The final round of the National Premier League’s NSW Women’s competition is upon us with the Premiership to be fought out between APIA Leichhardt and Macarthur Rams and Top Four places still up for grabs.
A massive round of football awaits us with some games with major implications, from the Premiership to finals and relegation, let’s get to this weekend’s preview.
Bulls FC Academy v NWS Spirit (4:30pm)
It’s derby time at Northbridge Oval as Bulls FC Academy host NWS Spirit in the first match of round 26.
The Bulls did an excellent job without some key players last week, coming away with a convincing win from Blacktown Football Park.
A victory will see Jaime Gomez’s team playing finals football and the form that his attacking trio of Charlotte Lancaster, Peta Trimis and Avaani Prakash are in, he will feel confident they can get the job done.
With third place locked down, Spirit come into this match more so in preparation for next week’s finals match.
Tiana Gauci may choose to rest players or play some into form ahead of massive semi-final, decisions are to be made by the coach.
APIA Leichhardt v Emerging Jets (4:55pm)
The champagne has been on ice at Lambert Park since last week as APIA Leichhardt host the Emerging Jets.
They have led the competition from start to finish and Spencer Prior’s team are on the verge of claiming the Premiership in the final competition round.
Going away to North Turramurra, APIA did what they needed to in order to put themselves in this position.
After securing the Club Championship, they will hope to continue their celebrations on Sunday with victory and the Premiership.
Wouldn’t the Emerging Jets love to spoil the party in Sydney’s Inner West on Sunday night!
It would be the surprise of the season if they were able to do it but they come into this match with nothing to lose and no pressure.
Bankstown City Lions v Football NSW Institute (5pm)
At Jensen Park on Sunday, the Bankstown City Lions host Football NSW Institute.
Bankstown will have one eye on proceedings Cromer Park as their safety in the NPL competition hangs by a thread.
They will try finish the season in the most positive fashion possible and hope results go their way elsewhere.
The stretched Institute have put in some fine performances of late and come into this one with no pressure.
Madi Caspers and Caley Tallon-Henniker look like the new stars to emerge from the VSP so keep an eye on them two here.
Sydney University v Macarthur Rams (5pm)
The reigning Premiers will hand over their crown on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Macarthur Rams.
Uni expected more of this season but will need to settle for their lowest league position for a number of years.
Emily Husband will want to go out a winner before she moves on to her new role as Central Coast Mariners coach.
The Rams will be hoping for a miracle at Lambert and for the Emerging Jets to secure their first win of the season.
Macarthur were unable to take the points against the Illawarra Stingrays last week and are now in a difficult position to pinch the Premiership.
Stephen Peters may decide to rest players and prepare for finals the following week in this one.
Illawarra Stingrays v Sydney Olympic (5pm)
Macedonia Park will be the venue for the clash between the Illawarra Stingrays and Sydney Olympic.
The Stingrays have finished the season strong and directly got themselves involved in the Premiership race with positive results against the leaders.
They cannot make finals football but can also prevent Olympic from having any hope by winning here.
It won’t be easy but Sydney Olympic need to win and hope results go their way elsewhere to finish in the Top Four.
A tough win last week gives them confidence going into this one having found the back of the net for the first time after going five games without scoring.
Manly United v Blacktown Spartans (5pm)
Manly United host the Blacktown Spartans at Cromer Park in a game with massive implications in the relegation battle.
After securing their survival last week, Manly will now look round off their season with victory on Sunday.
Manly enjoyed a strong start to the season but fell off the pace and recorded too many draws throughout the season that put them out of the finals race.
In a major test for the young Spartans, they will need to deal with the pressure of getting a positive result to stay up.
It would be a fine escape if they can manage to do it after being in an almost impossible situation only a few weeks ago.
Gladesville Ravens v Northern Tigers (5:30pm)
Christie Park will be the venue for the Gladesville Ravens clash against the Northern Tigers.
It’s been a good first season for the Ravens in the top tier and can be said it was a successful transition.
After an incredible start, they fell off somewhat toward the end of the campaign and missed out on finals football.
The Tigers had it all in their own hands to play finals football but went down to first placed APIA Leichhardt on Sunday.
They now need to hope that the Bulls do not win and must record all three points against the Ravens to secure finals football.
By Nikola Pozder.