NSW’s top tier football is back with the return of the PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition.
This weekend’s round one action is sure to give fans plenty to sink their teeth into with new signings and fresh hope among each of the 12 teams.
Match of the Round
Sydney FC v Rockdale City Suns, 7.45pm Saturday at Lambert Park
New kids on the block Sydney FC kick off their PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition campaign with a blockbuster clash against Rockdale.
It will be an early litmus test for Robbie Stanton’s young guns as they take on a Suns team packed with big name players including captain coach Paul Reid and new signing Ante Covic as well as Harris Gaitatzis.
Sydney FC dominated the PS4 NPL2 competition in 2016 despite a constantly changing roster.
Can the youth team continue their impressive form in the state league top tier or will Rockdale bring them back to earth.It is sure to be a must watch for all fans.
Sutherland Sharks v Manly United, 6.30pm Saturday at Seymour Shaw
Sharks fans will be determined to see their side start the season on the right note when Manly United comes to Seymour Shaw on Saturday.Carlos Villazon’s Sutherland team possessed one of the competition’s most potent attacks on its day but also suffered from inconsistency and lazy defence. With a full off season under their belt can the Sharks find a new level of performance in 2017.
Manly were delivered a curve ball weeks out from the start of the season with long-time coach Paul Dee stepping down. Interim coach Warren Grieve will be looking at a quality result in round one to prove his side shouldn’t be written off which boost several stars including new signings Dylan Macallister and Sasa Macura joining the familiar faces of Dylan Mitchell and Brendan Cholakian at the squad.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Sydney Olympic FC, 7pm Saturday at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
It was the off season from hell for Bonnyrigg as the club faced an injury crisis before round one.
New signing and A-League winner Milan Susak, James Chronopoulos, Benjamin Spruce as well as Anthony Mansueto were just two of the names on the White Eagles injury report.Although Bonnyrigg will most likely not field a full-strength team until Round 6 at the earliest, Brian Brown’s team is known for its resilience.A new look Sydney Olympic will be Bonnyrigg’s opponent in Round 1 and the match will provide the first look at how Portuguese coach Jamie Monroy has his team operating. With the theme of rising youngsters in the Blues camp, many fans and followers will be keenly watching the progress of the Sydney Olympic squad.Will the home field advantage be enough to get Bonnyrigg over the line with the game expected to attract a healthy crowd for their round 1 clash.
Parramatta FC v Wollongong Wolves, 7pm Saturday at Melita Stadium Wollongong Wolves have their eyes on one day becoming an Hyundai A-League club but first they must prove they are a contender in the PS4 NPL NSW. Former Japanese international Yuzo Tashiro is expected to make his much-anticipated debut for the Wolves as they take on a spirited and gritty Parramatta FC outfit which may unearth its secret weapons in the Sama brothers, Gosue, Marco and Nico. Parramatta will have its eyes set on finals football in 2017 after two seasons battling it out at the foot of the table. A big performance in round will be imperative if they are to achieve their goals. Hakoah Sydney City East FC v Blacktown City FC, 3pm Sunday at Hensley Athletic Field
Hakoah surprised many last season with its impressive first season in the PS4 NPL NSW competition. With new coach and former Scottish International star Gavin Raye at the helm, the boys from the east will be fighting to avoid a sophomore slump in 2017. Their Round 1 challenge doesn’t get much tougher than reigning PS4 NPL NSW champions Blacktown City. While Blacktown City has seen a number of its key players move on after last season, they still have a core group of stars to remain an early favourite – this includes the elusive Danny Choi. Hakoah upset Blacktown at Hensley Athletic Field last season and are sure to use that result as inspiration going into their round one clash.
Sydney United 58 FC v APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, 6pm Sunday at Sydney United Sports Centre Sydney United 58 were one game away from an incredible four trophy haul in 2016. Unfortunately for the Edensor Park based side they were upset by Blacktown City in last season’s PS4 NPL NSW Men’s Competition Grand Final.
With the pain of defeat still fresh in their minds, Sydney United 58 will be more determined than ever with new coach in charge Davor Bajsic in going one step further.
That man again, Panny Nikas will be one to look out for in this match but it will be Nic Olsen, a former APIA Leichhardt Tigers that will want to shake the headlines after his summer move away from Lambert Park to Sydney’s West that will be the talking point. Round 1 has United 58 taking on APIA in a game sure to feature plenty of quality attacking football. APIA were one of last season’s biggest disappointments and coach Danial Cummins will hope to have his team back to its best.The Tigers will be buoyed on by new skipper David D’Appuzo as he and his troops hope to surprise the current NPL Champions in round 1.
It is a match with the potential to be one of the round’s most entertaining.