Belconnen United hosts Canberra Croatia on Saturday at 3pm to start our weekend of Women’s NPL with what promises to be a hugely entertaining match.
The time when the Blue Devils consistently won this clash seems far away as Canberra Croatia only lost one (Charity Shield 2021) of the last six encounters between these teams in all competitions, but now that both coaches have changed, we could be off to a clean slate.
Nat Vasta’s injury could of course complicate things for Zoran Glavinic in the short term but Canberra Croatia this season are the more experienced team and will undoubtedly lean on that to get the result.
Scott Conlon on his end has shown the spirit his younger players have with two wins last week to bounce back after that heartbreaking last minute loss to Olympic. Only one point separate the sides before kick-off at McKellar, so expect something special on Saturday!
The first game of the post-Sam Gray era in the Riverina will see the Wagga City Wanderers face the Canberra United Academy at Gissing Oval on Sunday. Lots can be said about the similarities in these two teams as far youth, pace, and football philosophy, but the results have rather favoured the visitors in recent years.
The Wanderers have shown glimpses of improvements, look more solid defensively and have scored their first goals of the season last weekend but are yet to get a point in 2022. A trip to the Riverina is never an easy thing but Sarah West and her players showcased resilience and maturity beyond their years recently.
The confirmation of Chloe Lincoln as arguably the best goalkeeper in our competition is yet another weapon the Academy can rely on to get a result away from home.
Canberra Olympic will host the unlikely leaders of our competition at O’Connor on Sunday. The West Canberra Wanderers have impressed this season, scoring 7 goals and conceding none in their first four outings.
Rey Castro seems to have found the right mix of youth and experience in his squad so far and of course coming out of games against Michelle Heyman’s Gungahlin United and CUA with clean sheets is no small feat.
Resisting the firepower of Olympic would evidently be an even bigger performance. The players of Nicole Begg average just under six goals per game so far and will want to bounce back at home after conceding a last second equalizer in Deakin.
The constant offensive threat Michaela Thornton, Ashleigh Sykes and co poses is going to be a lot to deal with for the Wanderers’ back line. Olympic will have the added motivation of stealing the driving seat back from their opponents if they win on Sunday.
Tuggeranong United are with Wagga City the only team still to get a point in 2022. They will need a complete performance to take off against Gungahlin United on Sunday. The Tuggies conceded in transition and on set pieces against the Wanderers last week, giving Paulo Romero bit to work on during the week. They have also only found the back of the net once this season and will want to add to their tally.
The Gunners travel south relieved after their first win last week. If Michelle Heyman and her troops were able to net five past Wagga, they also conceded two, and will endeavour to get their first clean sheet this weekend in Kambah. Pat Mills sees his players returning from injury and international trips slowly and is getting close to be able to line up a full squad.
Saturday 7th May
Belconnen United v Canberra Croatia (McKellar Park, 15:00)
Sunday 8th May
Wagga City Wanderers v Canberra United Academy (Gissing Oval, 14:30)
Canberra Olympic v West Canberra Wanderers (O’Connor Enclosed, 14:30)
Tuggeranong United v Gungahlin United (Kambah 202, 14:30)
MATCHES ARE STREAMED LIVE ON NPL.TV
Words: Jeremy Magan