NPL Preview: Men and women eager to bounce back


After succumbing to their first losses of the respective NPL campaigns, this weekend offers the perfect opportunity for both the men’s and women’s teams to get back to winning ways. The men play away on Saturday to Canterbury Bankstown whilst the women are on the road to Marconi.

Canterbury Bankstown FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy

After a narrow defeat against North Shore Mariners and a midweek loss to St George City, Ray Junna’s men will be wanting to find their form as they take on bottom placed Canterbury Bankstown FC.

The 2-1 defeat to North Shore Mariners on Sunday was tough to take for the whole squad, with the shining light being Ruiz-Diaz as he found himself on the scoresheet. The Mariners were left to rue a missed penalty in this fixture that they finished with 10 men.

The shock loss was on Wednesday night where the rescheduled round 3 fixture against St George City saw the Academy go down 4-0.

Canterbury Bankstown are winless after the first five games of the season. Last week, they went down 3-0 to Northern Tigers as well as losing 1-0 to St George City the week before.

This is the perfect chance for the men to get back to winning ways and bring back the three points. NPL Head Coach Ray Junna is expecting a response from his troops.

“This weekend’s match against Canterbury is very important for us,” Junna said. “In regard to getting a win after a narrow 2-1 loss to rivals North Shore Mariners and a 4-nil midweek loss to St George City.

“Morale is a little dented and player confidence has also taken a hit. This weekend will test each player’s character and attitude towards trusting the process and being brave enough to back their own ability. If players want to move into the professional ranks of football, it’s situations like this that provides the test.

“We are still creating chances which is positive, but not executing is still our Achilles heel, and at the other end, basic errors are costing us.

“The old cliché of “important moments” in matches, rings loud and clear. We need to turn those moments onto the positive side of the ledger,” Junna said.

Last Week’s academy team: Aiden Munford (GK), Michael Glassock (c), Daniel Hall, Lewis Miller, Ollie Valentine, Alec Vinci, Joshua Nisbet, Dylan Ruiz-Diaz, Charles William, Emmanuel Peters, Peter Kekeris

Match Details
Saturday, 6 April 2019
NSW NPL 2 Round 6
Canterbury Bankstown FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy
Venue: The Crest Athletic Centre, Georges Hall
Kick Off: 7:00pm

Marconi Stallions FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy Women

Dan Barrett’s women’s team endured their maiden defeat last week to the hands of Nepean FC and will be wanting to get straight back to winning ways as they travel to Marconi.

The women have won two games and lost one as they sit 4th on the NPL 2 ladder, tied on points with APIA Leichhardt and Nepean [with a game in hand]. The loss to Nepean was also the first goal the women have conceded in this year’s competition.

Marconi Stallions haven’t enjoyed the same success as they suffered their second lost of the season which was a 5-2 defeat to top of the table Gladesville Ravens. Marconi’s only win of the season was a 10-2 victory over Inter Lions FC.

Dan Barrett is determined to bounce back this week.

“It was an extremely disappointing performance against Nepean,” Barrett said. “We never got going and the organisation and effort we pride ourselves on was non-existent unfortunately.

“We know we can be much better, and we are focused on a much-improved performance this week against a strong Marconi away from home.

“Tactically we have had to change things up. The squad will be playing under quite some duress this next block of games with some major omissions. Candice Phelan, Mel Young, Brook Miller are still all missing and unfortunately we add Kirby Litterick to the injury list who sustained a serious injury that will sideline her for up to 3 months.

“The girls have trained well and given full commitment to the program this week as we look forward to the challenge on Sunday,” Barrett said. 

Last week’s academy team: Rhiannon Hines (GK), Gabrielle Blanch, Jordyn Drysdale, Haylie Eyers, Jade Mcatamney, Kaitlin Murphy, Katie Oliveira, Elizabeth Shorter, Iona Snape, Kirby Squires, Danielle Wise

Match Details
Sunday, 7 April 2019
NSW NPL 2 Round 5
Marconi Stallions FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy Women
Venue: Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Kick Off: 3:00pm