Newcastle Olympic can further cement its dominance over the Herald Women’s Premier League competition with a win over Broadmeadow Magic on Sunday which would see them move directly through to the grand final in a fortnight’s time at Adamstown Oval.
“As long as the girls can stay true to what we’ve worked on all year, that discipline, that patience, supporting each other and making sure everyone is just doing their job, I know and the girls know that we are way fitter than any other team,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.
“Anything can happen in final’s football. We’ve got to stay confident in our ability for that full 90 minutes.”
Olympic have been the competition’s trailblazers in season 2020, with the side officially laying hands on the premiership last weekend.
“After the weekend, it was a massive celebration for the girls and the club. The minor premiership wasn’t our focus but we were consistent throughout the year,” Attwill said.
“For the girls I really encouraged them to enjoy the achievement. They’ve been so consistent and have a never give up attitude.”
Stacey Day returned to the park on Sunday after suffering a knee injury earlier in the year, with a final decision on her inclusion in the side for the major semi-final to be made later in the week.
“At this point she’s had two training sessions and probably 20 minutes worth of game time, so I think it’s probably too early to decide. What’s best for her will be the decision we make,” Attwill said.
According to Attwill, her side will need to be clinical across the park if they are to knock over Magic and move directly through to the decider. The loser of Sunday’s game will play the winner of the minor semi-final.
“You can’t go past our defensive backline, Sophie O’brien, Danielle Nicol… in the midfield we’ve got Laura Hall, Keely Gawthrop and then up high we’ve got Jemma House,” she said.
“In terms of the quality across the park they’re all leaders by example and they love the challenge.”
Both the minor and major semi-finals will kick off at the same time of 3pm, with the Olympic-Magic clash to be played on the grass surface outside the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Field 3. Merewether will play Warners Bay on the synthetic No.1 pitch.
“Everyone’s excited about the weekend. I think everyone worries a little bit about stuff that’s out of your control,” Magic coach Jake Curley said.
“Our strategy doesn’t really change depending on who we play, we try and play the same way every time and most of the time it works for us.
“I think if you change your methodology then it creates too much confusion.”
Curley identified Kalista Hunter, Gemma Harrison and Kobie Ferguson as the women to watch against Olympic, with the Magic mentor full of praise for 21-year-old Ferguson.
“I think if those three play well it will go a long way to us winning. With Kobie I’ve coached some really good number 6s and she is by far my favourite number 6,” he said.
Curley said maintaining possession, keeping good defensive shape and people making the right decisions would decide whether his side moved directly through to the grand final.
WPL Semi-Finals are being held on Sunday October 4th at LMRFF at Speers Point and Newcastle Olympic is the only club to be represented by a team in all four age groups!
Newcastle Olympic vs Broadmeadow Magic kick off at 3:00PM
Newcastle Olympic vs Adamstown Rosebud kick off at 1:00PM
Newcastle Olympic vs Merewether kick off at 11:00AM
Newcastle Olympic vs Adamstown Rosebud kick off at 9:00AM
Good luck to all our WPL teams.