The stage is set for the pinnacle event in the NPL 3 Men’s calendar with Rydalmere Lions FC set to battle it out against Bankstown City FC in the 2020 Grand Final on Saturday afternoon.
With all the uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 pandemic this year, not too many thought that we would be fortunate enough to reach this point of the season.
We are now down to just two teams with Rydalmere Lions and Bankstown City set to feature in the showcase event at Valentine Sports Park No 1 with kick off scheduled for 2:30pm on Saturday night.
A raft of astute signings by Rydalmere coach Gavin Rae set the Lions on their way for what was a standout first season back in the competition after coming down from the NPL 2.
They were eight from eight to start the rebooted season and held top spot on the table since round four.
Matt West has been their main provider of goals with 10 to his name over the course of the season while Jake Chidiac and Scott Tonkin have also been significant contributors to their 36 goal haul.
There were only two occasions throughout the season where they failed to take maximum points from their fixtures – the first arriving in an end-to-end 4-4 draw against 2019 premiers Stanmore Hawks while a defeat to Dunbar in the final round robbed them of a perfect record.
The reigning premiers swept aside their grand final opponents 4-0 when they last met in early August with a West double sandwiched in between Tonkin and Lee Jones’ efforts.
Bankstown have already improved upon last season’s finish in which they were edged out by eventual champions SD Raiders in the semi-final.
Under the guidance of Sash Tirovski they were able to tie up a 2nd placed finish this time around in what was has so far been quite a positive campaign as a whole.
Jonathan Grozdanovski has been able to support the trusted duo of Ante Tomic and Nikola Todoroski who have had once again had no trouble firing in the goals this season.
Their downfall this Saturday could lie in their defence with the club having conceded 25 goals to date, six more than their upcoming opponents.
The 11-0 thumping they received against Central Coast last month appears to be out of their system but it is nevertheless a factor which the 2020 premiers will look to prey upon come Saturday.
So, will it be Rydalmere who round off their stellar campaign with the championship or will it be Bankstown who come up with the goods?
Either way, we can’t wait to see how it unfolds as we countdown the days and minutes until the must-see showdown.
The 20’s Grand Final prior to the big seniors clash will feature Dunbar Rovers taking on Canterbury Bankstown FC with kick off set for 11am at VSP No 2.
IMPORTANT: We will share information later in the week regarding spectators and the COVID-19 plan at the venue.
-By NPL 3 NSW Men’s Chief Writer Samuel Greco Schwartz (Twitter handle: @SamuelGS97)
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