With the most passionate fans in the league and a history of heartbreak and drama – the ‘Old Northern Road Derby’ between Camden Tigers and Nepean FC in this week’s preliminary final promises to be a night of unforgettable action.
Camden Tigers FC vs Nepean FC – Saturday 26th August 6:30pm
“Championes, championes, championes, ole, ole, ole”
That was the cry of a clamorous Camden crowd just two weeks ago as the Tigers secured the Club Championship title for 2017.
Their opponent on that day was Nepean; the team who had battled admirably in search of possible promotion all season, but on the last day fell agonizingly short against a classy Camden outfit.
The contrast in emotions between the two sets of fans at Ron Dine Reserve said it all.
Hundreds of orange-clad Camdenites celebrating their Club Championship triumph and doing their absolute best to let Nepean know all about it.
The Nepean fans sat despondently, stung by the sharp realisation that their team’s promotion dream for 2017 was over.
But what arose on that day of triumph and despair was the birth of the newest and fiercest rivalry in the Men’s State League competition.
The “Old Northern Road Derby”.
As each side prepared for their respective fixtures in week one of the finals, it seemed unlikely that Camden and Nepean would lock horns again this season.
But Camden’s demoralising 4-1 defeat to Bankstown in the major semi final and Nepeans 5-2 thrashing of Hurstville in the minor semi final means these two teams re-ignite their rivalry in this week’s grand final qualifier.
Nepean fans have gotten their wish.
A chance for revenge.
Knocking Camden out of the competition and marching on to the grand final would be the perfect tonic to cure the anguish of losing out on the Club Championship title.
For Camden, this match represents yet another opportunity to break the newly repaired Nepean hearts.
Dean Bradley will be concerned by the way Bankstown exposed his side’s fragile defence last week and need to ensure his backline are at their best if they are to contain the prolific Clement Waoci.
But Camden have enough attacking weapons of their own and, as they have done so many times this season, have the ability to outscore any opponent.
Valentine Sports Park is sure to be bouncing on Saturday night as two of the competition’s most passionate fans gather to witness the newly dubbed ‘Old Northern Road Derby’.
Which set of fans will inspire their team to victory?
Will it be Camden or Nepean who march on to the grand final against Bankstown?
This is a game no football fan will want to miss.
– By Ryan Latty