Nothing can stop us now! We’re finally back in business with a list of mouthwatering fixtures as we gear up for the first weekend of NPL 3 football in FOUR months.
The first match back will be played at Pluim Park as Central Coast United welcome Bankstown United at 5pm on Saturday night.
These two sides have a bit of history between them from their time back in the NPL 4 competition.
You might remember back in 2018 it was Bankstown who sealed promotion to the NPL 3 in the final round of the season at the expense of Central Coast.
This will be their first official meeting since that fateful day two years ago.
Central Coast secured back-to-back 1-1 draws prior to the league’s suspension while United lost their opening fixture 2-0 to Dunbar Rovers before posting a 1-0 win away to Inter Lions.
Our next clash takes us to Arlington Oval as Stanmore Hawks host Inter Lions FC at 7pm on Saturday.
Stanmore were winless from their first two fixtures before lockdown and will be hoping that this fresh start sees them recapture that form which saw them secure the premiership last season.
The long-awaited season return could also play in Inter’s favour as they finally get the opportunity to play out of their new home ground at Majors Bay Reserve in Concord.
Inter coach John Theo picked up an array of talented signings over the summer break and this will be the moment when they finally get the chance to showcase their skills.
Dunbar Rovers FC will make the trip to Lynwood Park on Saturday as they prepare to face off against Macarthur Rams FC at 7pm.
Macarthur will look to maintain their pre-lockdown form which saw them record a 1-1 stalemate against Central Coast before easing past the Berries 4-1.
Rams captain Mark Symington will be hoping to kick on from where he left off – he led the goalscoring charts with three goals from two matches
Dunbar were another team to watch prior to the enforced break, they also posted a win and a draw back in March.
Sydney University SFC will go head to head against Dulwich Hill FC at Sydney University Football Ground at 7pm on Saturday.
These two sides already met in the first round of the season prior to lockdown – it was Dully who came out on top on that occasion thanks to Harry Browell’s effort.
Dully backed up that result with a resounding 4-0 win against Rydalmere whilst Uni went on to register a 2-1 win against 2019 Premiers Stanmore.
A derby will take place at Christie Park on Sunday at 3pm as Gladesville Ryde Magic prepare to battle it out against Rydalmere Lions FC.
Rydalmere endured a mixed start to life in this competition following their relegation from the NPL 2, they recorded a 3-0 victory against Berries in their opening fixture before suffering a 4-0 defeat against Dully.
On the other hand, Magic had a fantastic start to their campaign with a draw and a win.
They will be hoping that they can conjure up that kind of form once again come this Sunday.
We will be treated to another derby on Sunday as Bankstown City FC meet Canterbury Bankstown FC at Jensen Park at 3pm.
City played out a thrilling 3-3 draw against Inter in their season opener before succumbing to a 1-0 defeat against Magic while the Berries suffered back-to-back defeats conceding seven goals in the process.
Berries coach Wally Savor rung changes throughout the squad following their relegation from NPL 2 last season.
Savor has had no choice but to rely on youth this campaign as he looks to rebuild the foundations of the squad.
Their fixture against an established outfit like City could prove to be a harsh lesson as they look to begin this campaign on a positive note.
DON’T FORGET TO EXERCISE CAUTION AND SOCIAL DISTANCING AT OUR MATCHES THIS WEEKEND – STAY SAFE
-By Samuel Greco Schwartz