The Grand Final for the National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s competition is finally upon us as the Bulls FC Academy take on the Macarthur Rams on Sunday evening at Valentine Sports Park.
Two teams that have without a doubt deserved their place in the big dance will look to secure silverware.
Clashes between the two have been competitive affairs despite the Rams winning both.
The first clash went the way of the Rams at Lynwood with a 4-1 win but the result does not do the game justice with the Bulls in fact taking the lead before a late flurry helped the home side over the line.
In the second, it took a fabulous last minute strike rom Leena Khamis to settle the points for the Rams in a five-goal thriller.
After gaining promotion in 2023 back to the top tier after a number of years in the Football NSW League One competition, Bulls FC Academy have been fantastic in their first season back.
They snuck into the top four late in the piece after being in and out of the finals places for the majority of the campaign.
Booking their place in the Grand Final after an impressive performance against the Premiers APIA Leichhardt last week, Bulls enter this one full of confidence.
With a solid mix of youth and experience, they also have a coach in the dugout who has been there before.
Jaime Gomez won the Grand Final in 2014 with a very talented Football NSW Institute team, defeating none other than the Macarthur Rams on that day.
Nine years later, he is there again, this time with a fine Bulls FC squad.
It all starts with the leaders at the back, Trudy Simmons in goals and the central defensive duo of Jess Seaman and Liz Grey.
Amy Chessari is tireless in midfield and has been one of the standouts, while in the front third, perhaps the most inform duo of Charlotte Lancaster and Avaani Prakash will cause a lot of problems for the Rams defence.
At the other end arrive the Macarthur Rams, currently looking unstoppable on an 18-match unbeaten run.
They are one win away from beating Alex Epakis’ record which he set with Sydney University a number of years ago now.
On their bench is Stephen Peters, who will look to make it back-to-back Championship victories for himself and the Rams, showing his ability to rebuild and improve his team 12 months on.
It’s not easy to do what Peters has at Lynwood Park but the numbers are incredible.
Their semi final win came a bit tougher than perhaps expected, needing three goals in the last 10 minutes to secure their place, despite dominating the match for large parts.
Similar to the Bulls, the trio in the centre of defence has been impeccable, Sham Khamis in goals with Alex Huynh and Madison McComasky sitting in front.
This defence only conceded 24 goals all season and were the best in the competition.
Some say the best form of defence is offense and their numbers at the other end are just as impressive.
They scored the most goals in the league, 70, almost averaging three goals a game for the campaign.
Kelli Brown has been a phenomenal signing, scoring 23 goals this season and finishing second in the golden boot race.
But what is a striker without support from those behind her and the likes of Beth Gordon, Mel Caceres, Indi Breier and of course Miku Sunaga have all done their part.
This game will be a fabulous display of quality and the perfect way to end the season after the excellent football we have seen across the NPL NSW competition from round one.
Tale of the Tape
Macarthur Rams 4-1 Bulls FC Academy
Bulls FC Academy 2-3 Macarthur Rams
2023 NPL NSW Women’s Grand Final
Sunday 17th September
Bulls FC Academy v Macarthur Rams
Valentine Sports Park
NPL.TV will broadcast live both the NPL NSW Women’s Reserve and First Grade matches respectively.
By – Nikola Pozder