Monthly Archives: June 2017

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 16:Hamilton Olympic take on the Newcastle Jets Youth

Newcastle Jets Youth v Hamilton Olympic
2.30pm Saturday 1st July at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 5, 2017: Hamilton 4 Jets Youth 1 at Darling Street Oval.

Ladder: Jets Youth 10th (9), Hamilton 4th (22)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Hamilton – Drew Magpies 2-2 (h), Won Rosebud 3-0 (h), Lost Jaffas 2-3 (a)
Jets – Lost Blues 0-4 (a), Lost Magpies 1-6 (a), Won Rosebud 3-2 (a)

Bottom Line

After pulling three points out of the fire last weekend against Maitland, Hamilton knows that a win and nothing less is the requirement in what shapes as a fascinating finals race.

Olympic started strongly against Maitland, with Rhys Cooper the stand out as he cut swathes through the Magpies defence.

However, when a couple of chances went begging for Hamilton, Maitland made them pay and for an hour it seemed like the visitors would stroll to victory.

But, as Olympic have shown on countless occasions this season, they never say die. Scott Smith and Sean Pratt salvaged a point and almost three for their side.

This weekend provides a different challenge and a danger game for Hamilton, against a Jets Youth outfit who have leaked goals with monotonous regularity of late.

In their last two matches the Jets have conceded ten goals and with the likes of Pierce Clark and Cameron Joice missing for the Youth side on the weekend, it was always going to be a tough ask.

The final 15 minutes seems to be the key in this match. Hamilton have scored a league-high eight goals in the last 15 minutes of matches this season, while the Jets Youth have conceded a league-high 13 in the same period.

Olympic have won eight of the last ten between the sides and based on their form, they will be red hot favourites to make it nine of their last 11.

In intriguing news, Newcastle Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna will take over the coaching reigns at the Jets Youth for the foreseeable future. Labinot Haliti will be his assistant.

In a boost for Hamilton, former Jets Youth skipper Reece Papas has joined the club for the remainder of the season.

What the Coaches Said:

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“They are obviously a very young group, getting punished for mentally not switching on for 90 minutes. I’d say would be the best way to put it. I watched them against Maitland and that was sort of the case. They still play some good football and move the ball around well. They just switch off at times defensively.”

“It’s the same old same old with us, we’ve got to take our chances. After the result last weekend, every game is a grand final for us now. Complacency just can’t come into whatsoever. It really to me is not something I need to stress. The boys all know after the weekend Magic is one point behind us and Maitland is right behind us. Every game is vital for us now.” 

Key: Under new coach Lawrie McKinna, can the Jets Youth turn around their recent form?

U20s Hamilton Olympic – Jets Saturday 1st July kick off 12.30 pm Darling St Oval

U18s Hamilton Olympic – Jets Saturday 1st July kick off 10.45 am Darling St Oval


U13s Maitland vs Olympic Saturday 1st July kick off 10.00 am at Cook Square park

U14s Maitland vs Olympic Saturday 1st July kick off 11.30 am at Cook Square park

U15s Maitland vs Olympic Saturday 1st July kick off 1.00 pm at Cook Square park

U16s Maitland vs Olympic Saturday 1st July kick off 2.30 pm at Cook Square park


Maitland Magpies v Edgeworth Eagles
2.30pm Sunday 2nd July at Cooks Square Park

Last Meeting: FFA Cup, Round 7: Edgeworth 1 Maitland 0 at LMRFF.

Ladder: Maitland 5th (21pts), Edgeworth 3rd (27)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Maitland –  Drew Olympic 2-2 (a) Won Jets 6-1 (h), Drew Blues 1-1 (h)
Edgeworth – Won Rosebud 3-0 (a), Lost Jaffas 0-2 (h), Won Magic 3-0 (a)

 Bottom Line

After a week off, Edgeworth returns to action against a Maitland side who know that anything less than a victory could put their finals hopes in jeopardy.

Last weekend the Magpies were cruising to victory at Darling Street, leading 2-0 with less than 12 minutes on the clock. They were just about to jump Olympic and enter pole position in the race for the top four.

But, within three minutes the sides were level again. Scott Smith and Sean Pratt producing stunning strikes to silence the visitors and ensure the race will be as tight as ever to make the finals.

While it was a draw which would have felt like a defeat for Maitland; they are playing the best football they have all season with just one loss in their last five matches since the disappointing defeat at Adamstown.

Edgeworth have been as consistent as ever recently having lost one of their last 14 matches in all competitions.

A break after a difficult Westfield FFA Cup weekend, followed by a trip to Adamstown came at the perfect time for the Eagles which allowed them to recharge their batteries.

It will be the last weekend off that the Eagles have before a frenetic final two months of the season where they will have PlayStation®4 NPL NNSW and Westfield FFA Cup commitments.

While the Magpies haven’t beaten Edgeworth since at least 1997, the last five matches between the sides have been almightily close. The Eagles have won three of those five by only a goal, and the other two have been drawn.

The defending champions have lost just twice all season and deserve to be favourites in this one. But, a Magpies side with the likes of Matt Comerford, Ryan Clarke and Matt Thompson to name a few will push the visitors to the limit.

What the Coaches Said:

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“They are the yardstick for everyone. You measure yourself against them and they are very, very good and they are very tidy. Their rotations, particularly in the midfield is good, so they manage to find a lot of space which creates problems for you. They’ve got the pace of Sanders up front and the experience of [Daniel] McBreen. They are good defensively and well organised. They are everything that you want your own team to be.”

“We’ve matched them. We’ve been close. There’s only been one goal between us in the two games, so we’re not far away from them. We’ve got to make sure that we play as well as we did for large parts of the game on Sunday.”

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“They are impressive. I think they are going to miss Ryan Broadley as far as depth goes and the other boys. They should of won [against Hamilton], I think. In the end, they could have lost it but they were really impressive. I’ve definitely spotted some things that they do which are very impressive. They are as good as anyone up front.”

“I think Keanu [Moore] coming back and all of a sudden adding a bit of depth could be a bit of a factor on the weekend. First session this week. The boys come back. Wow. That’s probably one of our best sessions of the year. They see there was a signing. One signing can mean a massive battle for spots.”

Key: Maitland have conceded their last three goals in the final 15 minutes of matches. Is fitness an issue?

Adamstown Rosebud v Valentine Phoenix
2.30pm Saturday 1st July at Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: Round 5, 2017: Valentine 2 Adamstown 0 at Cahill Oval.

Ladder: Adamstown 9th (10), Valentine 2nd (28)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Adamstown – Won Bears 3-0 (a), Lost Eagles 0-3 (h), Lost Olympic 0-3 (a)
Valentine – Won Jaffas 2-1 (h) Lost Magic 1-3 (h), Won Roosters 1-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Valentine’s third victory in a row over Lambton has put themselves within touching distance of a first finals appearance in Northern NSW’s top flight since 2010 and a win this weekend could all but seal a spot for the Phoenix.

A trip away from Cahill Oval for the first time in the PS4 NPL NNSW since the second weekend in May is sure to please head coach Darren Sills with the lush pastures of Adamstown Oval a stark contrast to the Phoenix’s home ground.

After two straight defeats to Broadmeadow, including a disappointing 3-1 defeat in round 14 Valentine looked to be out of sorts, but they proved that thought wrong on the weekend with a stunning fightback to claim a 2-1 victory over Lambton.

Adamstown also returned to form on the weekend against Weston after three straight defeats and claimed just their second clean sheet of the season in the win.

Nick Webb’s side were well-structured at the back and seem to have turned over a new leaf. Following up last weekend’s result with another good performance this weekend is key for the Rosebuds as they look to escape the cellar.

Since Valentine’s promotion at the end of 2015, the sides have met on three occasions with Adamstown winning twice last season 2-0 and Valentine winning 2-0 in round five earlier this year.

Valentine will head into the match as favourites, but Adamstown seemed to have turned a corner and should give the Phoenix a real test.

What the Coaches Said:

Nick Webb (Adamstown)

“A clean sheet was the objective [on the weekend]. I told them everything else would take care of itself if we can keep that. Again, that’s obviously got to be our main focus; being really tidy in the central areas and hopefully score some goals as well. It’s obviously a key part of our game that we have to fix and we took a massive step last week to doing that.”

“We are working with those guys [up front] and rotating a few players through that area. Ryan Ensor played up top last weekend and got a goal and should have had another one in the first ten minutes. We are rotating that area with some attacking midfielders so they’ll be a fair bit of combination play happening which is a slow process, but it’s getting there.”

Darren Sills (Valentine)

“They’ve got to have their tails up after a win against Weston so it is going to be a hard game. The main thing I’m looking forward to is getting away from Cahill Oval. We’ve had five home games in a row there, the boys are jaded so it’s going to be good for us to get away and play somewhere different.”

“Finals football is not what we are after. We want to win the minor premiership. [It would mean] everything. It would be an amazing thing for the club. It would be a great story for individual coaches, players the like. For all the people who have been at the club a long time, it would mean the world. It would mean the world for me a Sam Griffin as coaches, also the players who have come from other clubs that were not seen as first-grade footballers, who have been given an opportunity at the club.”

Key: Adamstown were rock solid at the back last weekend. They’ll need put in a similar performance against the third best attacking side in the competition.

Lambton Jaffas v Lake Macquarie Roosters
2.30pm Saturday 1st July at Arthur Edden Oval

Last Meeting: Round 5, 2017: Lake Macquarie 0 Lambton 4 at Macquarie Field.

Ladder: Lambton 1st (29), Lakes 7th (16)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Lambton – Lost Phoenix 1-2 (a), Won Bears 5-0 (h), Won Eagles 2-0 (a)
Lakes – Lost Magic 0-3 (h), Lost Phoenix 0-1 (a), Won Bears 2-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Both Lambton and Lake Macquarie are coming off disappointing results in round 15 and will aim to bounce back in style.

After leading 1-0 at half-time against the Phoenix on Saturday, Lambton conceded two unanswered goals in the second half to fall 2-1 to the Phoenix. The Jaffas third loss in as many matches against their bogey side.

But, after defeats this season the Jaffas have responded in fine fashion. In all competitions, Lambton has lost just four matches. The three matches played after defeats thus far have resulted in 4-0, 3-2 and 5-0 victories.

Once again, Lakes have the unenviable task of playing the Jaffas after they have had a defeat so they will have their work cut out for them on Saturday.

After a strong start to the season where the Roosters lost just one of their first six matches, they have now won just one of their last seven to fall from the top of the table to seventh.

Lake Macquarie’s biggest concern comes in the front third, scoring just four times in their last five outings and they have been kept scoreless in their last two matches.

The goals have also dried up for striker Sam Walker who scored seven times in the Roosters first eight matches. Since then he has managed just one goal in his last six outings.

With the Roosters in a bit of a slump, top-of-the-table Lambton will be favourites to make it four wins from four following defeats in 2017. 

What the Coaches Said:

Anthony Richards (Lakes)

“Obviously, they are riddled with talent. I guess over all the games we have played this year that first 45 minutes [against Lambton] is the only time we have been blown off the park by any side. The second half was a lot better. It was 3-0 at half-time so we were gone at half-time in that game.”

“We are looking to improve on our start on the weekend and try and stay in the contest a bit longer. If we can stay in the contest a bit longer we will give ourselves a chance. I think we showed way too much respect last time. Jobe [Wheelhouse] pretty much controlled the entire game in that one. I know he’s missing this time so that might help us this time control the game a bit better.”

Key: The bounce-back effect. Can Lambton continue their strong record after suffering defeat?

Broadmeadow Magic v Charlestown City Blues
2.30pm Sunday 2nd July at Magic Park

Last Meeting: Round 5, 2017: Charlestown 1 Broadmeadow 0 at Lisle Carr Oval.

Ladder: Broadmeadow 6th (21), Charlestown 8th (15)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Broadmeadow – Won Phoenix 3-1 (a), Won Bears 4-1 (a), Lost Eagles 0-3 (a)
Charlestown – Won Jets 4-0 (h), Drew Magpies 1-1 (a), Lost Phoenix 1-3 (a)

Bottom Line

Seemingly out of contention for the finals series a month ago, when they were humbled 3-0 by Edgeworth on their home patch, Broadmeadow Magic have roared back to life since and are now within touching distance of the top four.

Since the Edgeworth defeat, Broadmeadow have won five matches straight in all competitions and have racked up the goals.

Magic have now scored 17 goals in their last five matches, which is in stark contrast to the mere 14 goals they scored in their first 11 PS4 NPL NNSW matches this season.

The signing of former Jets and Glory midfielder Mitch Oxborrow has certainly helped raise the confidence of the squad, with the front third of Dino Fajkovic, James Virgili and Kale Bradbury all firing in recent weeks.

Charlestown returned to form in style on Saturday as they put four past a disappointing Jets Youth outfit.

Striker Rene Ferguson has gone from strength to strength this season and is now equal first in the golden boot standings after scoring twice on the weekend.

With the news, this week that Scott Smith and Kane Goodchild will return to the Blues in 2018, his combination with the experienced front men is sure to be a mouth-watering prospect from the Charlestown faithful.

Back to the present, and Joel Steward scored his first goal in the top grade for the club against the Jets which will provide a huge boost to his confidence going into the weekend.

Charlestown won a tight contest earlier in the year, with Josh Maguire scoring a stunning free-kick after Broadmeadow keeper Niko Giantsopoulos was sent off.

If the Blues bring their best on Sunday it will provide a tough test for Magic who are the favourites to take all three points in this contest.

What the Coaches Said:

Ruben Zadkovich (Broadmeadow)

“We didn’t really play our best [last time against Charlestown] if I remember correctly, but we still probably did enough to get something out of the game. It was one of them ones like most games in the first round where not much went our way and then we lost our goalkeeper with a red card and then the boys put it in the top corner from a free-kick. We’ll know what they offer, they’ll compete and work really, really hard for each other. It’ll be a tough game for sure for my boys.”

“I’ve felt that all year [we had confidence in front of goal], it just didn’t really happen. The way we play, we want to create plenty of chances, we want a lot of the ball, we want to be dynamic and it’s nice to see it coming together. Sometimes to change a style of football in a team, and also change a mindset it takes time, so it’s nice to see it’s slowly reaping some rewards.”

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“I think the guys’ performance on the weekend after two/three weeks off was commendable although Magic at home is a different story. They’ve got some confidence now, so I’m actually looking forward to the contest. There’s some guys that are starting in their second first-grade game and the actual test will be against a confident Magic side who are looking to scrape into that fourth spot.”

“I just think it’s a lot more settled side [for Magic] and Zadkovich has probably settled on selections a lot more and probably found what he thinks is going to work for them. I think they’ve been a consistent side when they’ve just had the same sort of starting side and they’ve bought a player that played a high level in Oxborrow.”

Key: Magic have won just two of six home games this season. Can they turn it around against the Blues?


Reece Papas signs for Hamilton Olympic

Hamilton Olympic welcome back Reece Papas!!

After stints at Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners all at Olympic are happy to see Reece back in the blue and white.

source:Tom Tsamouras

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 15: Hamilton Olympic held to a 2-2 draw by Maitland

Hamilton Olympic 2 (Smith 79’, Pratt 81’) drew with Maitland Magpies 2 (Comerford 32’, M.Thompson (p) 49’) at Darling Street Oval.

Hamilton Olympic pulled a point out of the fire and could have stolen all three in the ‘Match of the Round’ as they produced a stunning rear-guard action, scoring two goals in the final 11 minutes against Maitland.

Olympic were down by two goals heading towards the final ten minutes, but a stunning strike from Scott Smith and a vicious volley from Sean Pratt ensured honours were even after 90 minutes.

The home side started the game on the front foot as Rhys Cooper – in his third match back from injury – wreaked havoc in the attacking third.

Cooper’s first chance burst through the hands of Magpies keeper Matt Trott and into the goal and minutes later Cooper had a wonderful chance to break the deadlock from inside the box on the right, but he slid his shot wide to the left.

Matt Comerford made Olympic pay for missing their earlier chances in the 32nd minute after an intricate interchange of passing between himself and Matt Thompson.

Comerford played a one-two with the former Newcastle Jets Captain and chipped Tyler Warren in the Hamilton goal to make it 1-0.

After conceding Hamilton struggled to make any headway with the Magpies controlling much of the ball as they headed to the break with a one-goal advantage.

When then returned after the interval the visitor’s dominance continued with Comerford darting down the left edge and having too much pace for Olympic defender Marcus Duncan.

Duncan dove in on Maitland’s speedster and gave away a penalty, which Matt Thompson duly converted to make in 2-0 in the 49th minute.

For the next 30 minutes, the Magpies appeared comfortable, sniffing out any half chance which Olympic created. That was until Tommy Spencer came onto the ground and Olympic began to find some space in the front third.

First, Spencer put his header from close range over the bar. It seemed that was the moment for Olympic. However, the chances continued to flow for the home side.

When Scott Smith turned on the edge of the box and curled a left-footed strike into the top left corner the match was back on.

Two minutes later and Olympic were level when Sean Pratt hit a searing volley from the right side of the box into the top right corner, sending the home fans into raptures.

The chances weren’t gone for Olympic though. Smith played Spencer through the heart of the Magpies defence in stoppage time and went one-on-one with Trott. Maitland’s keeper made a brilliant one-on-one save, sticking out his left boot to save the day.

The draw leaves just one point separating fourth from sixth on the PlayStation®4 NPL NNSW ladder with Hamilton, Maitland and Broadmeadow looking to fight it out for the last spot over the next seven weeks.

Olympic coach Mick Bolch thought his side were too inconsistent over the 90 minutes to win the match.

“I thought we were really good for the first 20 minutes. We probably deserved to be up by two, Rhys Cooper had three one-one-ones.

“Last 20 minutes I thought we were really good and ran over the top of them. Middle 40 minutes, [we were] terrible.”

“We could have won at the death there with Tommy Spencer. Did we deserve to win it? Probably not. I’m happy to get out of jail.”

While disappointed with conceding two goals in the final 15 minutes, Magpies boss Phil Dando didn’t feel like “we threw three points away.”

“They’ve gone away, they slipped away,” Dando said.

“We knew it would be an arm-wrestle. We knew it would be a tight contest. I thought we did really well absorbing their pressure early one and then we played some good football.”

Looking back on the result, Dando was pleased to take a point.

“If you would have said before the game, there is a point, we probably would have taken it. The biggest surprise to me was that we were so dominant for such a large period of the game. I just thought it would be an arm-wrestle all the way through.

“That’s credit to our guys, they’ve worked their socks off and probably didn’t quite get what they deserved today.”

Under 20s Olympic won 5-0
Under 18s Olympic won 5-0

NPL Youth
Olympic vs Lambton Jaffas FC
Under 16s Lambton 0-5
Under 15s Olympic won 1-0
Under 14s Lambton won 1-3
Under 13s Olympic won 6-0

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

NET results
Under 12s Olympic defeated Lambton 3-2
Under 11s Olympic & Sth Wallsend drew 1-1
Under 10s Olympic & Sth Wallsend drew 2-2

Olympic Junior Results
Under 16a Olympic defeated Magic 4-2
Under 15a Olympic & Kotara drew 3-3
Under 13a Olympic defeated Charlestown 4-1
Under 12b Olympic defeated Kahibah 4-0

Under 8/2 Olympic defeated Medowie
Under 6/1 Olympic defeated Cooks Hill

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 15:Hamilton Olympic take on Maitland Magpies

Hamilton Olympic v Maitland Magpies

2.30pm Sunday 25th June at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 4, 2017: Maitland 0 Hamilton 2 at Cooks Square Park
Ladder: Hamilton 4th (21pts), Maitland 5th (20)
Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

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

Maitland – Won Jets 6-1 (h), Drew Blues 1-1 (h), Lost Rosebuds 1-3 (a)

Bottom Line

Top four ambitions will go on the line in this weekend’s ‘Match of the Round’ when Maitland meet Hamilton at Darling Street Oval.

Just a point separates the sides with both having played 12 matches, and three points on Sunday could make all the difference in the race for the top four.

Hamilton come into the fixture fresh from the bye, and having missed the Westfield FFA Cup weekend, Olympic will not have played a competitive match in three weeks.

It has given Mick Bolch’s side the chance to freshen up and get over any niggles or injuries as they gear up for a huge eight matches to end the regular season.

After a run of three straight matches in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NNSW without a victory, Maitland has grown in confidence following a competitive performance against Edgeworth in the Westfield FFA Cup where they pushed the Eagles all the way in a 1-0 defeat.

The Magpies have taken that good form back into the league season where they dismantled the Jets Youth on Sunday in style, winning 6-1.

Josh Dutton-Black scored his first PS4 NPL goal for the club and seems a key for Maitland over the final two months of the competition, along with new recruit Chris Fayers who has arrived mid-season from Edgeworth.

While Maitland have only tasted victory once in their last five matches against Olympic, they have proved to be somewhat of a bogey side for the men from Hamilton. They drew twice with them last season and had a win each in 2015. Earlier this season Hamilton were too strong in a 2-0 win at Cooks Square Park.

It’s a match which shapes as a tight one and only home ground advantage tilts the scales in favour of Olympic.

What the Coaches Said:

Michael Bolch (Hamilton)

“They have trained really well in the last couple of weeks so hopefully they will be focused. It will be a big game, so I’m sure they will be up for it. It’s crucial for every team [the next eight weeks]. There are about four or five teams that are chasing those [top] four spots, so it’s a big eight weeks coming up for all teams.”

“[Maitland] have had a couple of good results the last few weeks. They put the Jets to the sword on the weekend and scored some really good goals. If we take the chances we are creating I’m sure we’ll be right in the game. Rhys Cooper is a bonus being back for us. He did really well in his 60 minutes against Adamstown three weeks ago and his combination with Kane Goodchild and Scott Smith is only going to get better over the next eight weeks.”

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“We thought maybe we had done enough to get something out of it [against Olympic in round four]. We started off sloppy and they tend to play a bit more direct and we didn’t deal with it. They imposed themselves early on and got on top of us. We failed to match them in the intensity I suppose, so we need to ensure we do that.”

“We’ve just got to play at our best. We have some really good games in us but there are occasions when we switch off and I don’t know if the belief has been there. I keep telling them that they are as good as anyone going around and on our day, we are as good as anyone going around. I don’t know if they always believe me. They’ve just got to take that belief into games and they should do now after the good win the other day. We knocked the ball around well on a muddy pitch [against the Jets].”

Key: How will Hamilton start after three weeks without a match in the PS4 NPL?

U18s  Hamilton Olympic vs Maitland 10.45 am Sunday 25th June at Darling Street Oval

U20s  Hamilton Olympic vs Maitland 12.30 pm Sunday 25th June at Darling Street Oval


Hamilton Olympic vs Lambton Jaffas Saturday 24th June at darling Street Oval

U13s kick off at 10.00am

U14s kick off at 11.30am

U15s kick off at 1.00pm

U16s kick off at 2.30pm


Charlestown City Blues v Newcastle Jets Youth
2.30pm Saturday 24th June at Lisle Carr Oval

Last Meeting: Round 4, 2017: Jets Youth 1 Charlestown 4 at Lisle Carr Oval.
Ladder: Charlestown 8th (12), Jets Youth 9th (9)
Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Charlestown – Drew Magpies 1-1 (a), Lost Phoenix 1-3 (a), Lost Bears 0-3 (a)

Jets – Lost Magpies 1-6 (a), Won Rosebud 3-2 (a), Won Jaffas 2-1 (a)

Bottom Line

Two sides in need of three points meet at Lisle Carr Oval on Sunday, with the Blues looking to win for the first time since April and the Jets Youth eager to erase last weekend’s defeat from their minds.

After two straight victories in the PS4 NPL NNSW, it seemed the Jets Youth would climb up the table over the back half of the season. However, on Sunday those hopes seemed to take a dive as Maitland provided the young Jets with a reality check.

The Magpies put six past them on a sodden pitch which didn’t suit the Jets’ style and with heavy pitches expected to be a feature of the final eight rounds, it may get tough for the Jets Youth.

Coach Clayton Zane has conceded the loss of striker Kristian Brymora is a significant one for his side, with Brymora bringing a physical presence, which is crucial against sides of which most bring greater size than the Jets.

While their opponents Charlestown have brought in some youth over the previous weeks, the experienced core of their squad remains the same with Matt Tull and Dan Casciaroli the important cogs in the midfield along with the attacking prowess of Rene Ferguson in the front third.

Charlestown haven’t won in six matches, but their last result was a positive step forward after consecutive defeats.

They drew with Maitland at Cooks Square Park at the start of the month and after missing the match with Lake Macquarie on Sunday, the Blues may come into this one a little rusty, while also eager and excited to be back on the park.

The greater physical presence of Charlestown makes them slight favourites on Saturday, although it is very rare that the Jets put in two disappointing performances in a row.

What the Coaches Said:

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“It’s an up and down season for them. It’s tough, they didn’t have their number one keeper in there [on the weekend]. It’s a reflection of them being in the comp for a while now. They either go really well one week, and they are bad another. I guess with young players it is consistency that they struggle with. I don’t think [the match] will be near what it was the first match against them. We played really well and they might have some changes in personnel as well.”

“Not much has changed in my mind, the feeling that I’m not going to be at the club next year. I’ve had a chat to the players and it’s really important for them that they put their best foot forward for the best of the season. I don’t want to finish the season where we roll over and die. I don’t think that’s in the character of some of the players and it’s definitely not in my character.”

Key: Can the Jets Youth respond to last weekend’s thumping handed out by Maitland?


Valentine Phoenix v Lambton Jaffas
2.30pm Saturday 24th June at Cahill Oval

Last Meeting: Round 4, 2017: Lambton 2 Valentine 3 at Arthur Edden Oval
Ladder: Valentine 3rd (25), Lambton 1st (29)
Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Valentine – Lost Magic 1-3 (h), Won Roosters 1-0 (h), Won Blues 3-1 (h)

Lambton – Won Bears 5-0 (h), Won Eagles 2-0 (a), Won Olympic 3-2 (h)

Bottom Line

After their loss to the Jets Youth in round ten Lambton have returned to form in style, scoring ten goals in three matches since the defeat and going two points clear at the top of the PS4 NPL NNSW ladder.

The Jaffas thumped the Bears on Saturday, and what was even more impressive was their ability not to rely on one source for their goals with four different Jaffas’ players scoring on the weekend.

The visitors will be eager to beat their bogey side of late who have won their last two matches against them. Valentine won 3-2 last year in round 13 and won 3-2 earlier this season against the Jaffas.

For Valentine, Saturday’s match marks the end of five consecutive matches at Cahill Oval in the PS4 NPL NNSW. The Phoenix had an unblemished record on the ground this year, before their defeat to Broadmeadow Magic on Saturday.

While Valentine had won three straight matches before the game against Magic and looked set to secure a spot in the finals, a loss in the Westfield FFA Cup, followed by the loss on the weekend just seems to have shaken the Phoenix.

They were sitting eight points clear of fifth-placed Maitland before last weekend, but after both the Magpies and Magic won that gap has been reduced to five. A win this weekend is crucial for the Phoenix to ensure they keep the chasing teams at bay.

After their recent form, Lambton head into this match as favourites, but it will be tight, with Valentine aware of the importance of at least getting a point out of the match.

What the Coaches Said:

Sam Griffin (Valentine Assistant)

“We got it wrong tactically against Magic. We thought we should try and negate their pace by sitting off and picking out wide and deciding where to engage them. It probably worked to an extent, but not as well as we would have hoped and they got in behind more easily. You can’t concede three goals and let them get behind as easily as they did and expect them to win too many games.”

“There’s probably 11 battles going on out there [against Lambton]. I spoke to Sillsy [Darren Sills] today about trying to pick where their weakness is and it was a bit of a short conversation because there aren’t many. I think we can’t really worry about them too much, we’ve just got to make sure that we are better than what we were last week.”

Key: After two losses in a row, can the Phoenix turn it around against a Lambton side who has struggled against them recently?


Lake Macquarie Roosters v Broadmeadow Magic
2.30pm Sunday 25th June at Macquarie Field

Last Meeting: Round 4, 2017: Broadmeadow 1 Lake Macquarie 4 at Magic Park.
Ladder: Lakes 7th (16), Broadmeadow 6th (18)
Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Broadmeadow – Won Phoenix 3-1 (a), Won Bears 4-1 (a), Lost Eagles 0-3 (a)

Lakes – Lost Phoenix 0-1 (a), Won Bears 2-0 (h), Lost Eagles 1-2 (h)

Bottom Line

Broadmeadow will look to make it a hat-trick of wins in the PS4 NPL NNSW for the first time in 2017 when they meet Lake Macquarie on Sunday afternoon.

Magic have piled on the goals in their last two matches in the league scoring four in their victory over Weston in round 13 and three on the weekend against Valentine.

Broadmeadow’s two PS4 NPL NNSW victories have bookended two strong performances in the Westfield FFA Cup when they racked up four and three goals respectively in their round six and seven fixtures.

They seem to be playing with greater width, allowing James Virgili and Kale Bradbury more space on the flanks and it certainly showed against the Phoenix, with Virgili scoring twice.

Lake Macquarie come into the match fresh from a three-week break, with byes and wet weather affecting their schedule.

Lakes have gone loss, win, loss over their last three matches so if you believe in that trend a win is due this weekend.

They were dogged in their last start against Valentine, but just couldn’t get the job done with Matt Toohey sent off in the second half and Jalon Brown scoring a late goal for the Phoenix.

The Roosters will bring plenty of belief into the clash after their wonderful showing in round four where they took down Broadmeadow 4-1 at Magic Park. They will be looking for more of the same this weekend.

With Broadmeadow having won four straight in all competitions they enter this match as favourites against a Lakes side who have been a little inconsistent of late.

What the Coaches Said:

Ruben Zadkovich (Broadmeadow)

“We are going alright, just putting a few wins together is nice. We know it will be a tough game, especially out there. Like most teams, they will rise to play against us. We are really looking forward to it. The boys have got a good bit of vibe going at the moment and teams spirit which is good, but we’ll just take it as it comes. Really looking forward to the weekend.”

“There were four or five games in that first round where we played some really good stuff and didn’t get rewarded. We didn’t take our chances and coughed up penalties at crucial times and conceded poor goals. It was kind of like Murphy’s Law, that along with some key injuries and a couple of suspensions and silly red cards. We were a bit unlucky there when we did play some good stuff and didn’t get any rewards from it, so I was always quite confident that it would turn around.”

Anthony Richards (Lakes)

“I’m tipping it’s going to be a massively tough game for us on the weekend. The Magic boys are flying at the moment. They are playing well and scoring goals and progressing through to the FFA Cup, so they are really confident and they picked up a really good player in Mitch Oxborrow.”

“I don’t think getting going is going to be the problem [after three weeks without a match]. The boys are buzzing. They are busting to get a game and you could see that on the weekend in the warm-up when everyone had gone, we were still training and having a kick at the ground there and then even started some diving headers in the mud. The boys were keen, they were right to play and they were really disappointed they didn’t get on, on the weekend.”

Key: Can Broadmeadow’s front third continue their strong form against Lakes?


Weston Bears v Adamstown Rosebud
2.30pm Sunday 25th June at Rockwell Automation Park

Last Meeting: Round 4, 2017: Adamstown 3 Weston 3 at Adamstown Oval.
Ladder: Weston 10th (7), Adamstown 11th (7)
Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Adamstown – Lost Olympic 0-3 (a), Lost Jets 2-3 (h), Won Magpies 3-1 (h)

Weston – Lost Jaffas 0-5 (a), Lost Magic 1-4 (h), Lost Roosters 0-2 (a)

Bottom Line

For the second season running Weston and Adamstown are in a battle to avoid the wooden spoon, and while there are still plenty of matches left in the season a win this weekend for either club could go a long way to ensuring they finish the season strongly.

The Bears will be looking to for a strong performance at home after a difficult week which included a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the ladder leading Lambton Jaffas.

Weston have been unable to get themselves going again after a heart-breaking last minute defeat at Valentine in round 11.

The weekend before Weston put in one of their best performances of the season in a 3-0 win over Charlestown but have since lost four straight.

Since the round 10 victory, the Bears have conceded 13 goals in four matches – including nine in the past two – and a return home could be just the boost they need.

Like the Bears, Adamstown put in one of their best performances of the season against Maitland in round 11 and have struggled since.

Last weekend the Rosebuds went down 3-0 to Edgeworth who are going through a solid run of form.

The loss to the Eagles was Adamstown’s third straight and they have leaked three goals in each of those three defeats. Coach Nick Webb will aim to tighten up their defence this weekend.

Earlier in the season, the sides couldn’t be separated after a 3-3 draw, however, it was a match Adamstown would have felt like they had lost after racing to a 3-1 lead inside 16 minutes.

There is very little between the two sides, with Weston going into the match slight favourites at Rockwell Automation Park.

What the Coaches Said:

Steve Piggott (Weston)

“We had a 3-all draw with them last time and gave them a big head start and mowed them down. It will be a battle of the bottom two and a bit of pride at stake I suppose. After last week’s pretty poor effort defensively we’ll have to be a lot better. They’ve got some threats, a couple of guys that can score goals, Alex Read and the like. They haven’t been going well either so it will be a battle of two teams probably both looking to boost confidence.”

“There’s a few games in the first round that we let slip and Adamstown is probably one of them. We gave them a big head start and probably should have gone on and won that match. Ten games later from that game you would think both teams would have matured a bit. But, again I can only talk for us, we’ve conceded nine goals in two weeks and that is way too many and we’ve had to look pretty closely at the defence this week and hopefully, we can improve.”

Nick Webb (Adamstown)

“I think that is the biggest challenge. Part of the thing that I will be talking to them about this week, is that I am the coach. I am not a caretaker, I’m not just making sure they are all feeling good and I’m here to coach. That’s the biggest point I want to make to the club. I’m the coach and I want to prove that I want to be here next year as well.”

“The next couple of weeks are going to determine that, so I’m looking for them to push hard on their confidence side of it and the senior players step up and show the younger boys how it is done and that starts with body language and attitude. I’m looking to prove a point to them and show that I do want to coach this side next year as well.”

Key: Can Adamstown tighten up at the back, after conceding three goals in each of their last three matches?

Hamilton Olympic lose goalkeeper Danny Ireland for rest of 2017

Hamilton will be without No.1 goalkeeper Danny Ireland for the rest of the season.

Ireland has struggled with illness this year and played only seven times, last featuring in the 2-0 win over Weston in round eight.

Former Lake Macquarie and West Wallsend shot-stopper Tyler Warren, who joined Hamilton this year, has filled the breach.

Coach Michael Bolch said Ireland “won’t be back this year” and he hoped the confirmation would help his side focus on the job at hand with eight matches to go.

“Tyler Warren will be in goals for the rest of the season,” Bolch said. “He’s done really well, and this just brings a bit of closure. It’s a bit of security in that we know where we’re going now. It’s obviously disappointing to lose the best keeper in the competition but it is what it is, and the boys will step up.”

On the plus side, Bolch expected Olympic to improve in attack as Rhys Cooper continues his comeback from a knee injury. Cooper scored and set up a goal in a 3-0 win over Adamstown in his return two weeks ago.

2017 Hamilton Olympic Annual Coaching Clinic fully booked

Our 2017 Annual Coaching Clinic is now fully booked, with nearly two weeks before its starting date.  

We sincerely thank all the families from within our club that have supported this annual event. For those who have booked their children in, we look forward to seeing your child/ children on Monday, 3rd July, with their joggers, shin pads and a drink bottle, for 5 great days of football.

We have 12 coaches that include current players  and coaches from within our club, including our Senior Under 20 coach, Greg Asquith, our Under 18 coach Paul Devitis, all co-ordinated by our Under 13 Youth NPL Coach, Reece Fellas.


Con Gounis



  • WHEN:  FRIDAY 21 July 7.00pm for a 7.30pm START SHARP
  • WHERE: Greek Community Hall, Skelton Street Hamilton (Close to St Francis Xavier, off Parkway Avenue)
  • COST:  $15 per player
  • BYO ALCOHOL as the premises are not licenced.
  • Coffee/ tea and cakes provided on the night
  • BOOK YOUR TABLES (maximum of 10 players)  BY CONTACTING CON on 0423221352,

0r Heath on 0437776650 or by emailing


Hamilton Olympic overcome Adamstown Rosebud 3-0

In his first start back from injury, Rhys Cooper returned to the scoresheet at Darling Street Oval in Hamilton’s 3-0 demolition of Adamstown.

Reeling from the sacking of former coach Peter McGuinness during the week the Rosebud’s struggled against an Olympic side inspired to end their coach Michael Bolch’s final season at the club on a high.

Cooper opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after the intricate build up from Olympic. Andrew Swan played in his brother Matt down the left edge who squared to Cooper. Cooper rushed into the box and hit his shot first time, into the right post and the ball deflected in to make it 1-0.

Just two minutes later and Olympic were up by two. Cooper turned provider on this occasion curling in a cross from the right onto the head of Smith who made no mistake from point blank range.

Hamilton took their 2-0 advantage into the sheds and pushed on in the second half through Smith. The build-up was brilliant once more as Tom Davies crossed in from the right edge to Sean Pratt.

Pratt squared to ball back to Tommy Spencer, who chipped over the top to Kane Goodchild. Goodchild was tackled by Rosebud defender Alex Read, however, the ball sat up for Smith who powered home from close range.

The win moves Olympic to within five points of top spot and keeps them in fourth on the ladder.

Olympic coach Mick Bolch felt two of his returning stars were crucial to the win.

“We played some good stuff today and knocked the ball around really well.

“We got into some good areas and Coops made a difference, scored the first, set up the second, but even having Andrew Swan back at left fullback, he and his brother engineered the first goal down the left-hand side.”

With Olympic now having a three-week layoff before their next match, Bolch says how they return will be crucial to their finals aspirations.

In his first match in charge of the Rosebuds caretaker coach Nick Webb said the result “was a bit of a learning curve.”

“Overall, it was a little disappointing, but obviously, there is a bit of work to do.”

After only taking his first training session on Friday it would a very short build-up for Webb who admitted there wasn’t a lot he could change in the short period.

“I just wanted to have a look at them [on Friday]. We had a bit of a game against the 20s so we could see some shape and set up how I wanted to set up in defence, which wasn’t far off how they have played this year. I didn’t want to do too much with them.”

Webb will get two weeks to work with his squad before their next match against Edgeworth, while Olympic has a three-week break before they next play in the PS4 NPL, against Maitland.


Under 20s Olympic won 2-1
Under 18s Olympic won 3-1

NPL Youth
Olympic vs Adamstown
Under 16s drew 1-1
Under 15s Olympic won 3-0
Under 14s drew 3-3
Under 13s Olympic won 4-2

Zone League 2
Olympic vs New Lambton
1st Grade New Lambton won 0-1
2nd Grade Olympic won 1-0

NET results
Under 10s Olympic drew with Jaffas 2-2
Under 11s Olympic defeated by Jaffas 2-3
Under 12s Olympic defeated Magic 3-0

Olympic Junior Results
Under 16a Olympic defeated New Lambton 1-0
Under 15a Olympic defeated Jaffas 4-2
Under 13a Olympic defeated by Maitland 1-2
Under 12b Olympic defeated South Wallsend 2-1

Under 9/1 Olympic defeated Lambton
Under 9/2 Olympic defeated by New Lambton
Under 8/1 Olympic defeated South Wallsend
Under 8/2 Olympic defeated New Lambton
Under 7/1 Olympic defeated South Wallsend
Under 6/1 Olympic drew with Mayfield
Under 6/2 Opposition forfeited
Under 6/3 Olympic defeated Newcastle Grammer

Source:Tom Tsamouras

Peter McGuinness returns to Hamilton Olympic

Hamilton Olympic Football Club is proud to announce that Peter McGuinness is to return to the Club as Head Coach from the commencement of the 2018 NPL Season.

“We are truly excited that one of our ‘old boys’, multiple Premiership winning player and coach, Pete McGuinness is returning to our Club. During his first stint here, he enjoyed great success as a three-time 1st Grade Grand Final winning player and lower grade Premiership and Grand Final winning coach. Coupled with his continued success and development as a coach, puts Pete well-placed to lead our football teams into the future” said Mr. Sofianos.

Pete McGuinness served Hamilton Olympic with distinction during his seven years at the Club from 1998 to 2004. In that time he:
won 3 consecutive 1st Grade Grand Finals as a player – 1998, 1999, 2000;
coached our Under 23s to 2 consecutive Grand Finals wins in 2003 and 2004;
coached our Under 23s to 2 Under 23 Premierships in 2001 and 2004;
as a player and coach contributed to 3 Club Championships in 1998, 2000 and 2001.

Since then, Pete has continued to develop and succeed as a coach, winning two more 1st Grade Premierships and two 1st Grade Grand Finals. He has been a W-League and NNSWF Coach of the Year, coached the NNSW Men’s Representative team and the Newcastle Jets W-League team.

“Olympic are one of the ‘powerhouse’ clubs in this region. I am honoured they have asked me to rejoin the Club where I started my coaching career. I am excited at working with the players, coaches and committee to build on the Club’s success both on and off the field.” said Mr. Mc Guinness.

Pete has also demonstrated a strong commitment to youth development over many years. He has coached at the NNSW Institute of Sport, the Emerging Jets, NNSW Boys’ representative teams and during 2015 was coach of the Newcastle Jets Youth team.

“Beyond his success as a senior coach, Pete’s commitment to youth development was a critical factor in our decision as it aligns with the strong commitment our Club has always had to youth development.” said Mr. Sofianos.

source: Tom Tsamouras

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 13: Hamilton Olympic take on Adamstown Rosebud

Hamilton Olympic v Adamstown Rosebud
2.30pm Sunday 4th June at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 2, 2017: Adamstown 0 Hamilton 1 at Adamstown Oval.

Ladder: Hamilton 4th (18), Adamstown 11th (7)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Hamilton – Lost Jaffas 2-3 (a), Won Magic 2-1 (a), Drew Roosters 1-1 (h)

Adamstown – Lost Jets 2-3 (h), Won Magpies 3-1 (h), Drew Blues 2-2 (a)

Bottom Line

With Hamilton coach Michael Bolch this week announcing that he would leave Olympic at the end of the season, and rumours swirling that Pete McGuinness will be his replacement, this drama sets up an intriguing sideshow to the weekend’s match.

Olympic desperately want to win this one before they head into a three-week break without matches. A loss on Sunday could mean Hamilton are four points outside the top four before they even return to the field if Lake Macquarie and Maitland win both of their matches.

Rhys Cooper’s return last weekend was eagerly anticipated by Olympic fans and even in his cameo of the bench on Saturday he caused plenty of headaches for the Lambton defence. He will be in line to start this weekend and it would be a boost if he does.

Olympic won a tight battle against Adamstown last time the sides met courtesy of a late Scott Smith strike, however, it didn’t go their way against Lambton on the weekend falling 3-2 in a match where midfielder Sean Pratt hit the post on no less than four occasions.

Adamstown needed to win against the Jets on Saturday to jump out of the cellar, but over a four-minute period midway through the second half, the Rosebuds fell apart as they conceded three goals.

From that moment, it was always going to be an uphill battle and while they grabbed two back, they gave themselves too much work to do in the end.

Adamstown looked to be showing improvement, but, the weekend seemed like a step in the wrong direction as they conceded three for the second time in four weeks and their fifth time in 11 matches.

If they don’t tighten up on Sunday, Kane Goodchild and Scott Smith could have a field day.

Tommy Spencer (groin) and Pete McPherson (groin) are both out for Olympic, and Danny Ireland (illness) remains sidelined. Adamstown are at full strength.

What the Coaches Said:

Michael Bolch (Hamilton)

“I couldn’t comment on rumours as to who they are going to appoint. I can just comment on rumours that I’m not going to be there next year.”

“It’s just a matter of us taking chances. If we took our chances against Lambton, we’d be second place just up behind Edgeworth but, same old story we are creating plenty, but, we’ve got to be focused for 90 minutes. You can’t concede three goals and win games.”

“Rhys Cooper is in the top handful of players in the competition. What you’ve seen last weekend, he’d only done two training sessions and hadn’t played for eight weeks so he’ll be enormous for us coming into our run hopefully into the semi-finals.

Pete McGuinness (Adamstown)

“I’m only concentrating at the minute on this game. Like I said the other week, it’s game by game with us. For the most part of it we played really well last week. We just had a bad six-minute block that killed us. Outside of that I thought we probably dominated the game and should have won, but we didn’t.”

“This week, it’s a different style of football we are up against. They’ve got the front two, Scott Smith and Kane Goodchild. Obviously physical and smart players, they put themselves about. They get the ball to them pretty quickly. We’ve got to be in the physical contest from the word go and win our fair share of second phase play and try to be good with the ball when we have it.”

Key: Kane Goodchild. After a superb solo goal, last weekend he seems to be hitting top form. Can Adamstown find a way to stop him?

U18s Hamilton Olympic vs Adamstown kick off 10:45am Sunday 4th June at Darling St Oval.

U12s Hamilton Olympic vs Adamstown kick off 12:30pm Sunday 4th June at Darling St Oval.


u13s Adamstown vs Olympic kick off 10:00am Sat. 3rd June at Adamstown Oval

u14s Adamstown vs Olympic kick off 11:30am Sat. 3rd June at Adamstown Oval

u15s Adamstown vs Olympic kick off 1:00pm Sat. 3rd June at Adamstown Oval

u16s Adamstown vs Olympic kick off 2:30pm Sat. 3rd June at Adamstown Oval


Edgeworth Eagles v Lambton Jaffas
2.30pm Sunday 4th June at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Round 2, 2017: Lambton 2 Edgeworth 1 at Arthur Edden Oval.

Ladder: Edgeworth 1st (24pts), Lambton 2nd (23)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Edgeworth –Won Magic 3-0 (a), Won Lakes (a), Won Phoenix 1-0 (h)

Lambton – Won Olympic 3-2 (h), Lost Jets 1-2 (h), Won Magpies 2-1 (a)

Bottom Line

It’s a top of the table clash between the two best sides over the opening 12 rounds of the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW. This match will have a significant bearing on the premiership race and a spot in the PS4 NPL Finals Series at the season’s end.

The clash will be the first of two meetings between the clubs in a week, with the pair squaring off a week later in Round 6 of the Westfield FFA Cup.

The Eagles come into this fixture with their equal best-undefeated run under coach Damian Zane. Since, their only loss of the season – to Lambton, in round two – Edgeworth have been undefeated for eight matches, a record equal to last year’s run where they won eight straight matches.

In addition, Edgeworth have won their last six straight including a 3-0 demolition job of rivals Broadmeadow Magic on Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles dominated Broadmeadow from start to finish in their best performance of the season. Magic barely had a chance to score, while Edgeworth could have scored more with greater polish in the front third.

Lambton have been just as impressive as Edgeworth this season, losing just twice in their 11 matches and they sit just a point of the competition lead.

The Jaffas have excelled in the front third, scoring a league high 25 goals at an average of just over two per game. With Ryan Griffiths potentially joining his brother Joel in the side this weekend, Lambton could improve their attacking output in the second half of the season.

Lambton recorded just their second loss in round 11 against the Jets Youth and responded with a win against Hamilton Olympic on Sunday.

While it was a strange match, where Olympic dominated the first half. Lambton clawed their way into the lead through a second half burst. Those are the matches, against other top four opposition, that James Pascoe will be pleased his side are winning.

Edgeworth have to be slight favourites in this contest. They have been undefeated in their last 14 matches at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Both sides have a full squad to pick from.


What the Coaches Said:

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“I just look back at that [round two] game and we conceded and it was probably that we switched off there for five minutes. Just after half-time, I thought they had the game for the first ten minutes, but, when I watched back on the tape I thought ‘what was I watching’. We were on top, and physically I thought they were gone and then we conceded the goal. In the end, Pat Brown was in a bit of form, and I think he can be a handful on his day.”

“I think upstairs I don’t like a lot of turnover in my squad so everyone knows how everyone plays. That’s why I have no problem rotating my squad. Even the new guys that come in, we do a lot of 11 v 11 and mix it up. I don’t keep the same eleven every time at training even. You get to know each other at training and that’s why I do it.”

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“We’re in a good spot at the minute. Michael Kantarovski will be back, Ridge Marpu is a chance however, I doubt I’ll risk him. Ryan Griffiths is a nice addition as well. From a ‘personnel’ point of view, we are all good. I just want to try and get a look at the surface to try and work out how best to approach it. I don’t know whether it will be a day to get the ball down and pass it or try and play the game in Edgeworth’s half a little bit more.”

“I think [the pitch] is [more suited to pragmatism] given what I have heard about it. I’ve not seen enough of Edgeworth’s play out there this year to know just yet. But, I’m hearing there is some shifting bits of turf that they have re-laid and there are some other bits that are still there. First of all, I hope it’s a safe surface, I don’t want to see anyone getting injured playing on it. It’s case of trying to tailor your game to minimise risk on that surface particularly in your own half.”

Key: Lambton haven’t lost away in 9 matches. Edgeworth are undefeated at home in 14. Can either side buck the trend?


Valentine Phoenix v Lake Macquarie City Roosters
2.30pm Saturday 3rd May at Cahill Oval

Last Meeting: Round 2, 2017: Lake Macquarie 3 Valentine 0 at Macquarie Field.

Ladder: Valentine 3rd (22), Lake Macquarie 5th (16)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Valentine – Won Blues 3-1 (h), Lost Eagles 0-1 (h), Drew Olympic 1-1 (h)

Lakes – Won Bears 2-0 (h), Lost Eagles 1-2 (h), Drew Olympic 1-1 (a)

Bottom Line

It’s the second instalment of the Lake Macquarie derby as Valentine play host to Lakes to open round 13.

In contrast to the side’s position of the ladder, it was the Roosters who claimed the bragging rights in their first match since 2013 and they did so in style winning 3-0.

The Roosters struggled for momentum heading into round 12, having gone winless in their previous four PS4 NPL matches, which also included an upset loss to Zone Premier League side Cardiff City in the Westfield FFA Cup.

However, with club hero Sam Walker playing his 100th match for the club last Sunday, the Roosters rose to the occasion and with the help of a Walker special and a late strike from youngster Blake Green, Lakes took home all three points which now leaves them just two points from the top four.

For the Roosters to be within touching distance of the finals in their first season back in the top-flight is impressive, and a testament to the job Anthony Richards has done at the club.

Another coach who has impressed in 2017 is Valentine mentor Darren Sills who has led the Phoenix to third on the ladder and only two points of the ladder-leading Eagles.

Last weekend, with a side depleted due to absentees and injuries, the Phoenix dug deep and courtesy of two wonderful goals from Jalon Brown, Valentine recorded back to back victories.

Valentine will have plenty of confidence returning home to Cahill Oval, where they are undefeated in five matches so far. It is a stark contrast to their 2016 record at the ground where they couldn’t pick up a point in four matches there.

The Phoenix are favourites, but the plucky Roosters love these matches against top four opposition.

What the Coaches Said: 

Sam Griffin (Valentine Assistant)

“I’d like to think we are a different side now [since the round two loss]. I hope they have realised that you cannot have any games you take lightly. I think, especially the last couple of weeks we’ve been shown that. We got out of the jail in the last minute against Weston. Charlestown were one up on as last week and even the Suns a couple of weeks ago in the FFA Cup, we were down to them as well. There is not a game this year where you can’t be one-hundred percent ready to go.”

“We’ve stopped leaking goals like we were last year so we are giving ourselves a chance to stay in these games and go and win these games. It has come up a few times during the year when we re-cap after the games, it has been said that 12 months ago we would have lost these games, and we have got a group that are fearless now and they are happy to chase, and do whatever they’ve got to do to win games. It’s a really good habit to get into, winning is as much of a habit as losing.”

Anthony Richards (Lake Macquarie)

“It was a different scenario, way back [in round two]. We were young and wide-eyed and didn’t really know what we were in for, so we were keen. But, now the mighty Valentine are going really well, they in 3rd and doing really well. They’ve got some fantastic players. I think Matt Paul’s probably one of the elite players in the competition that people don’t see a lot of or give him credit. I think he’s a fantastic player and I’d love to have him in one of my sides.”

“I don’t know that we stepped up too much at all [on the weekend]. We probably didn’t play as well as we have been. But, we sort of took our chances and we probably were a little bit better at keeping the ball than we have been which was great. Look, I guess we still have that good work ethic which has got us within the range of beating one of those elite teams. Not a lot did change. I guess we just took our chances against Weston.” 

Key: Valentine’s defence. The Phoenix have conceded just 13 goals in 11 games. Can Sam Walker and his Roosters find an avenue to goal?

Maitland Magpies v Charlestown City Blues
2.30pm Sunday 4th June at Cooks Square Park

Last Meeting: Round 2, 2017: Charlestown 1 Maitland 2 at Lisle Carr Oval.

Ladder: Maitland 6th (16), Charlestown 8th (11)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Maitland – Lost Rosebuds 1-3 (a), Lost Jaffas 1-2 (h), Won Magic 7-0 (a)

Charlestown – Lost Phoenix 1-3 (a), Lost Bears 0-3 (a), Drew Rosebud 2-2 (h)

Bottom Line

Both sides suffered frustrating defeats in their last encounter and have struggled for form of the last couple of weeks.

Maitland went down in a tight match against Lambton, before falling to the Rosebuds 3-1 in their worst performance of the season before the bye last weekend.

After 12 matches (NPL and FFA Cup) in 46 games to start the season it was a rest well deserved for Maitland and expect them to be fresh come Sunday.

Charlestown, lost to the Bears in round 10 in arguably their most disappointing performance this season and last weekend fell 3-1 to the 3rd-placed Valentine Phoenix.

Rene Ferguson scored the opener for the Blues on the weekend to continue his solid form in front of goal this season, however, it wasn’t enough as Valentine overran them in the second half.

The Blues have now lost two straight and four of their last five with a loss of players not helping the situation. They have slipped from the cusps of the top four to now just four points of the last spot in what has been a difficult period for them.

The last meeting between the sides was back in round two, and the Magpies got home in a tight battle that evening courtesy of a second-half penalty to Ben Martin.

If finals are to be achieved for the second year in a row for Maitland they need to come away from this match with points otherwise their hopes could start slipping away.

Magpies twin speedsters Ryan Clarke (ribs) and Matt Comerford (ankle) are both still out.

Matt Tull (ankle) and Daniel Laiman (knee) are out for Charlestown.

What the Coaches Said:

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“They are still a difficult team to beat, they haven’t been going too well of late. But, there is no easy games, we know that now. We are just going to give them the due respect that they deserve. We aren’t going to take anything for granted. We got the better of them last time but only just. It’s going to be a tough game and we need to be up for it and certainly be more up for it than we were against Adamstown.”

“The teams that we played have had a good look at us [since the 7-0 win over Magic]. Lambton were always going to be difficult – top of the table – and the way they played, they just stifled us and didn’t let us play and pinned us back. They recognised where our dangers were and they stopped us playing the way we want to play and Adamstown did to a certain extent as well. We’ve got to find ways now to counteract that.”

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“We have got to bounce back after leading and controlling at least the first part of the game against Valentine. We’ve got some big hurdles and some big questions to be asked inside the playing group because in my mind that wasn’t good enough. Your only as good as your last result and that was pretty poor from us so we’ve got to bounce back.”

“I think that a lot of work to be done. They’ll probably be a couple of guys that make their first grade starting debut based on the last couple of weeks’ effort from the playing group. [The issue of the past few weeks] has been just crucial football decisions at times from players that should know better and we are being punished for those mistakes. That is basically it.”

Key: Can Charlestown find a way to turn their form around?

Weston Bears v Broadmeadow Magic
2.30pm Sunday 4th June at Rockwell Automation Park

Last Meeting: Round 2, 2017: Broadmeadow 2 Weston 0 at Magic Park.

Ladder: Weston 10th (7), Broadmeadow 7th (12)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

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

Broadmeadow – Lost Eagles 0-3 (a), Lost Olympic 1-2 (h), Won Jets 5-1 (a)

Bottom Line

With Broadmeadow having won just one of their last eight matches in the PS4 NPL NNSW, and Weston only registering the solitary win this season, both sides head into the match down on form.

After one of the Bears best performances of the season against Charlestown in round 10, they have lost their last two.

First, it was the last minute lost to Valentine which hurt Weston the week after and last weekend they fell 2-0 to Lake Macquarie in one of their most disappointing performances this year according to coach Steve Piggott.

The Bears have been in every match they have played, and while they sit in 10th on the ladder, their biggest losing margin has only been two goals. What has hurt the Bears has been tight results which have gone against them, including conceding in stoppage time against the Jets Youth and Valentine.

In 2017, Broadmeadow promised so much, however, have delivered so little so far. After a run to the Grand Final last year, Magic have won just three of their 11 matches this season and need three points desperately to give the side some much-needed confidence.

Magic will feel somewhat confident based on their recent record against the Bears who they haven’t lost to in their last four encounters and haven’t conceded in any of those matches.

Based on experience, Magic come into this encounter as the favourites, but Weston’s young side will relish this opportunity against some of the most decorated players in Broadmeadow’s history.

Weston will be close to full-strength with just Jamie Byrnes out of the side.

What the Coaches Said:

Steve Piggott (Weston)

“Considering we are suffering a bit of a form loss, it could be a bit of a tough assignment for us, even though they have been beaten a couple of times. But, you’d think they will bounce back, but who knows. We’ve got a few players out of form. Our form has just dipped, and it was probably our worst performance on the weekend. We just didn’t seem like the team we have been the weeks before.”

“We did really well against Charlestown and we did really well in patches against Valentine. We probably deserved to get a point there, maybe even pinch the game. We were pretty good in the second half until the dying minutes. Again, it’s probably the third or fourth game where somebody has scored in injury time to hurt us. You could see how disappointed we were [after the Valentine match], after being right in the game and I think that has taken a bit of confidence out of the team.”

Key: Can Broadmeadow’s deliver on their pre-season promise this weekend?