Friday, 14 August 2015

PREVIEW: NNSW NPL Youth Semi Finals

NOTE: All goalscoring stats and results have been taken off of the Fox Sports Pulse NPL page. There may be some goalscoring stats missing but that's not a problem on my end. Good luck to all teams!

Under 13's: Football Mid North Coast (1st) v Weston Bears (4th)
Kickoff: Saturday 15/8 1:00pm
2015 Meetings: WES 0-5 MNC & MNC 6-2 WES

Football Mid North Coast come into this game with undeniable form. They've won their last nine games and did just enough to deny Broadmeadow Magic of the Minor Premiership on goal differential. Their opponents Weston come into the playoffs with decent form but definitely not as spectacular form as their opponents from up North.

These sides met only a few weeks ago and on that day, Football Mid North Coast were 6-2 winners. Two goals each to Joshua Gardner and Samuel Modderno and added goals from Max Lynch and Vaughan Lickley helped guide the Port Macquarie & Taree-based FMNC to a 6-2 win over the Bears who scored through Callan McNamara and Leo Byrne.

Despite technically being the away side, the Bears hold home ground advantage (great system isn't it) and could use that to their advantage. I'd like to think the Mid North Coast players have grown use to rising early on a Saturday morning and travelling down the highway. The good thing for the visitors is that this game kicks off at 1pm, that's a lot of time to prepare for the match.

If form is true than the Mid North Coast boys should be strong enough to win this one. The Bears will need to watch out for top goalscorers Max Lynch and Joshua Gardner and try and keep the game to a more reasonable scoreline. A crazy 8-goal game would only favour the visitors, they love to score goals and I think they will score a few in this one.

My Tip: Mid North Coast 4-1 Weston Bears


Under 14's: Football Mid North Coast (1st) v Broadmeadow Magic (4th)
Kickoff: Saturday 15/8 2:30pm
2015 Meetings: BMG 1-3 MNC & MNC 1-1 BMG

If the Mid North Coast 13's were in undeniable form, then the 14's must be in unstoppable form. They don't boast the same freescoring results as their younger counterparts but their defence has grinded out results and they haven't tasted defeat since April 12th or Round 6 for those keeping count at home.

FMNC's 14's have won 12 of their last 13 games. The only game they didn't win in that period was a 1-1 draw at home with Broadmeadow Magic. Suddenly makes this game look a tad more interesting doesn't it. Magic are no easybeats and whilst they don't come into this game with the best of form, they know that winning finals is in the club culture and they'll be primed to get the job done.

As mentioned, these sides played not that long ago and it did end in a 1-1 stalemate. A goal from FMNC's Flynn Goodman cancelled out Ethan Acevski's opener and left Magic with just the one point to take away from their road trip to Taree.

Players to watch in this one include pretty much the entire FMNC squad. They've shared around goals to a fair few players and this team have been in terrific form since a somewhat slow start to the season in the first few weeks. Magic's main scorers are Ethan Acevski and Isaac Robinson.

I want to tip Mid North Coast to win this one by a goal or two but I have a feeling Magic will take it all the way. FMNC in penalties for me.

My Tip: Football Mid North Coast Win Via Penalty Shootout


Under 15's: Hamilton Olympic (1st) v Weston Bears (4th)
Kickoff: Saturday 15/8 4:00pm
2015 Meetings: HAM 3-2 WES & WES 2-1 HAM

Under 15's Minor Premiers Hamilton Olympic don't come into this week's Semi Final with the best of form but they've done a decent job to secure the title and will be looking to add the Major Premiership onto the mantle before the season's all set and done.

One results sticks out in recent times between these two sides and that was Weston's 2-1 win over Hamilton at Rockwell Automation Park just two weeks ago. That makes this game unpredictable doesn't it? Hamilton's Bodhi Deamer scored for the visitors but it was cancelled out by goals to Weston's Zac Jokinen and Matt Fogarty.

Hamilton won the original match between these two sides 3-2 earlier in the season and I think they will need to really step up to beat Weston on their own turf. If they can produce the defence that has won them the Minor Premiership, then they'll have a great chance. Weston's key to victory is top goalscorer Matt Fogarty. He fired them to victory against Olympic two weeks ago and I think he could do the same on Saturday. I'm tipping Bears on penalties.

My Tip: Weston Bears Win Via Penalty Shootout


Under 17's: Broadmeadow Magic (1st) v Weston Bears (4th)
Kickoff: Saturday 15/8 5:30pm
2015 Meetings: BMG 1-2 WES & WES 1-1 BMG

Broadmeadow Magic's Under 17's secured the Minor Premiership but their so-called 'home Semi Final' is actually being played at the home ground of their fourth-placed opponents Weston. The Magicians won't let that affect them and anything short of reaching the Grand Final will be a disappointment for them.

These sides met just a couple of weeks ago on a Wednesday night and on that night a goal from Magic's Tyson Cummings cancelled out Liam Kulupach's opener for Weston and allowed Magic to draw 1-1. That result was the only draw in recent winning times for Magic's Under 17's.

Weston don't have to look too far for inspiration; they beat Magic 2-1 earlier this season away from home with goals to Beau Harris and Dylan Bentley cancelling out Magic's goal to Bailey Williams.

Key players for both sides include their entire defensive lines in my opinion. Both these sides haven't conceded too many goals this season and keeping the opposition out will be crucial on Saturday afternoon. Weston's Beau Harris is one to watch as well as Magic's equal top goalscorers in Bailey Williams and Jaden Saetta. As for my prediction, I'm going with the Minor Premiers Magic.

My Tip: Broadmeadow Magic 2-1 Weston Bears


Under 13's: Broadmeadow Magic (2nd) v Edgeworth F.C (3rd)
Kickoff: Saturday 15/8 10:00am
2015 Meetings: BMG 0-2 EDG & EDG 2-0 BMG

Broadmeadow Magic's classy Under 13's side were denied the Minor Premiership by goal difference and with only three losses all season (0 draws) they've had a quality year. One thing going into this game that will be playing heavily on the minds of the Magic boys is that they've lost both games against Edgeworth and didn't score against the Eagles in either encounter. That in my opinion is a big worry going into the Semi Final with Edgeworth F.C.

Magic's Daniel De Ridder is by far the club's top goalscorer in any NPL age group and I'm sure if he can fire, they'll have no trouble getting past Edgeworth but obviously the Eagles have got the wood over Magic in 2015. Magic will need to keep an eye out for Edgeworth's Ewan Von Essen as he helped guide Edgy to the win last time these sides met.

Broadmeadow have quality form going into this game and they need to put the two losses to their opponents on Saturday behind them. I think this'll be a tight game and I think Magic will get over the line when they really need to the most.

My Tip: Broadmeadow Magic 2-1 Edgeworth F.C


Under 14's: Emerging Jets U/13's (2nd) v Adamstown Rosebud (3rd)
Kickoff: Saturday 15/8 11:30am
2015 Meetings: EMJ 3-6 ADA & ADA 2-3 EMJ

Only two Emerging Jets sides made the finals which shows that the depth at other clubs can sometimes overtake the quality in the Jets program but don't get me started on that. Adamstown come into this game knowing that the Under 13 Jets beat them just two weeks ago and could very well do the same at Hamilton on Saturday.

When these sides met two weeks ago, the Emerging Jets came away with a gutsy 3-2 win thanks to goals from Matthew Burton, Nicholas Martinelli and Sascha Montefiore. Adamstown would come close to stealing a point thanks to a double from Dane Lawther but it wasn't enough.

Adamstown beat the Emerging Jets back in the early stages of the season so they know they're a decent chance and in my opinion this one is 50/50. The Jets come into this with better form so I'm going to tip them to get the job done in a penalty shootout.

My Tip: Emerging Jets U/13's Win Via Penalty Shootout


Under 15's: Broadmeadow Magic (2nd) v Charlestown City (3rd)
Kickoff: Saturday 15/8 1:00pm
2015 Meetings: CCB 0-1 BMG & BMG 4-1 CCB

Broadmeadow Magic are the only side to make the finals in all four grades which again proves Magic as one of the premier junior development clubs in the region. Broadmeadow won both games against Charlestown this year as well. The first meeting ended 1-0 to Magic with the only goal of the game coming from Timothy Razmovski.

The most recent meeting between these sides came on July 26th when Broadmeadow Magic recorded a 4-1 win with goals from Jeremy Wilson, Dylan Bozinovski, Timothy Razmovski and Kane Treble. The Blues got one back through Aaron Dudman but it wasn't enough to avoid a loss.

Charlestown City will need to fire to produce the goods on Saturday and defending will be key. Magic have five players with over eight goals this season and seem to have a lot of goals in them. As mentioned, defence is key, Charlestown have let in just 14 goals all season so they'll need that again in this game but I personally think Magic will get the win.

My Tip: Broadmeadow Magic 3-1 Charlestown City


Under 17's: Hamilton Olympic (2nd) v Emerging Jets 15's (3rd)
Kickoff: Saturday 15/8 2:30pm
2015 Meetings: EMJ 1-2 HAM & HAM 0-1 EMJ

Hamilton Olympic's Under 17's came within a point of taking the Minor Premiership from Broadmeadow Magic but were unable to and ended up finishing in second place. The good news for them is that they have home ground advantage for this Semi Final clash with the Under 15 Emerging Jets.

The bad news for Hamilton is that the Jets won at Darling Street Oval around six weeks ago, thanks to a goal from Rhyan Smith. The first meeting between the pair, played at Lake Macquarie was won 2-1 by Olympic so they know it can be done. In fact, I feel as though the Jets are the underdogs in this after recording back-to-back 0-0 draws in recent weeks. They need goals.

Hamilton Olympic will be my tip going into this game as they do have home ground advantage and have the better form in my opinion, especially last weekend's 7-0 win over Maitland where six different players got their name on the scoresheet.

My Tip: Hamilton Olympic 3-1 Emerging Jets U/15's


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