We haven’t even taken a breath after last week’s pulsating round of fixtures and we are ready to go again in the #NPLWNSW competition as Round 5 kick’s off this Saturday which will coincide with Female Football Week kicking off on Friday.
Sydney Olympic v Emerging Jets
The action kicks off on Saturday afternoon at Belmore Sports Ground as Sydney Olympic host the Emerging Jets.
George Beltsos’ team were involved in a six-goal thriller against Premiership rivals APIA Leichhardt on Sunday afternoon. They looked in control for parts of the game with Cortnee Vine creating various problems for the opposition.
Vine’s presence is sure to create problems for an inexperienced Jets team who is low in confidence. Olympic will be desperate to get on a run in order to keep their Premiership hopes on track with only one win from their first three matches.
As mentioned earlier, the Jets confidence is not where it needs to be right now. Two games, two defeats and a heavy defeat in their last match. They will need to be a lot better this week against an imposing team like Sydney Olympic.
Football NSW Institute v Illawarra Stingrays
The Illawarra Stingrays will travel to Valentine Sports Park to take on the Football NSW Institute on Sunday afternoon.
Only one point from three matches for the Football NSW Institute so far this campaign. Do not let that fool you though. They pushed the league leaders to their limits last week, were unlucky against the Spartans and drew with an impressive Manly United.
They will take heart from their performance against the Rams and their late goal as a confidence builder into Sunday.
The Stingrays, as opposed to their weekend opponents, don’t have any points on the board in their opening two fixtures of the season. Anthony Guido’s team have had their moments in both their previous matches but haven’t been consistent enough throughout the 90 minutes.
How would have the week off affected them? We won’t know till 5pm on Sunday and it could go either way.
Bankstown City v Blacktown Spartans
At Jensen Park on Sunday evening Bankstown City will host the Blacktown Spartans in an intriguing clash.
Bankstown recovered well following their disappointing collapse a fortnight ago to put seven past a hapless Jets over the weekend. Daisy Arrowsmith, brought in for her goalscoring prowess, seems to have found form, scoring four on Sunday.
The girls from Bankstown will need to be at their best in what will be a real test of their credentials as the ‘dark horse’ in this year’s competition.
Brad Attard’s Blacktown Spartans arrive at Jensen Park yet to have conceded a goal this season, with two of three wins by the odd goal, the other a scoreless draw.
The Spartans have some fine quality within their squad, full of Young Matildas as well as some dangerous attacking players. They will need to get firing soon to ease the pressure on their defence and the magnificent Sally James in goals.
Manly United v NWS Spirit
Manly United will be at home on Sunday night at Cromer Park as they host the NWS Spirit.
A night of mixed emotions for Manly United on Sunday night, from jubilation, to despair, then disappointment before elation, a match that had everything. In the end, Manly came away with a well-earned point in the dying minutes after being reduced to 10 moments earlier.
The Northern Beaches team should be able to take confidence from that result into this week and will be keen to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
At the other end of the scale is the NWS Spirit. Yet to register a point this season but they definitely are improving and getting better. They pushed both Sydney Uni and the Northern Tigers in recent weeks and will be hoping to secure their first points.
Sophie Harding will be key to Spirit’s charge in the front third but it’s at the back where they need to tighten things up.
Northern Tigers v Macarthur Rams
Arguably, the pick of the bunch in round five as the Northern Tigers host the league leaders Macarthur Rams.
What a clash this promises to be, another spectacular fixture this early on in the season with already so much on the line.
The Northern Tigers will feel they let two points slip last week, leading with minutes remaining against a side down to 10 players. Aideen Keane and Shadeene Evans were fantastic and will be required to do the same again.
It’s defensively where they will need to step up against the competitions most potent attack. Yet to keep a clean sheet this season, the defence will need to be at their best and most disciplined.
The visiting Rams faced their first real test on Sunday, being pushed to their limits by the young guns of the Football NSW Institute. They come up against one of the competition favourites and Stephen Peters’ team will come up against their sternest opponents yet.
Peters spoke about Miku Sunaga in preseason, and the Japanese import has re-payed his faith, scoring four goals in her last two games and will be a threat against the Tigers defensive lines.
Sydney University v APIA Leichhardt
The round completes with a spectacular match at Sydney University Football Ground as Sydney University host APIA Leichhardt.
Two wins and a loss to kick the campaign off for Emily Husband’s team means the start to the season has been good. They lost a tight one to the Spartans in last week’s catch up where they possibly had the better of the match.
They got back to winning ways on Sunday with a tight win but will no doubt be up for the battle. Husband signalled out APIA in her preseason views on the opposition teams and will be firing her team up to take the all-important three points.
The APIA camp is well aware of those same comments and will be using them to fuel their will to win.
Two wins, a draw and a defeat in their first four matches and Spencer Prior will be somewhat pleased with their start to the campaign. Shea Connors has been in fine form and will be APIA’s main attacking outlet, not that she is the only one that can do damage to the opposition.
A match to look forward to, promising action for the full 90 minutes.
Finally a special Happy Mother’s Day to all celebrating this Sunday, you truly are our heroes.
Female Football Week 2022
A reminder that Football NSW will be celebrating the ever-popular Female Football Week from this Friday 6th to Sunday 15th of May 2022.
Since Football NSW pioneered Female Football Week back in 2014, the event has become a nation-wide celebration of females in all aspects of football.
There will be FFW activation set by the various NPL NSW Women’s clubs so keep a close eye out for that at each of the matches this weekend.
-By NPL NSW Women’s Chief Writer and Commentator Nikola Pozder