Round 17 Preview – State League Men’s


Move aside Real Madrid and Barcelona, we have our very own El Classico, as Hurstville FC and Hurstville City Minotaurs do battle in a derby of gigantic proportions in Round 17 of the Men’s State League competition.

Wagga City Wanderers (9th) vs Bankstown United (1st) – Saturday 3pm

After 16 games, all that separates Bankstown and Camden at the top of the table is just one goal.

But with two games to go, the premiership looks destined to be dressed in the canary yellow and emerald green of Bankstown United.

Undoubtedly United’s final matches of the season represent a much easier road to the finals than Camden, who face a plucky Prospect and a resurgent Nepean side.

Bankstown will also buoyed by the knowledge that they can secure a vital top-two spot with victory over Wagga City this weekend. Finishing in the top two places gives you the insurance of a second-chance, just in case the first semi-final doesn’t go to plan.

They cannot afford to take this match lightly however, as a rapturous Wagga crowd is expected to turn out for their team’s last home game of the season.

Ben Schmid’s team will look to honour the faithful support his side has received all season with a determined performance on Saturday. If they can snatch an unlikely point off Bankstown, they will throw the premiership race wide open.

Prospect United (6th) vs Camden Tigers (2nd) – Saturday 5pm

Knockout football began last week for Prospect. Their impressive win against an equally desperate Hurstville City Minotaurs came in a game neither could afford to lose.

As the full-time whistle blew, it was Darren Camilleri’s side who marched on towards the finals and the Minotaurs who bowed out.

But there’s no reprieve for Prospect, who face an even tougher match against many people’s favourites for the competition, Camden.

Camden, who have already qualified for the finals will already know the result of Bankstown’s match by the time they kick-off in their 5pm fixture. If news filters through of any dropped points in United’s clash with Wagga, expect to see Dean Bradley’s side throw the old kitchen sink at Prospect as they fight for the premiership trophy.

Prospect sit just one point outside the top four but with UNSW facing two relatively easy final fixtures and Hurstville FC in impressive form, they simply must win this match if they are going to qualify for the finals.

Wilter Jajaw and Efosa Amegor have formed a lethal partnership up front for Prospect, that has many drawing comparisons with the iconic duo of Dwight York and Andy Cole.

But Camden have an impressive attacking arsenal of their own, spearheaded by Jayden Russell.

A thrilling attacking showdown awaits as two teams battle it out for survival and glory in the Men’s State League competition.

Hurstville City Minotaurs (7th) vs Hurstville FC (4th) – Match of the Round – Saturday 7pm

Has a derby ever meant so much?

Hurstville FC are on the brink of a Stephen Bradbury-esque finals’ qualification. Their recent form, coupled with UNSW’s demise, has led them to squeeze inside the top four for the first time in months.

But with the finish line in sight, Hurstville FC cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal.

And in typically poetic style, the team standing in their way, are arch-rivals Hurstville City Minotaurs.

The Minotaurs were one of 7 teams vying for a top four finish, but were ceremoniously dumped out of the race by Prospect last round.

But just one week later, Peter Sarikakas’s side have the perfect opportunity for revenge.

After suffering a shattering 1-0 defeat last time these two sides met, Hurstville City Minotaurs will not be short of motivation for this match.

All these ingredients form to create a match of unrivalled passion and consequence.

Hurstville FC will be doing all they can to complete the double over their bitter rivals and maintain their place inside the top four, whilst Hurstville City Minotaurs will be equally motivated to bring an abrupt and agonizing end to their noisy neighbour’s season.

A city divided in the most important match these two teams have played all season.

Who will come out on top?

Nepean FC (3rd) vs Western Condors (8th) – Saturday 7pm

The Condors conjured up some magic last round, earning a shock 3-3 draw against a highly fancied Camden side.

This result has sent shockwaves through the Nepean side who could be forgiven for anticipating a comfortable 3 points in this fixture.

Knowing they have an immensely difficult match away to Camden in round 18, Nepean will be looking to confirm their top four qualification with victory in this match.

Nepean have been victim to inconsistent form this season, and Magdy Andrawes will need to prepare his side well to prevent any unfortunate slip ups in this game.

FC Gazy Auburn (10th) vs UNSW (5th) – Sunday 3pm

They’ve been drowning in defeats in recent weeks, but UNSW have been thrown a lifeline with two favourable fixtures in the final two rounds.

The first of these matches is against FC Gazy, a side who have all but confirmed their place as wooden spooners for season 2017.

With only 1 win from 16 games, it’s been a difficult season for FC Gazy, and one that they’ll want to end on a high by spoiling UNSW’s pursuit of a top four finish.

UNSW have already demonstrated this season how devastating they can be when form and momentum is on their side. And with Western Condors to follow, UNSW have a fantastic opportunity to generate some momentum as they potentially head into the finals.

Form Guide:

Prospect United (W,W,W)

Hurstville FC (W,W,W)

Nepean FC (W,W,L)

Bankstown United (W,L,L)

Camden Tigers (D,W,W)

Hurstville City Minotaurs (L,W,W)

Western Condors (D,L,W)


FC Gazy Auburn (L,L,L)

Wagga City Wanderers (L, L, L)

By Ryan Latty