THERE is no more time for dusting off any cobwebs, as we head into round 2 of the PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1.
Plenty of goals was a feature of the first round and there is the promise of much of the same in the second week of the competition.
Preseason Cup winners Sydney United 58 host the Match of the Round at Sydney United Sports Centre.
MATCH OF THE ROUND
Sydney United 58 FC v Sutherland Sharks, 3pm SUNDAY at Sydney United Sports Centre
The Reds won the Preseason Cup final at home a fortnight ago against Sydney Olympic, but they came unstuck last week, going down to Blacktown City at Lilys Football Centre.
That match in Seven Hills was a tough test first up, but United will face another on Sunday afternoon against Sutherland Sharks.
It will be an odd day for United’s Nick Stavroulakis, who will face the club which he served so well for so many years and seeing the midfielder in red rather than sky blue will take some adjustment. His partner in crime, Panni Nikas, is still out injured though and will be spared playing his former club this time around.
Sutherland were excellent in beating Blacktown Spartans in round one and the early signs are that Steve O’Connor has a side that he can mould to his liking.
ROUND 2 PREVIEW
Blacktown Spartans v Rockdale City Suns, 7.30pm SATURDAY at Blacktown Football Park
Both Blacktown Spartans and Rockdale City Suns recorded losses in the opening round and without doubt, both will be keen to get a point or three on the board on Saturday night.
Spartans were involved in a four-goal game and Rockdale City in a six-goal, but unfortunately for both they conceded three and four respectively.
Spartans were 3-1 losers against Sutherland and Rockdale City went down 4-2 to APIA-Leichhardt Tigers in last week’s Match of the Round, so both will be ready to go for this one after some hard work at the training ground during the week.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Marconi Stallions, 7.30pm SATURDAY at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
A local derby is the other Saturday night match, with Bonnyrigg White Eagles hosting Marconi Stallions.
Bonnyrigg flexed their competitive muscle against Manly United, scoring a 3-0 win at Cromer Park. With Aaron Peterson and Robbie Younis likely to be paired together, it makes for a potent mix.
Marconi Stallions were on the receiving end of a 2-1 loss to Parramatta. The newly promoted Eagles took a 2-0 lead thanks to a brace of free kicks from David Gullo, and the Stallions never really recovered.
The onus is on them to get it together, but they couldn’t be facing tougher opposition second up.
Parramatta FC v Sydney Olympic, 3pm SUNDAY at Melita Stadium
Melita Stadium hosts its first game of Men’s 1 football in a few seasons as Parramatta welcome Sydney Olympic to Granville.
Parramatta were pumped up for round one and after scoring a 2-1 win over Marconi Stallions they will be full of confidence heading into round two.
They face the in-form Sydney Olympic though, who shrugged off their Preseason Cup Final loss to Sydney United to record a strong 3-0 over South Coast Wolves.
Taiga Soeda and Go Shirai ran the show then, and they will hope to do so again against the Eagles
South Coast Wolves v Blacktown City, 3pm SUNDAY at WIN Stadium
WIN Stadium is in pristine condition and ready for the arrival of Blacktown City on Sunday afternoon.
Wolves played out of the stadium last season and it made for wonderful conditions for both the home side and visitors alike.
Wolves were far from their best against Olympic at Belmore last weekend, but they will hope the sea-change and return home does them good.
Blacktown City beat United by the odd goal in five at Lilys, courtesy of a remarkable first half hat trick from Mitchell Mallia.
They will order much of the same this weekend.
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers v Manly United, 3pm SUNDAY at Lambert Park
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers host Manly United on Sunday as the Tigers return to Lambert Park.
They showed their credentials in last week’s Match of the Round, racing to a 4-0 lead against Rockdale City. Franco Parisi in particular was superb, scoring twice in the second half.
They face Manly, who lost to Bonnyrigg comprehensively last weekend at home.
Paul Dee’s side will need to lift if they are to compete with APIA, who’s new look squad means fierce competition for established club men like Parisi and Michael West, who was also superb last weekend.
– by Matthew Lopez, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Editor