After a long and grueling pre season, more than 6 months since the last ball was kicked in the top tier of women’s football, we finally return this weekend with action from the Women’s NPL NSW competition.
Unfortunately, for six teams the season start will be delayed with three games postponed in round one.
Bankstown City v Manly United
Two teams that didn’t make finals football in 2019 clash in this one at Jensen Park as Bankstown City welcome Manly United.
It was the first time after four consecutive finals appearances Chris Williams’ team didn’t make the playoffs.
A year more experienced with some quality additions to the team, Manly could be a real dark horse in the 2020 campaign.
Danny Abboud took the helm at Jensen Park in the second half of the campaign last year but couldn’t steer the Lions to a top five finish.
Bankstown will need to ensure they get off to a good start to the season as it’s what cost them last year.
Macarthur Rams v Emerging Jets
At Lynwood Park on Sunday afternoon, the Macarthur Rams host the Emerging Jets.
There was no finals footy for the Rams last year and new coach Troy Spink will have the task of returning the Rams to where they believe their place is.
With some key departures, it will be somewhat of a rebuilding year for the Rams, but with the experienced heads of Renee Rollason, Kylie Ledbrook and Leena Khamis, the transition should be made easier.
The Jets are a young side and would’ve definitely benefited from a season playing in the women’s top tier.
Ashley Wilson will be sure to command her side to play good football and improve as the season moves forward.
Sydney University v North West Sydney Koalas
The Champions are back in action in round one as they face the North West Sydney Koalas at Sydney Uni Football Ground.
There really isn’t much to it.
Alex Epakis’ team is favourites once more for the title and they’ll need to prove their worth starting Sunday.
With minimal movement in and out of the squad, Uni will be just as tough as last season and could prove a very difficult task for the Koalas.
Another club with a coaching change, this time Gerry Gomez taking over the mantle at the Koalas.
The Koalas aim will be to push for a finals spot but Gomez’s task will be made difficult with the departure of some key players from last season’s squad.
Illawarra Stingrays v Northern Tigers – Postponed
FNSW Institute v Blacktown Spartans – Postponed
APIA Leichhardt v Sydney Olympic – Postponed
By: Nikola Pozder, NPL NSW Women’s Writer