2023 Playoff Preview: St George FC v Mt Druitt Town Rangers
St George FC take on Mount Druitt Town Rangers in the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s/FNSW League One playoff first leg on Sunday at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre at 3pm.
Mount Druitt Town have endured a mixed campaign, making it through to the national round of the Australia Cup but finishing near the bottom of the NPL NSW Men’s.
They were condemned to this playoff following a 2-1 defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers in round 29.
Headline-maker Anthony Frangie could be the difference-maker on Sunday, with the star attacker offering the team’s most reliable attacking weapon.
Among Frangie’s goals this season was his spectacular overhead kick against Sydney Olympic in round 10, as well as his match-winning double in the Round of 32 of the Australia Cup.
Mount Druitt also boast former A-Leagues defender Tarek Elrich, with the captain’s experience an asset for this do-or-die match.
The Rangers will need to back up from their Round of 16 Australia Cup exit against Heidelberg United, something that does not come easier for semi-professional footballers. The Rangers went down 3-0 at Popondetta Park ending their Australia Cup journey on Wednesday evening.
Coach Stewart Montgomery will also look towards the likes of Solomon-John Monahan-Valika, Nikola Djordjevic, keeper Dylan Niski and Japanese imports Shunta Nakamura and Kotaro Katsuta for inspiration. For Nakamura, this match-up will see him line up against his former teammates as he was once a part of the St George FC set-up.
St George FC will seek to take the next step in their footballing project on Sunday.
The side finished the FNSW League One season with a bang winning seven of their final ten matches.
The standout of which was a 2-0 victory against premiers and NPL NSW Men’s-bound Hills United.
Coached by Jane Talcevski, Jane has got his side playing some of the best football in the league.
Conor Quilligan has been the main goal threat for St George this season after the departure of Jay McGowan to Sutherland Sharks.
The midfielder has 13 goals this season, including 10 in first grade, but he’s only found the net once in his last seven matches.
Captain and former A-League product Troy Danaskos has also stood out for the team bombing on from wing back for Talcevski’s men.
Harry Jones, Anthony Morabito and Jayden Seeto will also be ones to watch out for as they hope to take full advantage of Rangers’ short turnover from their Australia Cup clash.
These teams have had contrasting runs of form in 2023, setting up a hard-to-call encounter on Sunday but one that cannot be missed by anyone.
Don’t forget this match will be live and exclusive only on NPL.TV with Alex Molchanoff calling the match.
Preview by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_