Newcastle Jets crowned 2022 League Three Champions


Newcastle Jets have completed the League Three Men double by winning the Grand Final to be confirmed as Champions and Premiers of the competition thanks to a last minute winner against Nepean FC on Saturday night.

Their Under 20’s team followed suit earlier on in the afternoon, beating UNSW FC 3-0 to do the double.

Grand Final: Newcastle Jets 2 – 1 Nepean FC

Newcastle Jets have defeated Nepean FC 2-1 thanks to a late winner to claim the League Three Men Championship title.

The match began with intensity as both sides looked to impose themselves on the match.

Newcastle Jets had a fantastic start to the match, as they opened the scoring early in the second minute with the first shot of the match.

A cross-cum-shot was played in by Nicholas Kacev and it was enough to open the scoring.

Nepean responded well as a swift counter-attacking move saw a good ball from Mathew Crossley find Andre Cavallaro in an isolated position wide left.

The winger took on his man and fired in a cross to win a corner.

Newcastle operated in a 3-4-2-1 for the Grand Final.

A back three was supported by a double pivot who came looking for the ball.

Up front, Lachlan West and Adam Zervas dovetailed off Taylan Unal as two tens who looked to look for the ball in pockets while making runs in behind to stretch the defensive line.

The two wingbacks looked to remain high and wide to support the attacks, supplying width and depth through their positioning.

They looked to retain the ball in between the defensive three in the build-up while the double pivot remained ahead of the press, with the wingbacks an option wide.

The front three combined to make alternating runs to open space in pockets for others.

Newcastle’s midfielders also looked to at times rotate positions, with one of the double pivot advancing up a line and one of the inside forwards/attacking midfielders dropping in.

Nepean, meanwhile, played their usual 4-2-3-1, which became a 4-4-2 when pressing without the ball in the final third.

Their attacking midfielder was Crossley who often became a second striker, while Zeke Prisuda led the line with Andre Cavallaro and Raajdeep Singh as wider midfielders – Mitchell King and Kamran Qayumi formed a double pivot centrally.

Their back four remained solid and, in general, in a line defensively as they relied on quick interchanges and play between the front four – supported by the double pivot – to generate their chances.

Following their opener, Newcastle continued to remain in control of the ball.

In the 20th minute, a cross put in from the right flank after good combination play was met spectacularly by Unal but he couldn’t convert with a bicycle kick.

A minute later, Crossley showed great determination and pace to run in behind, but his strike from an acute angle was saved well by Jets goalkeeper Jordan Baylis.

Following the chance, Nepean began to lift as they started to show more positive intent with control of the ball which was rewarded with multiple good moves for the side.

In the 27th minute, Nepean won the ball well in midfield and Crossley played a well threaded through ball into Singh.

The winger latched onto the pass in a wide position and cut inside, but his shot was too central and Baylis held the ball comfortably.

A minute later, Nepean’s positive play continued.

Another well worked attacking transition saw Richard Stewart make a lungbursting overlapping run outside of Cavallaro.

The fullback received the ball and fired a shot which went just wide of the target.

The match continued to increase in its level of intensity, with both sides fired up as they fought for every ball.

Cavallaro was having a fantastic match for Nepean as a wide left midfielder.

He used his close control and acceleration to act as an outlet to retain the ball, break through the press and begin quick attacks from the left flank and was key to Nepean finding their form midway through the second half.

Newcastle began to control the match more in the 30th minute, as a sustained period of possession beginning in the defensive line ending in a good interchange in central positions around the box, from which they just couldn’t fashion a shooting opportunity.

In the 40th minute, another beautiful Jets passing move resulted in a shot from outside the box from Dominic Archbold who had drifted inside from his usual wingback role.

The shot was curling but drifted narrowly over the crossbar.

In the 45th minute, Prisuda, who had rotated to become a right midfielder with no. 24 moving up front, made a good run inside from the right flank, but couldn’t fashion a powerful shot.

Nepean began the second half strongly, as they showed good intention and caused trouble on numerous occasions with their direct crosses.

They were looking closer to finding the equaliser but couldn’t find a man with their balls into the box.

In the 53rd minute, a good interchange down the left flank saw Cavallaro run in behind, but a loose touch, despite being pounced on by teammate Prisuda, stifled the attack.

A minute later, the Jets threatened down the other end as Unal hit the side netting with a shot.

Newcastle continued to defend resolutely to stop Nepean’s increasingly threatening intense attacks.

In the 60th minute, Nepean were presented with an opportunity to get back into the match, as good play from Singh on the right saw his cross deflect off the hand of a Nepean player and result in a penalty.

King stepped up and converted clinically to equalise the scores with a good penalty into the right side of the goal.

The intensity instantly increased with the Jets looking to win back their lead and Nepean looking to go in front for the first time in the match.

Newcastle began to control possession again, with Nepean playing on attacking transitions.

The Jets created an opportunity off a corner as Peter Grozos took a touch and shot after it was played short, but his effort was over the bar.

Newcastle continued to dominate possession over the next fifteen minutes as the match settled from the high amount of chances that followed Nepean’s equaliser.

The match continued to see both sides threatening – Newcastle in their good passing exchanges through central areas and Nepean through their quick, clever attacking transistions.

Just as the match seemed to be heading to extra time, Newcastle found a goal off a set piece in dramatic circumstances.

The ball played in saw captain Ben Van Dorssen rise the tallest, and he converted in the last minute of regulation time to give his side the advantage.

A late search in reply from Nepean was defended expertly by the Jets, who completed the double at the final whistle, winning the Premiership and Championship to cap off a fantastic season.

U20’s Grand Final: Newcastle Jets 3 – 0 UNSW FC

Newcastle Jets have defeated UNSW FC 3-0 to win the Under 20’s League Three Men Championship.

Lachlan Griffiths opened the scoring in the 30th minute before Joseph Smith doubled their advantage 10 minutes later.

A goal from Isaac Collins in the 84th minute confirmed their victory in style.

By Football NSW League 3 Men’s Reporter, Jack George (@JackGeorge0004)