Men’s State League Finals positions heat up


With just two games remaining and six teams still fighting for a top four spot, we take a look at what your club needs to do to qualify for this season’s finals series.

1.     Bankstown United.

Qualification Status: CONFIRMED.

Sitting 7 points clear of fourth, Bankstown have already booked their place in this season’s finals series. But Claudio Canosa’s side will be hoping to win both their remaining fixtures against Wagga City and Hurstville City Minotaurs to ensure they take out the premiership trophy ahead of Camden. If Bankstown beat Wagga City this weekend, they will confirm a top two finish, meaning they have an all-important second chance in the finals.

2.     Camden Tigers.

Qualification Status: CONFIRMED

Like Bankstown, Camden will be playing finals football this season. Their final two fixtures are the most difficult of all the top six teams which could spoil their chances of stealing the premiership title off Bankstown, but it will give Dean Bradley’s side the perfect pre-finals practice as they prepare for knockout football. A victory over Nepean in the final round would confirm a top two finish for Camden, and a likely match up against Bankstown for a place in the Grand Final.

3.     Nepean FC

Qualification Status: LIKELY

Nepean can confirm their qualification for the finals with a win over Western Condors this weekend. They are still in the hunt for a top two spot but are relying on the teams above them dropping points. It’s likely Magdy Andrawes’s side will finish in third place, and there’s no question who they would rather play in round 1 of the finals. Having not beaten Hurstville FC all season and still smarting from their heavy 4-2 defeat to UNSW a few rounds ago, Nepean will be hoping to match up against Prospect in round 1 of the finals, having beaten them each time the two sides have met this season.

4.     Hurstville FC

Qualification Status: IN OWN HANDS

Hurstville FC have come from nowhere in recent weeks to sneak into the top four. Wins over UNSW and Nepean have seen them catapult up the table and now have finals’ qualification in their own hands. Their two remaining fixtures could prove problematic, a mouth-watering derby against Hurstville City awaits this weekend before an away trip to top four rivals Prospect in round 18. The Minotaurs would love nothing more than to end the finals’ chances of their arch rivals and with UNSW having a relatively easy run-in, Hurstville FC cannot afford to drop any points in their remaining two games.

5.     UNSW

Qualification Status: DON’T WRITE THEM OFF YET

UNSW’s recent form says there’s no way they can make the top four. But their remaining two fixtures, against cellar dwellers FC Gazy and Western Condors, gives them immense hope.

Western Condors proved to be a thorn in Camden’s side last round, with an astonishing 3-3 draw, and UNSW cannot afford to take them lightly. But having secured victories against FC Gazy and Condors earlier in the season, UNSW will like their chances of collecting 6 points from their remaining two games.

At their best, UNSW can beat any team in the competition, and there will be many teams in the top four crossing their fingers that UNSW don’t get the chance to wreak havoc in this season’s finals series.

6.     Prospect United

Qualification Status: UNLIKELY

Sitting just one point off fourth, Prospect are well in the hunt for a finals’ place.

But with two tough remaining fixtures against Camden and Hurstville FC, Darren Camilleri’s side will need to pull one giant rabbit out of the hat if they are going to play finals football.

Prospect are also faced with the reality that simply winning both remaining games might not be enough to secure qualification. Wins against Camden and Hurstville FC would leave them on 34 points, but if UNSW win their remaining fixtures, they could lose out on goal difference.

Darren Camilleri’s side showed just what they’re capable of with a thrilling 5-2 victory over the Minotaurs last round, but their frustrating draw against FC Gazy in round 13 could be the reason why they fail to qualify for the finals.

It’s been a season of incredible drama and fans of the Men’s State League eagerly await the fascinating climax that awaits them in the final two rounds of the competition.

Football can be cruelly unpredictable and enchantingly exciting, but one thing we can be sure about is this year’s finals series is going to be the best yet.