Monthly Archives: April 2017

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 8:Hamilton Olympic cruise past Weston 2-0

Kane Goodchild, scorer of both Olympic goals

With a gifted goal and a penalty, Hamilton Olympic were able to curb the resistance of a young Weston side and collect the 3 points at Darling St Oval on Sunday night.

Olympic began the match dominating possession and looking threatening but Weston defending in numbers, minimised the clear cut goal scoring opportunities and tried to hit on the counter.

The first clear cut chance for Olympic came in 32” through Mathew Swan from a Kane Goodchild cross, but his header went narrowly wide.

In the 40” a poor clearance from the Weston defence was intercepted by Kane Goodchild who walked into the net with the ball to make the score 1-0 for Olympic.

In the remaining 5 minutes the game opened up with Weston coming forward in search of an equaliser. Despite this, the half time whistle found Olympic leading 1-0.

midfield ace, Louis Townsend

In the opening 10” of the second half, Scott Smith came close to doubling the score for Olympic but at the same time, a great save by Danny Ireland denied Weston from an equaliser from a well taken corner.

Matthew Swan wriggled his way through a number of defenders before being denied by the Weston goalkeeper while Scott Smith curled a great ball which beat the keeper, only to be cleared off the line by a defender.

In the 75’’ a sustained Olympic attack resulted in a hand ball ruling by the referee inside the Weston penalty box! Kane Goodchild had no problem scoring from the penalty spot to make the score 2-0.

In the 87” Thompson saw a second yellow card and was given his marching orders leaving Weston with only 10 men.

A deserved victory by Olympic over a young Weston side which was beaten but certainly not disgraced.

Under 20s Olympic won 4-0
Under 18s Olympic won 4-0

NPL Youth
Lambton vs Olympic
Under 16s Lambton won 0-2
Under 15s Olympic won 3-0
Under 14s drew
Under 13s Olympic won 3-0

Zone League 2
Nelson Bay vs Olympic
1st Grade Olympic won 4-1
2nd Grade Olympic won 4-1

NET results
Under 10s Olympic defeated South Wallsend 2-1
Under 11s Olympic defeated South Wallsend 2-0
Under 12s Olympic defeated Maitland 14-0

Olympic Junior Results
Under 16a Olympic and Magic drew 1-1
Under 15a Olympic defeated Lambton 4-1
Under 13a Olympic defeated by Charlestown 1-2
Under 12b Olympic defeated Kahibah 8-0

Under 9/1 Olympic defeated Nelson Bay
Under 9/2 Olympic
Under 8/1 Olympic defeated Lambton
Under 8/2 Olympic defeated Medowie
Under 7/1 Olympic defeated Cooks Hill
Under 6/1 Olympic defeated Cooks Hill
Under 6/2 Olympic defeated Fletcher
Under 6/3 Olympic defeated Cooks Hill

source: Tom Tsamouras





PS4 NPL NNSW Round 8: Hamilton Olympic ready for Weston Workers at Darling St Oval

Hamilton Olympic v Weston Bears

2.30 pm Sunday 30th April at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 13, 2016: Weston 1 Hamilton 3 at Rockwell Automation Park.

Ladder: Hamilton 4th (10), Weston 9th (4)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Hamilton – Drew Eagles 1-1 (a), Won Magpies 2-0 (a), Lost Blues 1-2 (h)

Weston – Lost Magpies 0-1 (a), Drew Jets 2-2 (a), Drew Rosebud 3-3 (a)

Bottom Line

Weston will look to bounce back from a gut-wrenching draw against the Jets Youth last weekend which surely will have felt like a defeat.

Combined with their tight 1-0 loss to Maitland on Wednesday the Bears will feel they aren’t far off claiming their first three points of the season.

Scoring in the final minute to lead 2-1 against the Jets it seemed the Bears would claim their first victory of the season. But, alas for Weston they gave away a penalty and ultimately threw away the points. 

It has been moments like that which have hurt Weston throughout the season. Twice they led against the now first-placed Jaffas and gave up the lead and added to the result against the Jets and the draws against Adamstown and Lake Macquarie it leaves Weston ninth.

Olympic will enjoy the week to recover from a battering week of football where they played Charlestown, Maitland and Edgeworth all in the space of eight days.

Against three very physical sides coach, Mick Bolch would have been pleased with the four points his side took from matches against Maitland and Edgeworth after a disappointing showing against Charlestown.

Hamilton have been very much up and down so far, this season, however, just having the one draw has been crucial for Olympic to keep themselves just inside the top four.

Nick Thompson (away) will return to the Weston side this weekend. However, Jacob Golding will still remain sidelined for at least five more weeks as he recovers from an ankle injury that he suffered in round two.

What the Coaches Said:

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“All in all, I was very proud of what the boys did [against Edgeworth]. While you are never happy with a result as a draw, the last few years we have had 12 draws and cost ourselves titles. That is our first draw all year, so it’s not ideal but with the players, we had our – Grant Brown and Rhys Cooper –I’m happy with where we are at.”

Losing Kyle [Hodges] and Scott Smith on the weekend [hurt us]. You’ve only got to look at our first three games when he didn’t play we had a loss and a draw. We have been very good since he has been back. We lost a little bit of shape when he came out of the backline [on the weekend]. When Scott Smith came off he twinged his back, you lose a bit of energy when Scott’s not out there.”

Steve Piggott (Weston)

“I was devastated, they were devastated [with the weekend result]. They know they have got to play for 90 minutes. We have discussed it in depth. You are just going over the same things really. We scored the first goal and I sent out a message “start to concentrate for the next three to five minutes”. The Captain yelled it out “Come on let’s keep them out.” Fifty seconds later we conceded an equaliser, 1-1. It’s a mental thing, it’s not physical.”

“We are pretty good at the back but they are special guys [Scott Smith and Kane Goodchild], they are big and strong keep the ball well. In the last six to ten yards of the park they are good at scoring goals, they have earnt their stripes over the years. At the back and in the midfield, they have got some handy players. Leo Bertos may have left them but they have got a quality group. I don’t think they’ve played to their full potential this year. They haven’t hit the heights they probably should.”

Key: Youth v Experience. Which will win out in the end?

 U18s Olympic – Weston kick-off 10:45 at Darling St Oval

 U20s Olympic – Weston kick-off 12:30 at Darling St Oval


U16s Lambton Jaffas vs Hamilton Olympic at Arthur Eden Oval 2.30 pm

U15s Lambton Jaffas vs Hamilton Olympic at Arthur Eden Oval 1.00 pm

U14s Lambton Jaffas vs Hamilton Olympic at Arthur Eden Oval 11:30 am

U13s Lambton Jaffas vs Hamilton Olympic at Arthur Eden Oval 10:00 am

Newcastle Jets Youth v Valentine Phoenix

2.30 pm Saturday 29th April at Cahill Oval

Last Meeting: Round 18, 2016: Valentine 0 Jets Youth 2

Ladder: Jets Youth 11th (2), Valentine 2nd (12)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Jets – Lost Eagles 0-1 (h), Drew Bears 2-2 (a), Lost Olympic 1-4 (a)

Valentine – Won Magpies 4-0 (a), Won Rosebud 2-0 (a), Won Jaffas 3-2 (a)

Bottom Line

Two sides who don’t mind attacking football meet on Saturday afternoon, so it seems a lot of goals may be on the cards in this one.

In their last three matches, 18 goals have been scored at an average of six per game, but, unfortunately for Valentine, the Jets have scored 13 of those and haven’t lost a match to the Phoenix since they entered the competition in 2012.

While their record against the Jets isn’t great, Valentine are flying and high and sit in second place on the ladder just two points behind the first-placed Jaffas. They have been the surprise packet of the current season and would like to make it four wins in a row against the Jets.

The Jets problem has been a similar one to that of the last few seasons, in their ability to defend. They can score plenty of goals, it is as the back though where they are often exploited.

They showed plenty of character to claim just their second point of the season against Weston on Sunday.

Twice they fought back from a goal down to claim a point including with virtually the last kick of the game. Midweek they only fell 1-0 to the defending Champions and defensively they look stronger every week.

Mark Moric scored a double against the Bears and he’ll be looking to impress coach Clayton Zane again this weekend with another quality performance.

Angus Thurgate won the NYL Player of the Year Award at the Newcastle Jets awards during the week, so expect him to have plenty of confidence against the Phoenix.

In a boost for Valentine, they will welcome back Alec Faulkner who has been overseas. Tyson Jackson (ankle) should return to the Jets while in a blow Cody Carroll (hamstring) and Cameron Joice (groin) are in doubt.

What the Coaches Said:

Clayton Zane (Jets Youth)

“I thought we played excellent against Olympic and got touched up 4-1, whereas on the weekend we played well below our level and still got something out of it. There are so many signs of what we saw last year and we are just not learning from it.

“If we had of played like we played against Olympic we would have accounted for Weston no doubt. We defended really well on the weekend and our best players were our left fullback and our two centre-halves. I thought they were excellent.”

Sam Griffin (Valentine Assistant)

“[The loss against Lakes] might have been the lesson we needed to learn and it is a good time to do it early in the year when we have plenty of time to fix it. I’m confident that we will turn up this week, regardless of who the opposition is and how they are going. They scored a goal in the last minute to get a result in the last minute so you’re not going to write them off.”

“I think it was the speed that they play [that troubled us last year]. We had a lot older squad than what we have this year, we had at least two or three guys in their thirties. Our average age might have come down from 26-27 last year to 21-22 this year so that will help us just purely speed wise. I think they weren’t going too well the first time we played them [last season] and we took them too lightly. You just can’t do that against any team in the comp.”

Key: Valentine have kept two clean sheets in a row and against a Jets side who have put 13 past them in three matches a similar resolute defensive performance is required.

Edgeworth Eagles v Charlestown City Blues

7.30 pm Saturday 29th April at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2016: Charlestown 1 Edgeworth 2 at Lisle Carr Oval.

Ladder: Edgeworth 7th (9), Charlestown 5th (10)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Edgeworth – Won Jets 1-0 (a), Drew Olympic 1-1 (h), Drew Magpies 0-0 (h)

Charlestown – Lost Jaffas 1-2 (h), Won Olympic 2-1 (a) Lost Magpies 1-2 (h)

Bottom Line

A weight would have been lifted off Edgeworth and Damian Zane’s shoulders on Wednesday night as they claimed just their second win in six matches this season to haul themselves back to within a point of the top four.

Before the midweek match the Eagles had won just once this season – against Adamstown 6-0 – and while in the other four matches they had played competition favourites in Hamilton, Lambton, Broadmeadow and Maitland, Damian Zane would have expected to get more than three points out of those matches.

A win over the Jets Youth would have done their confidence the world of good, and to have reduced the gap to five points with a game in hand on the first-placed Jaffas sets up the back end of the season.

Charlestown have had a topsy-turvy run of late, going win-loss-win-loss over their last four matches. But like Edgeworth, those four matches have been against quality opposition in Broadmeadow, Maitland, Hamilton and Lambton.

With Josh Maguire returning this weekend and Rene Ferguson firing again this season the Blues have the goal-scoring prowess to trouble Edgeworth.

It has been all Edgeworth in the last four matches between the sides. Damian Zane has never lost to Shane Pryce in the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW and over those matches, the Eagles have racked up 14 goals to the Blues three.

Daniel McBreen (suspended) is still out for Edgeworth, while Cameron Hughes (work) and Josh Maguire (quad) will miss the match for the Blues.

What the Coaches Said:

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“Thirty seconds into the second half [against the Jets], Brenno [Bren Hammel] won the ball and delivered this pinpoint cross and we had runners in the box everywhere and the ball just skidded past every one of them. I just looked and I just went, gee, we are having a bad time of late. We are not far off; the delivery has improved for me in the last couple of weeks. But, I think we are going to cut loose on someone soon, I really do.”

“I think we are finding, as I said to the players, at times our ball movement was ok, but it was slow and we weren’t backing ourselves to play through the centre and look there is no doubt the level of coaching is better this year. If you’re too slow in doing things, teams are so well organised. I’ve just noticed, you can see that in the closeness of the competition that coaches can make a difference.”

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“It’s a massive challenge for us, they’ve been the benchmark of the competition for the last few years now so everyone turns up to beat Edgeworth, but, we’ve also been a bit behind the mark over the last few years against them. It’s a definite challenge for our boys to see if our results have been not a fluke.”

“I guess their danger is that they haven’t been playing the football they want to play and that they know they can play. The challenge there is they have got quality players there that are thinking they’ve got to step up and improve their game and I’m sure the bar has been set by Zaney [Damian Zane] out there. That’s the danger for me, that when it all clicks someone is going to get towelled up.”

Key: Against an Eagles side who have scored just twice in three games, can the Blues bring the determination and defensive steel they have shown over the last month.

Adamstown Rosebud v Lambton Jaffas

2.30 pm Sunday 30th April at Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2016: Adamstown 1 Lambton 2 at Adamstown Oval.

Ladder: Adamstown 10th (3), Lambton 1st (14)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Adamstown – Drew Magic 0-0 (h), Lost Roosters 1-2 (h), Lost Phoenix 0-2 (a)

Lambton – Won Blues 2-1 (a), Drew Magic 1-1 (h), Won Roosters 4-0 (a)

Bottom Line

Adamstown will be feeling a little bit better about themselves after a solid defensive showing against Broadmeadow Magic on ANZAC Day. They showed desperation, determination and plenty of grit as they kept out a frustrated Magic side.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Rosebud’s this weekend as a battle with the first-placed Jaffas looms large. It will be a very good test for Pete McGuinness’ side.

They will have to overcome their recent history as well. Adamstown haven’t won in seven matches against the Jaffas dating back to 2012 in the NewFM First Division.

In the six PS4 NPL matches the sides have played Lambton have won five and they have had one draw. In the process, the Jaffas have scored 21 to the Rosebud’s 2.

The Jaffas are flying this season and are unbeaten in three matches.

They proved the loss of top scorers Pat Brown and Joel Griffiths wouldn’t hurt them last weekend as both didn’t play and Tom Waller and Nathan Verity stepped up with quality goals to ensure a 2-1 win over Charlestown.

Adamstown were resolute in defence against a Broadmeadow side who have spluttered in attack so far this season. Whether they can contain Lambton who are scoring at two goals a match will be a much tougher task.

Adamstown are at full strength, while the Jaffas will be without Pat Brown (knee) who is at least a week away, Joel Griffiths (hip flexor) and Dain Greentree.

What the Coaches Said:

Pete McGuinness (Adamstown)

“Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Whether you are a fella on the hill, or the fella coaching the other team or a member of the public you are entitled to your opinion. I’m happy for people to voice their opinion. I don’t have to necessarily agree with it. We’ve leaked 18 goals or something in six games. I’m not doing my job if I don’t rectify that and rectify it quickly.”

“I’ve played in some teams around Newcastle that would absolutely whip most teams in this competition now and I can tell you now we played against teams that put everyone behind the ball and never ever bothered playing. I didn’t go and whinge about it. It was our job to break that down. It’s a part of football and it doesn’t matter what level you are at, you have different personalities and different philosophies on how to play.”

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“I expect us to go there and put on a good performance. If they want to park the bus, they can park the bus. There are things you have to do to beat that. If people put a defensive block in, you’ve either got to go through it, around it or over it and you keep working on each of those things during the course of the game until you find the way. We’re well versed in how to do all that.”

“It will probably be the first time we are up against it. I wouldn’t expect them to change too much. It’s probably something we might see a bit more as the season goes on. There are a million ways to play this game, a million ways to play football, and the key to it is to try to find a way to play which suits the cattle you have got, and if Pete thinks that is the best way for him to try and get some results and points, well good on him.”

Key: All in the mind. On paper, the Jaffas look to strong, but the same could be said for Magic on ANZAC Day. Can Lambton turn up with the right attitude?

Maitland Magpies v Lake Macquarie City Roosters

2.30 pm Sunday 30th April at Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: NewFM 1st Division, Round 12, 2010: Maitland 0 Lake Macquarie 1 at Cooks Square Park.

Ladder: Maitland 6th (10), Lake Macquarie 3rd (11)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Maitland – Won Bears 1-0 (h), Lost Phoenix 0-4 (h), Lost Olympic 0-2 (h)

Lakes – Won Rosebud 2-1 (a), Lost Jaffas 0-4 (h), Won Magic 4-1 (a)

Bottom Line

Two sides who haven’t met in seven years face-off at Cooks Square Park with the home side looking to build on their 1-0 victory over Weston midweek when they clash with Lake Macquarie at home on Sunday afternoon. 

Both of Maitland’s losses have come at home this season and while a tight 2-0 loss – where they came close to equalising – against Hamilton wouldn’t have concerned coach Phil Dando too much, the 4-0 thumping they received from Valentine would have.

The Phoenix totally outplayed the Magpies on Saturday evening and they cannot afford the same to happen against the Roosters.

Lakes will be fresh after having the bye last weekend and will have regained plenty of confidence after their win against Adamstown last start.

They have lost just once this season – against the first-placed Jaffas. Their resolute defence, combined with their lethal ability to finish chances – led by Sam Walker – has given Lakes a platform to push on for a shot at the finals.

After a crushing defeat at the hands of Lambton at home, the weekend before the Roosters could not have responded any better. Blake Green scored a cracking goal to win the match against the Rosebuds and Sam Walker continued his strong form in front of goals for Lakes.

In a side note to the match, five former Maitland players will line up against their former side with Benn Kelly, Matt Toohey, Steve Rospigliosi, Corey Fletcher and Justin Broadley returning to their former stomping ground.

Toohey makes his return from a groin injury for Lakes while Broadley (toe) could return from injury. For the Magpies, a busy month has taken its toll with Andrew Pawiak (groin), Josh Dutton-Black (knee), Ryan Broadley (ankle), Zac Hill (calf) all in doubt.

What the Coaches Said:

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“[Lakes] have been doing well as well, a surprise packet coming up from the division down. It just goes to show how even this league is at the moment. Everyone’s sort of in the same boat. You can’t really predict results too easily at the moment so they have been doing really well. Scoring goals and playing some good stuff.”

“Last night was our sixth match in 22 days, ten points on the board, I would have liked a couple more, but you know we are probably only two or three points behind where I would have liked us to have been. Anyway, once we have got all the catch-ups out of the way which basically we have now, and we’ve got FFA Cup next week, then we should settle down into a normal routine.”

Anthony Richards (Lakes)

“We are really excited. Maitland to their credit have turned it into an old boys’ day because I think we’ve got more Maitland players than what they have got. They’ve turned it into a community day, so they should get a good ground, so we’re really excited about it.”

“I’m guessing the boys enjoyed ANZAC Day. I saw Corey Fletcher, he was in a two-up ring tossing coins so he’s practising to be captain, I think, for the weekend. I think that was the whole idea! But, our guys are good to go. The week off came at a great time for us, we were able to freshen up and go again, so it’s been terrific for us.”

Key: Home Ground Advantage? Maitland have won just four of their last 17 matches at Cooks Square Park. Can they make it two wins in a row at Windy Hill?

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 7: 10-man Edgeworth snatch late equaliser 1-1 from Hamilton Olympic

10-MAN Edgeworth came from a goal down to secure a 1-all draw with Hamilton Olympic at Jack McLauglan an Oval on Saturday night.

Former A-League Golden Boot Daniel McBreen was given a straight red card early in the second half after an exchange with referee Ryan Gallagher.

The Eagles trailed 1-0 at the time of the striker’s dismissal.

If anything, the send off lifted the home side and they equalised through a Bren Hammel penalty in the 75th after the midfielder had been brought down by Tom Davies.

“They probably did better with 10 men,” Olympic coach Mick Bolch said. “They lifted and we were always going to run out of legs after playing Wednesday night. It hurts both of us on the table but I think a draw was a fair result.”

Matthew Swan had put Olympic visitors ahead when he reacted quickest in a goalmouth scramble.

“We were bit flat to start, but I think we deserved the lead at half-time,” Bolch said. “We lost Kyle Hodges to a broken toe at half-time which changed momentum a bit. He is our skipper and lynchpin in the backline. We lost a bit of shape when he went off.”

In the other game on Saturday night, Jalon Brown scored a brace to lead Valentine to a 4-0 win over Maitland. 

On Sunday, Charlestown City are at home to Lambton Jaffas and Weston welcome the Newcastle Jets youth team to Bear Park.

In the final fixture on Anzac Day, Adamstown Rosebuds host Broadmeadow Magic.

Under 20s Edgeworth – Olympic 1-3
Under 18s Edgeworth – Olympic 1-2

NPL Youth
Olympic vs Edgeworth
Under 16s Olympic won 2-1
Under 15s Olympic won 3-2
Under 14s Edgeworth won 2-5
Under 13s Olympic won 5-1

Zone League 2
Olympic vs Hunter Simba
1st Grade Hunter Simba won 1-4
2nd Grade drew 4-4

NET results
Under 10s Olympic defeated by New Lambton 1-2
Under 11s Olympic and New Lambton drew 2-2
Under 12s Olympic vs Charlestown postponed

Olympic Junior Results
Under 16a Olympic defeated Cooks Hill 2-1
Under 15a Olympic defeated by Nelson Bay 0-7
Under 13a Olympic drew with Wallsend 2-2
Under 12b Olympic defeated Sth Cardiff 6-0

Leo Bertos takes break from football in blow for Hamilton Olympic

LEO Bertos is not sure if he will play again.

The former New Zealand international told his Hamilton Olympic teammates and coach Michael Bolch after the 2-1 loss to Charlestown last Saturday that it was probably his last game.

Despite attempts to change his mind, the 35-year-old former Wellington and Perth A-League star has stepped aside to focus on work and family. 

“It was the first time in my life in a game when I didn’t want to be there,” Bertos said. 

“I took that as a sign that this might be it.”

The loss of Bertos, who did not play on Wednesday in Hamilton’s 2-0 win over Maitland, comes as fourth-placed Olympic prepare to take on eighth-placed Edgeworth on Saturday at Jack McLaughlan Oval in round seven of the Northern NSW National Premier League.

Bertos, who joined Hamilton last season, welcomed son, Atlas, into the world almost two months ago and is six months into his role as technical director at Macquarie Football. He felt like he was letting Hamilton down but said “I need to do this because I don’t have time to do everything”.

“It’s about making sure I’m home to help and spend time with the family. That’s the main factor,” said Bertos, who also has a two-year-old son, Zeno. But it’s also because of my role with Macquarie Football as the TD. It’s full on and seven days a week, and I’m getting home at 7, 7.30 and the kids are in bed.

“And if I’m at training or playing with Hamilton, then I’m away two, three nights a week and I don’t get to see the family much. That was maybe why I felt like that in that game.”

While not sure he had played his last first-grade game, he said “there’s a good chance”.

“I’m not going to turn up and just play,” he said. “I’ve got to train just like everyone else in the squad.”

“I’m not training or playing with the team, and I’m just concentrating on being at home and working as well. If there’s a time when more time is freed up, I don’t know when that will be, I might consider coming back. It’s not how I pictured it to finish, but the reality is I’ve had a good time playing. I’ve enjoy it there under Bolchy and at the club. They’ve been awesome to me and it feels like a family.”

Bertos joins Rhys Cooper (knee) on the sidelines for Olympic, while Edgeworth should be full-strength for the 6pm clash. At 7.30pm Saturday, Maitland host Valentine at Cooks Square Park.

On Sunday, Charlestown welcome Lambton, who are missing injured strikers Pat Brown and Joel Griffiths, to Lisle Carr Oval and the Bears take on Jets Youth at Weston. Adamstown host Broadmeadow on Anzac Day to finish the round.

* for BarTV Sports livestream of Edgeworth v Olympic at 6pm on Saturday 

Bertos added that: “I don’t know if I’ll play again and I’m happy if I don’t.

“I don’t know if it will be first grade again, but I’m sure there will be a time when I pull on the boots again. I’m just not sure when that’s going to be.”

He was confident Olympic would be successful without him this year.

“I think this year, which has been very pleasing to see, is there have been a number of boys from the under 22s last year that are in the squad and ready to jump in when needed,” he said.

“There’s young ones coming through and that’s great for the club. And they made a couple of great signings this year in Scotty [Smith] and Macca [Peter McPherson] and they’ve done really well.

“I don’t think we’ve hit our straps yet, and it will take a few more games.”

On retiring, he said: “If that’s it, I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve enjoyed playing in the NPL. It’s a decent level and there’s good players coming through it and some good coaches coming into it now too.

“I think there’s some good signs there for the competition.”


PS4 NPL NNSW Round 7 Preview:Hamilton Olympic take on Edgeworth Eagles, the third game in 7 days

6 pm Saturday 22nd April at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Round 14, 2016: Hamilton 3 Edgeworth 1 at Darling Street Oval.

Ladder: Edgeworth 8th (5), Hamilton 4th (9)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Edgeworth – Drew Magpies 0-0 (h), Lost Jaffas 1-2 (a), Won Rosebud 6-0 (h)

Hamilton – Won Magpies 2-0 (a), Lost Blues 1-2 (h), Won Jets 4-1 (h)

Bottom Line

Two sides who were expected to be in or at least around the top four by this stage of the season are suddenly under pressure with last years Premiers sitting in eight and Hamilton in seventh. This shapes as a crucial match for both sides and a loss here will leave them with some catching up to do.

Edgeworth starting the season in positive fashion, taking a point away from a clash with Broadmeadow Magic, before crushing the hapless Adamstown Rosebud. Since then a loss to the Jaffas and a draw with Maitland – where they dominated large periods – has seen them fall down the ladder.

However, with the Eagles having only played four matches and a majority of sides in the top four having played six (besides Olympic who have played five), it is by no means panic stations.

Hamilton Olympic, on the other hand, will be full of confidence after responding to their defeat at the weekend with a 2-0 victory against the previously undefeated Maitland. Danny Ireland was outstanding in the match pulling off some match-winning saves for Olympic in the second half and couldn’t have responded any better after a disappointing showing on Saturday.

It has been Olympic with the upper hand in the recent clashes winning the last two – they were the only sides last season which Edgeworth couldn’t beat. Olympic have also won four of the last six between the sides – but crucially one of those losses was the 2015 Grand Final.

Edgeworth are at full strength this week, while Hamilton are still without Rhys Cooper (knee).

What the Coaches Said:

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“This is must win. I’ll go as far as saying if we lose this game I don’t think we can win the premiership. That’s how big it is. I know it’s early but I think as the second round goes on there will be less and less upsets, that’s just normal. Depth starts to come into it and I think there is still that gap, probably the top half of the table as far as depth. So, it’s massive for us.”

“We haven’t been playing bad, but there is just something missing and I’ve got to find that or we will get left behind. We are in a bit of a slumber. We are playing quite well if you look at everything. I’m not unhappy with how we are playing. We have five or six defenders which have been there for three years whereas in attack that is where we [aren’t as cohesive]. Kieran [Sanders] is new, Adam Cawley is new so that makes sense that it isn’t firing on all cylinders.”

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“You are never confident going out there [to Jack McLaughlan Oval]. Last year they swept everything else before them so look it is going to be probably our toughest battle so far. I know Zaney [Damian Zane] wouldn’t be happy with the start they have had. I’ve watched their games and they have dominated every game they have played and probably should have won all three.”

“I wouldn’t really go that far [to say we have the psychological edge]. The one big game we have had with them in the last two years was the Grand Final and they beat us in that. They to me are still the yardstick and I expect them to be in the top two at the end of the year. Sooner or later things click for sides like that and I’m sure he’ll [Damian Zane] have them set up and ready to go for the weekend.”

Key: Mick Bolch. He has been the only coach to defeat Damian Zane on more than one occasion since Zane began coaching in the PS4 NPL. Can he mastermind another triumph on enemy territory?

Under 20s kick off 4.00pm
Under 18s kick off 2.15pm

NPL Youth
Olympic vs Edgeworth
Sunday at Darling St Oval
Under 16s kick off 2.30pm
Under15s kick off 1.00pm
Under 14s kick off 11.30am
Under 13s kick off 10.00am

Zone League 2
Hunter Simba vs Olympic
Saturday at Tech College
1st Grade kick off 1.45pm
2nd Grade kick off 12.00pm

Maitland Magpies v Valentine Phoenix

7.30 pm Saturday 22nd April at Cooks Square Park

Last Meeting: Round 11, 2016: Maitland 0 Valentine 1 at Cooks Square Park.

Ladder: Maitland 6th (7), Weston 9th (3)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Maitland – Lost Olympic 0-2 (h), Won Blues 2-1 (a), Drew Eagles 0-0 (a)

Valentine – Won Rosebud 2-0 (a), Won Jaffas 3-2 (a), Lost Lakes 0-3 (a)

Bottom Line

Two rivals from the 2014 NewFM League season where Maitland were promoted and Valentine was forced to wait another season for their chance in the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW; the Magpies and the Phoenix have played some classics over the years.

There were no matches more dramatic in the 2016 season that the round two contest involving these two foes. Wilson Edwards (Valentine) and former Maitland player-coach Dean Heffernan were given their marching orders in the 25th minute after a scuffle in a match filled with plenty of niggles.

Matt Thompson blocked a clearance from Phoenix keeper Beyhan Irmarko, controlled and scored in the final minute to win the match for the Magpies in one of the matches of the season. The Phoenix returned to serve in round 11 with a 1-0 win to ensure the ledger is all square in the PS4 NPL Northern NSW.

Valentine have had a topsy-turvy start to 2016, but the crucial fact is they have not drawn any matches. While they may have lost two, three wins from five have been enough to keep them in the top four.

Maitland had an undefeated run over their opening three matches, however, a midweek defeat to Hamilton has brought them back to the field. While they have just played four matches their defensive record is one of the best in the league conceding five goals so far in their four matches.

Andrew Pawiak missed Wednesday’s match with a stomach bug and should be back, while winger Ryan Clarke (hamstring) is available. Blake Thompson (knee) needs to be assessed before the match.

The visitors Valentine have Alex Faulkner out, as he attends his brother’s wedding in the US, while Justin Micallef has left the club to seek an opportunity in Sydney.

What the Coaches Said:

Darren Sills (Valentine)

“Clean sheets are great but I’d rather be winning games. I like watching goals. I don’t care if the opposition score them as long as we score more. I like it when it is 3-2, I like those sort of games where it is a bit more exciting. If you want to watch boring football, people tend to get turned off by it. I like it when there is action from end to end.”

“I wouldn’t have [expected] this position on the ladder, but I wanted three out of five wins [to start the season]. That is what our aim was to have at least three out of five. If you had of said to me at the beginning of the season which games, I would have thought we probably could have knocked over Lakes and probably wouldn’t have been able to beat Jaffas so it turned out the other way around. We are still on track, where we are. These next two weeks are really important to us.”

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“They [Valentine] have had some good results. The new American lad seems to be doing well for them, we’ve just got to keep on keeping on. If we are at our best we are a match for anyone in the competition. Once again [with the busy schedule], we will have to look at rotating players. We’ve just got to manage the situation as best we can at the moment.”

“As far as playing at home goes there is no reason for it to cause any problems. Like all teams, you want to make your home ground a bit of a fortress. It should be a daunting place to come to the top of the hill especially in the middle of winter. We need to use that to our advantage. Maybe it was just a blip last season, I don’t know, but, we will be certainly looking to win the majority of our home games this year.”

Key: Consistency. After keeping their first PS4 NPL Northern NSW clean sheet last match against Adamstown, can Valentine maKe it two from two and three wins in a row?


Weston Bears v Newcastle Jets Youth

2.30 pm Sunday 22nd April at Rockwell Automation Park

Last Meeting: Round 10, 2016: Jets Youth 3 Weston 0 at Rockwell Automation Park.

Ladder: Weston 9th (3), Jets Youth 11th (1)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Jets – Lost Olympic 1-4 (a), Lost Magpies 2-4 (h), Lost Blues 1-4 (h)

Weston – Drew Rosebud 3-3 (a), Drew Jaffas 2-2 (h), Lost Magic 0-2 (a)

Bottom Line

Two of the youngest sides in the competition do battle on Sunday afternoon as both look to climb off the bottom rungs of the ladder and move into the mid-table.

While just two points separate the sides, over their four matches, Weston have looked the better of the two – losing just once. That was against Broadmeadow in round two. The Bears have been competitive in all matches it has just been their inability to strike the killer blow and claim the three points which has hurt them so far this season.

They have shown grit, character and determination in coming from behind to take a point from matches against Lambton and Adamstown but it is their finishing which Steve Piggott wants to improve which will take them to the next level.

The Jets have shown their ability to score goals this season, especially in round one where they put four past Adamstown. But, it has been at the back where the leaks have occurred conceding four in all four matches they have played this season.

With the Jets Hyundai A-League season all wrapped up, it will give a chance to some of the youth players from the first team squad to come into the line-up including Harrison Sawyer and Kristian Brymora who should continue to spark the Jets in the front third.

The Jets usually struggle with the physicality of the PS4 NPL sides, so against a young less physical Weston side, expect an even, fast paced and fluent contest.

In a positive for the Jets Youth, Kristian Brymora (hamstring) is a chance of returning as is Solomon Vaiika (concussion), Ryan Smith (ankle) and Leroy Jennings (glandular fever). Jets striker Harry Sawyer misses the Youth team cut off by two hours, so he may be shopped around to other PS4 NPL NNSW clubs during the transfer window.

What the Coaches Said:

Steve Piggott (Weston)

“We haven’t played in two weeks so we are looking forward to it. It will be good to get back on the horse and battle for three points. Again, they have trained well and you can only do so much when you haven’t got games lined up. I can’t wait for the game.”

“Our front young two, they are going alright the two 17-year-olds. But, sometimes we are a bit naive and they have got to do better in front of goal. For me, the backlines got to stop leaking goals. They make some silly errors at times, but, they are young and that’s what happens, just a little bit of concentration lapses. I’m sure if we just do those things well and simply we’ll be ok this week.”

Clayton Zane (Jets Youth)

“I haven’t had the chance to see them [Weston] play. I’ve just heard some reports that they have been competitive even though they have some younger boys in there. I know what Piggo [Steve Piggott] is like, he makes his teams hard to beat. I think it’s a game that both teams with look at as a chance of picking up three points. I would have thought it’s a game where the team that defends the best with come away with the spoils.”

“Monday was the first chance we’ve had to get back on the grass. We had one weekend game, we took them up to the beach and just found a patch of grass and just got a touch on the ball, but, we couldn’t get on the field at the Uni so we have had one tactical session and one conditioning session, so it’s not been ideal. But, that was out focus, defending in the back third and we are doing things right.” 

Key: Can the Jets put a stop to their leaky defence?


Charlestown City Blues v Lambton Jaffas

2.30 pm Sunday 22nd April at Lisle Carr Oval

Last Meeting: Round 14, 2016: Charlestown 0 Lambton 0 at Lisle Carr Oval.

Ladder: Charlestown 3rd (10), Lambton 1st (11)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Charlestown – Won Olympic 2-1 (a) Lost Magpies 1-2 (h), Won Magic 1-0 (h)

Lambton – Drew Magic 1-1 (h), Won Roosters 4-0 (a), Lost Phoenix 2-3 (h)

Bottom Line

A resurgent Charlestown outfit meet a Jaffas side who sit top of the ladder and looking for consistency. While the Jaffas sit atop the table after six matches, they haven’t won consecutive matches this season.

Charlestown have responded emphatically after a slow start to the season to win three of their last four matches which has seen them surge up to third spot – just one point off the first placed Jaffas.

Having a game plan is one part of the puzzle, but sticking to it is an entirely different challenge and last weekend Charlestown did it superbly.

Playing against a side who had put nine past them to no reply last year Shane Pryce’s men had to do something different and they did. They pulled off a 2-1 victory which had plenty of evidence of research and homework executed perfectly.

Lambton struggled to hold possession in their match with Broadmeadow last week and were subsequently outplayed.

Like most coaches, James Pascoe has relished the chance to work with his side on the pitch this week with some sunny weather ensuring the ground have dried out. When they get it right they are unstoppable, but it has been as consistent as Pascoe would like.

In an interesting side note these two sides will play each other in a couple of weeks in the only all-NPL FFA Cup match in round four.

Charlestown’s Andy Kjiln (quad) is out for the home side while Jaffas leading scorers Pat Brown (knee) and Joel Griffiths (hip flexor) will both miss the match. Luke Remington was cleared of an elbow injury and will play.

What the Coaches Said:

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“We are playing the top team so they’ve got to be shown that respect in my mind. They aren’t on top because they fluked it, they are on top because they have earnt it. They have changed players and their mindset I think this year so that is why they are on top, in my mind.”

“They are playing a different formation that is obviously working for them. That’s going to be a challenge for us, to be able to break down or adapt or get on top of their structure. They are obviously on top of the league and they are obviously getting some success from it and that brings confidence. If we don’t turn up to play the top team will continue to be the top team.”

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“For the first time this season we will be able to do three good sessions in the build-up to the game so I’m happy with the preparation. Obviously, we’ve got to do without a couple of players that we would like to have involved but at least the weather has given us a chance to prepare the boys who are going to step in for those players, better than would have been the case if things stayed the same from a weather point of view.”

“The issue we had [last week] with our control of the ball was created by ourselves and how we defended. The way we are set up this year, specific roles for people and the roles that people have in the wingback areas and the two side centre-backs, if those two jobs aren’t done to the letter it basically causes us to be a man down further up the pitch and teams get a bit of possession on us and then we get caught a little deep, it’s hard to play our successfully from the top of your own box.”

Key: Can Lambton cope with the loss of Brown and Griffiths who have contributed 11 of their 14 goals this season?


Adamstown Rosebud v Broadmeadow Magic

2.30 pm Tuesday 25th April at Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: Round 10, 2016: Adamstown 3 Broadmeadow 3 at Adamstown Oval

Ladder: Adamstown 10th (2), Broadmeadow 6th (8)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Adamstown – Lost Roosters 1-2 (h), Lost Phoenix 0-2 (a), Drew Bears 3-3 (h)

Broadmeadow – Drew Jaffas 1-1 (a), Lost Blues 0-1 (a), Lost Roosters 1-4 (h)

Bottom Line

Adamstown are in a rut and they just can’t find a way out of it. With three wins out of their last 24 PS4 NPL Northern NSW matches, it has been a horror last year for the most successful club in Northern NSW.

But, in between all that disappointment, Adamstown won the inaugural NNSWF Heritage Cup this season. So where has it all gone wrong for the proud club? At the back, it seems.

Errors coming out of their own defensive third have crippled the Rosebuds and apart from the Jets Youth, they have the worst games to goals conceded ratio in the league – conceding on average three goals a game.

It doesn’t take an expert to work out that they need to tighten they defence and fast. They’ve conceded 71 goals in those 24 matches mentioned earlier. It’s no surprise they’ve won just three of those.

After two weeks of underwhelming results for Broadmeadow, they bounced back against the Jaffas but still struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. It’s been a common theme for Magic this season, scoring only eight in six matches. Just five of those have been from open play.

Dino Fajkovic was outstanding for Broadmeadow in the first half on Good Friday and could have had at least two if not for the brilliant goalkeeping display of, Man of the Match, Daniel March. If Magic bring a similar attacking intent and are more ruthless in front of goal it could get ugly for Adamstown.

Rosebud’s Zaell Ford (Melbourne) and Jordan Harrison (Pacific Islands) both return from trips away. Justin Tannock (hip flexor) will return to the side. Broadmeadow will be at full strength.

What the Coaches Said:

Pete McGuinness (Adamstown)

“They’ve got some quality on their roster and they’ve got Ruben who is obviously working with them to play the way he wants to play. I’ve seen some performances that have been pretty good from them. They’ll be tough, the experience they have on the field versus the experience we have on the field is probably a little higher so it’ll be a challenge.”

“Everyone still keeps applying themselves. They all show up at training three nights a week and they do the right things in and around what we expect at training. It’s obvious they are disappointed, you’ve only got to look at them after the games. The last two weeks, in particular, they have been very devastated in particular not getting something out of those games.”

Ruben Zadkovich (Broadmeadow)

“It’s not easy, I’m probably asking different things. Some of the boys have been at the club a long time so they’ve got their own ideas and their own ways of thinking the way the game should be played, but their attitude has been pretty good, they’ve all jumped on board and they are all trying to implement the game plan as best they can. It was evident the other day against Lambton that when they get it right it’s quite an attacking style of football and it’s just one that is going to bring the best out of them.”

“I’m happy with how it’s coming along. To be honest I think we’ve been a little bit hard done by the last weeks and probably should have picked up points. If you put an extra four points on where we are now, then we would be sitting a lot prettier. Sometimes results and where you are sitting can be a confidence booster. That’s the only thing that is disappointing that we haven’t quite been paid off in the last couple of weeks.”

Key: A Winning Mentality. Adamstown needs to develop one and fast.


PS4 NPL NNSW Round 4: Hamilton Olympic collect the 3 points at Maitland, 2-0

Hamilton Olympic came away with 3 points during the Round 4 deferred fixture at Maitland after two goals from Kane Goodchild.

The game began at a very fast pace with both teams in need of the three points.

Olympic began with Davies, Hodges and Duncan at the back, Goodchild and Smith in attack and concentrated their numbers in the midfield. The effect of this was control in midfield, Maitland without much possession and Olympic very dangerous on the break.

By the 18’ this control paid dividend when a nice through ball to Kane Goodchild enabled him to tuck the ball past Matthew Trott for a 1-0 lead.

A free kick from McPherson in the 26’ forced a great save from Matthew Trott. Two minutes later McPherson tests the Maitland goalkeeper again and forces a corner.

Olympic continued to control the match until the end of the first half with Maitland being unable to create a single clear cut chance to score.

The second half began with Olympic threatening to score from the outset. Louis Townsend broke from the right and fired a cross which came off the post of Matthew Trott.

Moments later Kane Goodchild showed his intentions when he fired wide from the same position.

By the 52’ Maitland made a counter attack which ended up crashing off the Olympic woodwork. This was repeated later when Danny Ireland pushed the ball away for a corner after a double save.

Despite these two opportunities Olympic continued to press forward in search of a second goal and this didn’t take long to materialise.

Two minutes from normal time, Musa Kamara floated a great corner kick into the head of Kane Goodchild who had no problem making the score 2-0.

The game was reduced to a formality after this and Olympic was able to come home with the 3 points.

u20s defeated Maitland 3-1

u18s defeated Maitland 3-0

Source: Tom Tsamouras



Hamilton Olympic coach asks for lift in intensity against Maitland Magpies

EVERYONE remembers a goalkeeping howler, especially when it comes from Danny Ireland.

So rarely has the Hamilton keeper made costly errors in the Northern NSW National Premier League that a fumbled corner kick in the second minute against Charlestown on Saturday night has stood out for many in round six.

The mistake gave Charlestown the lead, and another Josh Maguire corner, in the 57th minute, beat Hamilton’s defence at the near post to give the Blues a 2-1 victory at Darling Street Oval.

The result left Olympic on six points from four games ahead of Wednesday’s 6.30pm catch-up clash at Maitland, who have seven points from three matches. It shapes as a crucial early test for Hamilton, who are three points outside the top four and take on two-time defending champions Edgeworth on Saturday night.

While the blunders at corners proved decisive last Saturday night, Hamilton coach Michael Bolch was more concerned with the missed chances in attack and the intensity of his side. 

“It’s a bad thing for keepers, they make one mistake and that’s all people remember,” Bolch said.

“We missed three one-on-ones and Goody [Kane Goodchild] had a runaway one-on-one at the end of the game, and it all just comes back to keeper mistakes.

“We really just got outenthused on Saturday night. They wanted it more than us. It turned into a battle and they won all the individual battles and all the second-phase ball.

“There were two poor goals from us from corners but we created enough to get something out of the game.”

Bolch believed the league was tighter than previous years and every team were dangerous.

“It just shows with the comp this year, it is a lot closer,” he said. “Jaffas were beaten by Phoenix and had a draw with Weston, Magic got beat by Azzurri and Lakes. They are not results you expect, as such, so it just shows if you don’t turn up on the day ready to go, you get beaten.”

Maitland football manager Mick Mirisch said Ryan Clarke (hamstring) remained the Magpies’ only injury problem. Bolch had no new injuries in his squad. 

“They were a good side last year,” Bolch said of the Magpies. “We didn’t beat them once last year and they made the semis, and they’ve added to that with [Andrew] Pawiak, [Shane] Cansdell-Sherriff and [Josh] Dutton-Black. They’ve improved their squad in my book and they are a force to be reckoned with.”

** The draw for round three of the NNSW Southern Pool of the FFA Cup, which features all 10 NPL clubs, seven from the second tier and five interdistrict teams, will be done on Wednesday.​

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 6: Hamilton Olympic stunned by two soft goals by Charlestown City 1-2

Two soft goals from corner kicks were enough for Charlestown City to walk away with 3 points from Darling St Oval on Saturday night.

A corner kick as early as in the 3rd minute of play was not cleared and during the ensuing scramble, the referee judged that the ball had crossed the line.

The opening 10’ were very fast with goal mouth action at both ends.

In the 15’ Matthew Swan sent in a cross for Kane Goodchild, forcing the Charlestown defense to extend itself in order to save the day.

After the first 20’ the pace of the game continues to be very fast and the attacking combinations by both teams produced a great spectacle for the neutral supporters.

By the 39” Charlestown rebound another Olympic attack, only for the ball to fall in the path of birthday boy, Kane Goodchild, who had no problem bringing the score level at 1-1!

In the last 10” of the half Olympic are piling on the pressure with Nathan Archibald extending himself yet again to force a corner from another great effort by Kane Goodchild.

Half time found both teams locked at 1-1 and a thoroughly entertaining game for the fans watching.

The opening 10” of the second half were similar in pace and attacking play by both sides.

In the 46’ an innocent corner by Josh Maguire was not cleared and Charlestown were on fire 1-2! A few minutes later Daniel Casciaroli forced Danny Ireland to make the save of the match when he bent his shot around the post for a corner.

In the 65” Scott Smith plucks a long ball out of the sky and forces a double save out of Nathan Archibald.

Between 60’ and 70’ Olympic have total domination and as Charlestown are pinned inside their half. During this period there are some great combinations of attacking play and Kyle Hodges can be seen in midfield, adding to the pressure.

In the 77’ Kane Goodchild breaks with Scott Smith and despite advancing the ball inside the box, hits the side netting of the Charlestown goal.

Despite the pressure exerted by Olympic until the last minute of play, Charlestown hold on to three very precious 3 points.

U20s Hamilton Olympic vs Charlestown City Blues  4-1

U18s Hamilton Olympic vs Charlestown City Blues  5-2

source:Tom Tsamouras

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 6: Hamilton Olympic ready for Charlestown City Blues

6 pm Saturday 15th April at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 18, 2016: Hamilton 3 Charlestown 0 at Lisle Carr Oval

Ladder: Hamilton 7th (6), Charlestown 5th (7)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Hamilton – Won Jets 4-1 (h), Won Rosebud 1-0 (a), Lost Jaffas 2-3 (h)

Charlestown – Lost Magpies 1-2 (h), Won Magic 1-0 (h), Won Jets 4-1 (a)

Bottom Line

It has been all Hamilton in the last four clashes between the two sides, as Olympic have racked up the goals and tightened the screws at the back when they have taken on Charlestown of late.

Hamilton’s Scott Smith comes up against his former club for the first time and his strong form for Olympic in front of goal will make it even more difficult for Charlestown as they look to end their poor recent record against Olympic.

It has been all one-way traffic since Smith’s former partner in crime at the Blues, and current teammate at Olympic – Kane Goodchild – left the club at the start of the 2015 season.

Since last year’s golden boot left Charlestown, Hamilton have won all four matches by a combined margin of 18-3 including 6-0 and 3-0 victories against the Blues in 2016. Of Hamilton’s last 18 goals against Charlestown, Goodchild has scored five.

The last time Charlestown defeated Hamilton was back in 2014. Kane Goodchild scored at Darling Street that afternoon and the Blues got the job done 1-0.

Charlestown’s recent form has been very good and while a 2-1 loss to Maitland on Tuesday will be disappointing they showed plenty of fight – something that was missing early in the season.

Their win on the weekend against Broadmeadow will have given the Blues plenty of confidence, but the big question of Charlestown this weekend will be whether they can put their recent run of form against Olympic behind them.

In a boost for Olympic, Kane Goodchild (work) will return to the side.

What the Coaches Said:

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“They had a great win from last weekend against Broadmeadow Magic. You can’t take your eye of them, they’ve got plenty of quality. Matt Tull is doing really well. Josh Maguire is pulling the strings for them in the number ten and has scored a couple of cracking free kicks so far this year. They’ve got strengths all over the park.”

“We’ve just got to build on what we did against the Jets. I thought the first two goals we scored against the Jets were two of the best goals I’ve seen this year, in team effort. I think the second goal we strung 13 or 14 passes together before Tommy Spencer scored the goal. So, we are doing well with the ball.”

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“[The response] has been terrific [over the last two weeks]. They are a great group of guys who have shown that they can turn up and win a football game and that they are willing to put the effort in and the attitude and the commitment has been good over the last two weeks.”

Key: Can Charlestown cure their case of the blues against Olympic?

U20s Hamilton Olympic vs Charlestown City Blues  kick off at 4:00 Darling St Oval

U18s Hamilton Olympic vs Charlestown City Blues  kick off at 2:15 Darling St Oval

Lambton Jaffas v Broadmeadow Magic

5 pm Friday 14th April at Arthur Edden Oval

Last Meeting: Round 11, 2016: Broadmeadow 4 Lambton 2 at Arthur Edden Oval

Ladder: Lambton 1st (10pts), Broadmeadow 6th (7)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Lambton – Won Roosters 4-0 (a), Lost Phoenix 2-3 (h), Won Eagles 2-1 (h)

Broadmeadow – Lost Blues 0-1 (a), Lost Roosters 1-4 (h), Won Phoenix 3-2 (h)

Bottom Line

Lambton will be looking to make it back-to-back victories for the first time in Season 2017 when they take on Broadmeadow Magic at home in a Good Friday clash between two of the pre-season favourites for the title.

Broadmeadow will be trying to avoid a third straight defeat – something which hasn’t happened since 2015 when they lost four straight.

The two sides come into the match with contrasting form, but with similar headaches in the goalkeeping department. Both sides first choice keepers – Brad Swancott (Lambton) and Niko Giantsopolous (Magic) – will both miss the match due to suspension.

In the form department, Lambton has had the better of the recent results after bouncing back from their loss to Valentine in round four, with a dominant 4-0 victory against Lake Macquarie last weekend.

Broadmeadow come into the match licking their wounds after a physical encounter against Charlestown where they went down in the final five minutes. It was an improved performance from their display in the 4-1 loss to Lakes the week before but Magic still came away empty handed.

While both sides have conceded eight goals this season, Lambton have been by far the better in the attacking third, scoring 13 goals in their five matches including six in their last two. In comparison, Broadmeadow have managed just seven and only one in their last two matches.

Broadmeadow will need to be wary of Lambton’s attacking weapons in Pat Brown and Joel Griffiths. Both have been on song in front of goal, and combine that with Luke Remington who showed his class on Sunday with a blistering strike from outside the box.

What the Coaches Said:

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“They are a team with some weapons. Virgili and Bradbury and Fajkovic is back as well and Haynes. All those sorts of players, you have got to be on your toes that is for sure. They will be stinging from their last couple of results that’s for sure.”

“We’re growing as a team and certainly the first half [against Lakes] was how we like to play for 90 minutes in each and every game. Of course, other teams don’t let you do that, but it sort of gave everyone a glimpse of the potential of the group.”

Ruben Zadkovich (Broadmeadow)

“To be honest I’m very disappointed with the results and even with our performance in many ways. We are still very early days and I’m not playing the same football they were playing last year and I’m not preaching the same things. I’m throwing up some different challenges to the boys and some things they have adapted well and some things they are still finding hard.”

“I’m also trying to change some old habits and I know old habits die hard so I know that change is not going to happen overnight. We’ve got to be patient with it, but there is definitely no panic from us. We are right in the mix and we have proven it with a draw away from home against Edgeworth and a win at home against Valentine, and Valentine have gone and already taken Lambton as a scalp.”

Key: Pat Brown. He’s scored in four of the Jaffas five matches this season and when he has scored this year, the Jaffas haven’t lost.

Maitland Magpies v Weston Bears

2.30 pm Friday 14th April at Cooks Square Park

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2016: Maitland 3 Weston 2 at Cooks Square Park

Ladder: Maitland 4th (7), Weston 9th (3)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Maitland – Won Blues 2-1 (a), Drew Eagles 0-0 (a) Won Jets 4-2 (a)

Weston – Drew Rosebud 3-3 (a), Drew Jaffas 2-2 (h), Lost Magic 0-2 (a)

Bottom Line

Steve Piggott returns to Cooks Square Park to coach against his most recent former side in what shapes us as a crucial Good Friday contest for both sides.

Maitland remains the only unbeaten side after five rounds of the competition, and while the Magpies have only played three matches they have performed well thus far.

While they may have had some luck go their way against Edgeworth on Saturday night with offside calls, they were still able to hold last year’s best-attacking side scoreless and that is no mean feat.

A 2-1 midweek victory against Charlestown has seen the Magpies soar into the top four. With the three sides above them having played five matches Maitland have a great opportunity to climb to the top of the ladder in the coming weeks. If results go their way this week they may even have the top spot before the weekend is out.

For Weston, they are just one of three sides left in the competition yet to claim a win this season. While they haven’t notched a win in four matches, they have only lost one match – a  2-0 defeat against Broadmeadow in round two – and have looked cohesive and well organised across their four matches.

The Bears will come into the match fresh from the bye, compared to the Magpies who will play their fourth match in ten days when they line up on Friday afternoon to take on the Bears. How much of a bearing the fatigue factor has remains to be seen.

Squad-wise both sides are close to full strength with Ryan Clarke (hamstring) a chance to return for Maitland, while Jacob Golding remains sidelined for the Bears.

What the Coaches Said:

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“It’s amazing, isn’t it. Three games, none at home and two wins and a draw at the defending champions. It’s not bad, is it! {While it’s a derby] it’s a just another day at the office and they are coming thick and fast. The players in my experience prefer to play than train and they are such a good bunch, they are adaptable.”

“I told them last night they have been magnificent since I have been involved. They have just done what is required and they are not professionals but they have done a really good professional job, I’ll tell you. They would put some professionals to shame.”

Steve Piggott (Weston)

“We’ll just have to be super, super good at execution this week. They are a good strong physical side, with plenty of experience and we are going to have to be at our best if we are any chance of getting a ‘w’.”

“We ran through a few things, [in the week off] changed a few people into different roles and had a look at a few things. Again, execution was our worry [in our trial match] we probably should have scored five or six. I said to the boys we can no longer just be looked at as underdogs. We have just got to aim up and get our first victory and move on from there. We’ve had about eight or nine games together so there are no excuses now.”

Key: With their fourth match in the days, will the short turnarounds take their toll on Maitland?

Newcastle Jets Youth v Edgeworth Eagles

2.30 pm Saturday 15th April at Macquarie Field

Last Meeting: Round 12, 2016: Edgeworth 4 Jets Youth 2 at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Ladder: Jets 11th (1), Edgeworth 8th (5)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Jets – Lost Olympic 1-4 (a), Lost Magpies 2-4 (h), Lost Blues 1-4 (h)

Eagles – Drew Magpies 0-0 (h), Lost Jaffas 1-2 (a), Won Rosebud 6-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Since Damian Zane began his tenure as Edgeworth Eagles coach back in 2015, they have never gone three matches without a win. This weekend the Jets Youth get an opportunity to put Edgeworth under some real pressure.

If the Jets Youth do manage to claim a victory or even share the points with the Eagles, many will look at that statistic as a negative. For the present, that is probably valid, but on reflection, it shows just how high Edgeworth have set the bar over the last two seasons and just how exceptionally consistent they have been.

Over recent weeks Edgeworth have struggled in front of goal, and while you could say they were unlucky with offsides last weekend, Zane will want his side to be more clinical. It is by no means doom and gloom for Edgeworth.

At this stage last year they had drawn against Broadmeadow and lost to Hamilton in consecutive weeks and still went on to win the title.

For the Jets, their significant problem is the amount of goals they have conceded in four matches. In all four matches this year the Jets have conceded four goals to make it 16 all up.

While their attack has been good enough – averaging two goal per game – their defence is letting them down and they can’t afford another disappointing effort at the back against Edgeworth or they may just play the defending Premiers back into attacking form.

Edgeworth will be at full strength for the match, while for the Jets Ryan Smith and Tyson Jackson (both ankles) are in doubt.

What the Coaches Said:

Clayton Zane (Jets Youth)

“We don’t look too far ahead in terms of what we are up against. For us, it’s still looking after what we need to improve first and foremost cause I think scoring goals has not been a problem for us again but conceding has. It’s not a bad time for us to play them if they are a little bit goal shy at the moment but for us, it will just be about manning up from a physical point in the back third.”

“I’ve thrown two boys that didn’t play [at the back] last year into the mix and they have had to step up and it’s the first time they have played regularly. They both didn’t play regularly in this team last year as they are younger boys. Mitch Dobson and Pat Langlois have done a really good job. They have listened to how we want to play out and they have implemented that.”

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“I had a look on the weekend and we had numbers [in the box] but it’s just guys making the same runs and when we did have good runs, the delivery wasn’t good enough. We had 23 crosses [against Maitland] and I had 13 down as poor and six as ok and that’s not good enough. I don’t think we are playing poorly at all, it’s just being better in the final third.”

“I don’t think we’ve been great in the final third so [knowing the amount of goals the Jets have conceded] shouldn’t be an issue. To be honest I haven’t even mentioned them this week so far. Our play has been fine. We’re defending well and our build-up play has been good. It’s just that final pass, the final cross, making the right runs [that we need to get right].

Key: Can Edgeworth iron out their attacking yips against a Jets side with a tendency to leak goals?

Adamstown Rosebud v Lake Macquarie City Roosters

2.30 pm Sunday 9th April at Lisle Carr Oval

Last Meeting: Round 14, 2014: Adamstown 5 Lake Macquarie 2

Ladder: Adamstown 10th (2), Lake Macquarie 3rd (8)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Adamstown – Lost Phoenix 0-2 (a), Drew Bears 3-3 (h), Lost Eagles 0-6 (a).

Lakes – Lost Jaffas 0-4 (h), Won Magic 4-1 (a), Drew Blues 1-1 (a)

Bottom Line

A season which promised so much just over a month ago has quickly gone pear-shaped for Adamstown Rosebud.

While the season is far from over, Pete McGuinness’ side is in desperate need of a victory if not to keep themselves in touch with the sides above them, but to restore some confidence which has taken a battering lately.

Adamstown were impressive in the opening 20 minutes at Edgeworth until Daniel Yaxley was sent from the ground and from that moment the Rosebud’s have seemed to lose their way. A 6-0 hiding followed the next week by a second half fade out against Weston – where they gave up a 3-1 lead – hurt them significantly and against Valentine they lacked creativity in the front third.

The Rosebud’s come up against a Lakes side which may be still reeling from the 4-0 hiding they copped at the hands of Lambton on Sunday afternoon. It was a severe reality check for the Roosters after an undefeated run to the season and there may be no better time like the present for Adamstown to take on Lake Macquarie.

While Lakes will be aiming to return to the winners’ circle, they will also be looking to end seven long years between victories against Adamstown. Their last win was back in 2010, a 6-5 victory a Macquarie Field.

In more bad news for Adamstown, defender Daniel Yaxley left the club during the week citing work commitments. Zaell Ford and Jordan Harrison (both away) will miss the match while Dayne Pawlik returns to the Rosebud side this week. For Lakes, Justin Broadley (broken toe) is out.

What the Coaches Said:

Pete McGuinness (Adamstown)

“It’s been a bad couple of weeks, not just for us, but for everyone, trying to train when you have problems to iron out and you can’t get on a pitch. It hasn’t been ideal.”

“There are some things that are evident that we are not doing well, which doesn’t allow us to complete what we are trying to achieve, trying to keep the ball, trying to execute in the front third which had been difficult because we haven’t had a venue to do that.”

Anthony Richards (Lakes)

“The [boy’s confidence] is still pretty good. I reckon last night they trained harder than they have ever trained so they are still a happy bunch and they are still training hard. There is a good vibe in the camp and the boys get on really well so there are no problems. They have moved one.”

“It is important to make sure we don’t have any battle scars from [the Lambton match] and we are good to go again. If you dwell on it too much, this competition has proven that the sides that haven’t [been predicted] to do well are doing well and the really good sides can fall over at any stage.

Key: The bounce-back factor. Will Lakes respond with a strong performance after their 4-0 loss to Lambton?


PS4 NPL NNSW Round 5:Hamilton Olympic too strong for the Newcastle Jets Youth, 4-1

Daniel Bird, scorer of Olympic’s 3rd goal

On a cool and dry Sunday evening Hamilton Olympic entertained a Newcastle Jets Youth side which didn’t convince at any stage in the game that they were capable of coming away with any points from Darling St Oval.

In the opening 10 minutes Olympic are in complete control of the game with the Jets reduced to simply watching the dictation of play by the hosts. The intensity of the play isn’t high but you get the feeling that Olympic are just exploring the opponent before they strike.

In the 15’ a lovely through ball by Tommy Spencer to Grant Brown on the left and a perfectly weighted cross to Scott Smith who, with a diving header, found the back of the Jet’s goal to open the night’s proceedings 1-0!

The goal had little impact on the game with Olympic continuing to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and the Jet’s simply chasing shadows.

By the 24’ a scramble inside the Jet’s goalmouth and the inability by the visitors to clear enabled Tommy Spencer to add a second goal by Olympic 2-0!

The Jet’s inability to press Olympic is what enables the team in blue to dominate play and pepper their opponent’s goal. The first time Danny Ireland has to make is a save comes in the 38’ when he palms a shot wide for a corner.

The end of the first 45’ finds Olympic 2-0 ahead but the clear cut chances to add to the score is disproportionate to the amount of possession and domination of play in the middle of the field.

The first 10’ of the second half continued with the same slow intensity of the first with Olympic dominating play and the Jets simply trying to keep up.

In the 55’ a through ball by Tommy Spencer enabled Daniel Bird to shoot from between two Jets defenders to make it 3-0! From here on it is obvious that Olympic have their minds on their next match.

In the 61’ a poor clearance from Kyle Hodges and an ensuing lucky bounce enables the Jets to draw the score to 3-1 through Tim Harris.

In the 68’ Leo Bertos floats in a free kick aiming for the head of Marcus Duncan, the Jets goalie is unable to clear and the oncoming Scott Smith taps it in for a 4-1 score-line.

Three easy points for Olympic looking forward to the next game against Charlestown City.

U20s  Hamilton Olympic – Jets Youth 1-2

U18s  Hamilton Olympic – Jets Youth 2-4

source: Tom Tsamouras