Round 3 of the Football NSW League Three Mens competition is here, with some cracking fixtures to continue the campaign.
Nepean FC will take on Hawkesbury city in a local derby to begin their campaign on Friday, followed by Camden Tigers vs Fraser Park on Saturday afternoon.
South Coast Flame and Prospect United will host UNSW FC and Western Rage respectively in a pair of tense matchups in a double header on Saturday evening.
Newcastle Jets and Hurstville FC will finish off the weekend with a top of the table clash on Sunday, in what is set to be a high-quality affair with both teams having taken two wins from their opening two games.
Nepean FC vs Hawkesbury City – Friday, 8:00pm, Cook Park
Nepean FC will finally begin their campaign in the League Three Men’s competition with a local derby against Hawkesbury City, after rainy weather and a bye delaying the start of the season.
Nepean coach Joe D’Ermilio has called the period prior to the beginning of the season “the longest and most disrupted preseason imaginable”, and is looking forward to starting their season on Friday night, expecting a good challenge.
Meanwhile, Hawkesbury City coach Dean Bertenshaw has echoed D’Ermilio, calling their opponents “a strong, well coached side who have made some more impressive signings and will be tough to beat away from home.”
Bertenshaw added his thanks to Nepean for making their ground available considering the floods which have raged the Hawkesbury area.
“The good thing is that any rivalry is always left on the pitch, and the western clubs helped each other out when needed”.
Camden Tigers vs Fraser Park – Saturday, 3:00pm, Ron Dine Stadium
Camden Tigers will take on Fraser Park on Saturday afternoon as both sides go in search of their first victory for the campaign.
Camden Tigers coach Gary Seymour is hoping his side can recreate their first half performance against Prospect with more of a focus on execution – the final pass/shot is what the home side will be focusing on in the week.
Seymour also is looking for the senior players in the squad to stand up and get a result from the match, but will be looking to “blood new talent to gain the valuable experience of playing at this level”.
Meanwhile, Fraser Park will be looking to bounce back after a heavy defeat against Newcastle to begin their season, with coach Emanuel Pais stating there was lots of work that needed to be done, after “looking average vs Newcastle.”
Pais has cited there could be a couple of changes, with his side looking to be dominant and aggressive as they aim to show the energy and character to take home three points.
Prospect United vs Western Rage – Saturday, 7:00pm, William Lawson Reserve
Prospect United will take on Western Rage to continue the League Three Men’s weekend with William Lawson Reserve the venue for the first time in two years.
While Western Rage remain in search of their first win for the season, there are positives to take according to Greg Carluccio, who states the squad is slowly growing into the style of football they want to implement – “a playing style that is without restrictions to the individual talent of the player”.
He cites Prospect United as a difficult away trip, believing they will have to be mistake free to take a win from the match.
On the other hand, Darren Camilleri, the coach of the home side, is preparing his side to be alert to Western Rage’s qualities and will be boosted with a few players coming back into contention for selection after some last minute injuries at the horizon of the previous round.
Prospect United will be looking to win back to back at the start of the season for the first time in a few years, with Camilleri believes to be a big motivational point for the week as they look to begin their season with a bang.
South Coast Flame vs UNSW FC – Saturday, 7:00pm, Ian McLennan Park
South Coast Flame will be taking on UNSW in a crucial matchup, as both sides look to register their first win of the season.
South Coast Flame began their season with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Western Rage, with Lucas Ayala and Matthew Mazevski scoring to ensure a point.
They were set to play Parramatta FC last weekend, but heavy rain saw the match called off.
Jack Balmforth will make his return from suspension after missing out in Round 1, while they will likely field a more experienced squad than the one that began the season, with the postponement giving the home side more time to recover their key players.
UNSW have lost their opening two games of the season despite having scored three goals in the couple of matches played.
Nima Beik is one to watch, having netted in both games this campaign.
Newcastle Jets vs Hurstville FC – Sunday, 7:00pm, Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility
Newcastle Jets will be taking on Hurstville FC in a top of the table clash, with both sides having taken home all six points available from their opening two games this year.
The Jets were in stunning form away against Fraser Park, netting eight goals, with four to Archie Goodwin and one to Mason Fernandez, Nicholas Kacev, Joshua Benson and Finn Todhunter.
Their progressive style of play, focusing on rotations, spacing play and counterpressing has prevailed this season, and Hurstville FC will have a tough task at hand after Newcastle’s territorial domination of Fraser Park, where their opponents were pinned in for the vast majority of the game.
Hurstville captain Paul Gagro believes Newcastle is likely the toughest place to go and get points, and that they’ll need to improve on their performances in the first two fixtures despite having not dropped a point yet this season.
Bye: Parramatta FC
By Football NSW League 3 Men’s Reporter, Jack George (@JackGeorge0004)