The Macarthur Rams lead the competition ladder after four games in the NPL NSW Women’s competition with round five beckoning.
Blacktown Spartans v Sydney Olympic @Blacktown Football Park, 3pm
At Blacktown Football Park, the Blacktown Spartans take on Sydney Olympic to open round five.
A win, draw and loss for the Spartans in their first three games of the season. It isn’t the ideal start for Brad Attard’s team but with W-League stars returning, they’ll be a different force.
Last week’s loss came somewhat as a shock and it won’t be any easier against Olympic.
Having had only one session together before their first game of 2021 last week, George Beltsos would’ve been happy with his team’s performance.
They’ll be better for that game and a couple more sessions moving into Sunday’s game.
Manly United v Northern Tigers @Cromer Park, 3pm
Manly United host the Northern Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Cromer Park.
United have started the campaign well and currently sit in second place with two wins from their first four games.
They’ll feel they should’ve taken more from last week’s game but a point against a solid Olympic team away from home will give Remy Siemsen and her team mates belief.
Two games in and Jason Eagar’s girls have a win and a loss to contend with.
They were clinical last week against the Premiers and look like they will be challengers in 2021.
Maddie Bart has already found her scoring boots and she’ll be one Ally Green will need to keep in check.
Illawarra Stingrays v Macarthur Rams @JJ Kelly Park, 3pm
Battle of two undefeated sides at JJ Kelly Park on Sunday as Macarthur Rams travel to take on the Illawarra Stingrays.
Two wins and a draw means the Stingrays sit in a comfortable third place.
Michelle Carney doesn’t age. Or maybe she does, like a fine wine because every season she just gets better and better.
She will be key along with Erica Halloway in this top of the table clash.
How about the Rams though? The veterans are showing everyone how it’s done.
Renee Rollason, Kylie Ledbrook and Leena Khamis are well in form and Stephen Peters’ team are sitting top of the league and riding the wave.
A win here will go a long way to stacking their claim for not only finals football but also the Premiership, even after five rounds.
Emerging Jets v APIA Leichhardt @Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, 3pm
APIA Leichhardt make the trek north on Sunday to take on the Emerging Jets.
The Jets are currently bottom of the league with three defeats from three games.
Last week would’ve been a tough pill to swallow though against the Koalas, having hit the front and then so easily allowed the Koalas back into the game.
APIA won’t be any less forgiving. Spencer Prior’s girls looked good against the Stingrays and will probably not be happy with the point they took.
They’ll look to bounce straight back and get back on the winners list.
Sydney University v North West Sydney Koalas @Sydney Uni Football Ground, 3pm
Sydney University host their first home match of the season on Sunday when they welcome the North West Sydney Koalas to Sydney Uni Football Ground.
Definitely not the start the Students had expected to the season.
They had no answer to the Tigers on Sunday and they will need to react this weekend. Albeit, with minimal team training following W-League’s conclusion, there will be no excuse this week.
Win number one for Adam Keramea’s team last weekend.
They had to come from behind and showed character to win the game. With so much quality across the park, the Koalas will pose a threat whoever they play in 2021.
Bankstown City v Football NSW Institute @Jensen Park, 7pm
The action for round five concludes at Jensen Park on Sunday night as Bankstown City take on the Football NSW Institute.
Winless after four games, Matt Costantini will feel his side has been hard done by.
They play some good football and perhaps have been unlucky but will need that luck to change quickly as they are slowly falling behind.
It’s been a great start to 2021 for Jaime Gomez’s team.
Two wins from three, including a massive three points against the more fancied Spartans last week.
A team full of young talent, if confidence grows, they could be in for a big year.
By: NIKOLA POZDER, CHIEF NPL NSW WOMEN’S WRITER