NPL Previews: Our girls are back at Pluim


Get your football fix this Sunday when the Central Coast Mariners Academy Women host Marconi Stallions, whilst our undefeated men travel to face the Mt Druitt Town Rangers away from home.

Our high-flying academy teams will be looking to keep their red-hot form alive in rounds 9 and 10 of their competitions.

The men have a chance to jump as high as second place with a win over the first-placed Rangers, the only other undefeated team in the competition.

The women face a short turnaround after their come-from-behind 3-2 win over APIA Leichhardt Tigers on Wednesday evening. Candice Phelan’s incredible goal scoring form continued, where she bagged her 16th goal of the season in just eight games.

Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. Marconi Stallions FC Women

Head Coach Dan Barrett credited his side for a gutsy Wednesday night win, and thanked the support his side has been attracting to Pluim Park.

“Wednesday night was a very important win for us,” Barrett said. “The team had to go to another level and they did and I am extremely proud of all of their efforts. Anything less than a win last night would not have been just. We clearly were the most dominant side but missed early chances prior to being caught on the break and headed in at half time behind.

“Second half tactically, we changed shape to mirror the system APIA were playing. It presented our girls with more one-on-one battles and clearly, we won those and it allowed us to dominate the second half again. Our intensity without the ball was first class, we just didn’t allow them to play in the second half.

“Credit to the girls to continue to rally, to score an equaliser in extra time and a winner defines what this team is all about.

“Candice found herself heavily marked but her form and ability was too much when she took her chance deep in the match to get the winner, her goals have been extremely important to us.

“Marconi is a different challenge this week. We expect them to be less physical but play more football, it will be a battle of styles. Once again playing at home fills me with confidence. We must keep performing and if we do that the result will take of itself.

“I’d like to thank the fantastic crowd that came out last night. We seem to be building quite a following which I and the players are extremely grateful for,” Barrett said.

Match Details
Sunday, 6 May 2018
PS4 NPL 2 Round 9
Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Marconi Stallions FC
Venue: Pluim Park, Lisarow
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy

The undefeated men’s outfit face a tough road trip to Popondetta Park and face league leaders, Mt Druitt.

Last week against the Berries, Will Vazquez says the coaching staff were happy with the overall performance and look forward to a tough roadtrip.

“Last week vs. Canterbury for the first time in a few weeks we were reasonably happy with the performance,” Vazquez said. “Credit to Canterbury, we did not kill them off when we had opportunities, and they made us pay.

“What we felt was lacking was the kind of confidence in the front third that comes with a string of wins. However, the majority of the performance was a big step forward.

“This week will be a great match for the neutral as we face an in-form Mt Druitt. They’re a very well-balanced team with both talent and experience so we are very excited for the challenge ahead.

“Momentum and confidence is everything in this stage of the year, so we know a positive outing for the three grades will set us up nicely for the next run of games,” Vazquez said.

Match Details
Sunday, 6 May 2018
PS4 NPL 2 Round 10
Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Marconi Stallions FC
Venue: Popondetta Park, Blacktown
Kick-off: 3:00pm