ayden Brice, Dom Bizzarri and Lachlan Pasquale did not play against Rosebud because of yellow card trouble but all would be available this weekend. Captain Josh Evans returned from work commitments to play on Sunday. Zane said Taylor had recovered from an ankle strain, giving him a full complement to choose from for the clash with the Magpies, who have Matt Crowell (ankle) sidelined.


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