South Hobart FC and Sydney United 58 FC will battle it out for the honour of being crowned the National Premier Leagues Champions of Australia in Hobart on Sunday.
The NPL finals series features the best State Federation Clubs from National Premier Leagues competitions around Australia with the Premiers of New South Wales and Tasmania facing off for the title at KGV Football House.
Football Tasmania’s South Hobart FC won the right to host the final after defeating Football South Australia’s Campbelltown City SC 3-1 in the semi final last weekend.
The Tasmanians will face off against one of Australian Football’s most decorated clubs in former NSL Champions Sydney United 58 FC, who defeated Canberra FC (Capital Football) and Olympic FC (Football Queensland) to reach the decider.
The first National Premier Leagues grand final has thrown up a David and Goliath affair as the supposed minnows from Tasmania caused a boilover in the semi finals and will face a club that widely regarded as one of the best “production lines” in Australian football history.
Socceroo legends Mark Bosnich, Tony Popovic, Zeljko Kalac, Graham Arnold, Robbie Slater and Ned Zelic are among the players to have plied their trade at the club from Sydney’s western suburbs.
Although Sydney United 58 FC has a rich pedigree, a place in Australian Football history awaits the winner of Sunday’s NPL Grand Final.
“The National Premier Leagues has been a great success and plays an important role in the FFA strategy of bringing all levels of our sport together to help make football the biggest and most popular game in Australia,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
“It’s fantastic to see South Hobart FC make the final in what is a tremendous boost for Football Tasmania and they come up against one of the most decorated football clubs in Australian history in Sydney United 58 FC, who will represent Football NSW with pride.
“It shows that the NPL gives all clubs a genuine chance to win what we are certain will become a prominent fixture on the Australian football calendar.”
The winner of the man of the match award in the NPL grand final will also gain a slice of history as well as claim the first John Kosmina Medal.
Kosmina’s achievements in football reflect the values of the NPL by his commitment to Australian Football as a player and a coach and his progression through the talented player/coach pathway.
Kosmina played his junior football in South Australia and went through the talented player pathway representing his state and played state league football in South Australia before the start of the NSL in 1977, when he was crowned U21 Player of the Year in the debut NSL season.
He went on to claim 60 caps for the Socceroos before transitioning into a coach, where he has progressed through the FFA coaching courses while coaching in the SA and NSW State League, NSL and A-League with Adelaide United and Sydney FC.
“It’s a great honour and humbling to have the man of the match award named in my honour,” Kosmina said. “I cut my teeth in the State Leagues. It’s where I was playing when I was first picked to play for Australia and I started my coaching career with Manly in the NSW State League.
“Over the years the NSL and more recently the Hyundai A-League have seen the various State Leagues lose some visibility and the National Premier Leagues have restored some status that needs to be nurtured because that is where the future stars start their football careers.”
To stay up to date with live scores during Sunday’s NPL grand final, log onto the www.nationalpremierleagues.com.au website and follow the link to SportingPulse at