NSW top tier football is back with the return of the PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition.
This weekend’s round one action is sure to give fans plenty to sink their teeth into with new signings and fresh hope among each of the 12 teams.
Match of the Round
Blacktown Spartans v Parramatta FC, 7pm Saturday at Blacktown Football Park
It has been an offseason of big signings for both Blacktown Spartans and Parramatta FC.
Saturday’s clash will be an early litmus test for each side’s new boys as they gun for early season competition points.
Blacktown Spartans will hope the addition of former Western Sydney Wanderers young gun Yianni Perkatis and Amaury Gauthier can guide the side to the finals spot they narrowly missed in 2015.
Parramatta’s Houdini act to avoid relegation last season was a rollercoaster of emotions for fans and players alike. Coach Franco Consentino will hope the addition of experienced campaigner Ibrahim Haydar from Sydney United will provide the steel to lead his side to higher honours in 2016.
Manly United v Sutherland Sharks, 3pm at Cromer Park
The first of Sunday’s five game bonanza will feature two sides desperate to move on from disappointing 2015 campaigns.
A young Manly team has set out to improve on last year’s listless finish to the year which included three losses from five.
Australian under-20 striker Dejan Pandurevic will carry the load for Manly this season after the departure of goal machine Chris Payne.
A new coach and a new approach are expected to make Sutherland a team to watch this season.
Gaffer Carlos Villazon has given his players a licence to excite and fans are ready for a big year from the Shire boys.
Blacktown City v Sydney United 58 FC, 3pm at Lily’s Football Park
Blacktown City will have a point to prove when they run out for Sunday’s opening round clash.
The grand final runners up boast a largely unchanged side and will be out to make up for their heartbreaking loss to Bonnyrigg in the 2015 season decider.
A big shake up at Edensor Park in the offseason has made Sydney United an unknown quantity.
Coach Mark Rudan has recruited big names Eddy Bosnar and Chris Payne as well as former Blacktown City defender Yianni Fragogiannis for this season.
It is sure to be a high octane match-up.
APIA Leichhardt v Sydney Olympic, 4.30pm at Lambert Park
Will APIA be able to hit the heights of last season without Blake Powell?
That is the question the PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 fans are asking ahead of round 1.
Under the tutelage of young coach Jon Carnevale, APIA will be all in for nothing less than top spot.
New signings Jordan Murray, Tasuku Sekiya and Kenta Hasegawa will be ones to watch.
It is shaping up as a rebuilding year for Sydney Olympic but teams should not underestimate Grant Lee’s side.
A total of eight players from last year’s core squad of 14 have left the club.
Sunday’s match is their chance to show that despite the change they aren’t going to be easy beats.
Rockdale City Suns v Bonnyrigg White Eagles, 5pm Illiden Sports Centre
It will be trial by fire for Rockdale as they host last season’s champions in round one.
Paul Reid is back as player-coach for the Suns and anything less than finals football this season will be deemed as a failure.
Peter Makrillos and Tolgay Ozbey headline Rockdale’s offseason movements and are expected to hit the ground running on Sunday against Bonnyrigg.
Bryan Brown’s Bonnyrigg side have had a changing of the guard during the offseason with the departure of Chris Tadrosse, Tynan Diaz and Dylan Fox.
Nevertheless, the side are the reigning champions for a reason so expect them to take the game to Rockdale from the outset.
Wollongong Wolves FC v Hakoah Sydney City East FC, 5pm WIN Stadium
It has been a horror preseason in Wollongong for Jacob Timpano’s side.
Serious injuries to Ricky Zucco, Darcy Madden and James O’Rourke have the wolves already testing their squad depth.
Former A-League keeper Justin Pasfield returns to his home town to strengthen the Wolves and will be a big factor.
Competition new boys Hakoah Sydney City East will be determined to prove they are no pretenders in the top flight.
An away match in Wollongong is a tough way to start the season but Mark Robertson’s side will be out to make its mark from the opening whistle.