NPL Preview | Round 22

National Premier League 2019
Round 22

The last round of the league is upon us, and the drama will be felt across the league as a pulsating evening of football awaits. Here's a quick breakdown of the potential ramifications. 

Campbelltown City - Minor premiers confirmed.

Raiders - Finals football secured but need to match or better the Adelaide Comets result to finish 2nd. 

Adelaide Comets - Finals football secured. Need to better Raiders result to finish 2nd.

Adelaide Olympic, Croydon Kings & Adelaide Blue Eagles - a win for all three would secure finals football. Defeat could see them drop out of the top 6 depending on other results. Loses for MetroStars and Adelaide United will see all sides qualify. Adelaide Blue Eagles must better MetroStars result to qualify.

MetroStars - Need a win to climb into the top 6 and need Adelaide Blue Eagles, Croydon Kings or Adelaide Olympic to drop points.

Adelaide United - Need a win to climb into the top 6 and need Adelaide Blue Eagles and MetroStars to both lose. 

Para Hills Knights - Safe but cannot qualify for finals.

Adelaide City - A win will guarantee safety. A draw will be good enough if West Adelaide does not win by eight clear goals.

West Adelaide - Requires a win and an Adelaide City loss to survive. If Adelaide City draw, West Adelaide must win by eight clear goals.

South Adelaide - Relegated to State League 1 for 2020.



West Adelaide vs MetroStars
Venue: TK Shutter Reserve
Date: 17/08/2019 07:00 PM
Words by Jason Cavey | @JasonKVOfficial

In this week's Coors Match of the Round, West Adelaide and MetroStars do battle at TK Shutter Reserve, with Finals Football and NPL survival on the line!

MetroStars are coming off a hard-fought 4-2 win against Adelaide City (match highlights here) last Saturday. Metro were behind early when Fabio Ferriera lifted the ball over Isaac Carmody. The 'Stars responded superbly and were level on 22 minutes when Nahuel Bonada fired home for his second goal in consecutive weeks. Matthew Dawber gave Metro a deserved lead on the brink of half-time. Christian Esposito struck with a precise free-kick minutes into the second half. Anthony Costa pulled one back for City before defender Tomas Maricic was sent off for a horrendous challenge on Nahuel Bonada. Esposito then sealed the win with a powerful right-footed shot which blazed past keeper Delengas.

Meanwhile, West Adelaide are coming off a 1-1 away to Adelaide Olympic. Pounendis gave Olympic the lead in the first half before Tito Bontor equalised for West Adelaide. West Adelaide could've won it had it not been for a spectacular goal-line clearance. This upcoming game is the definition of a must win for West Adelaide. Anything less than 3 points will see Hellas relegated to State League 1. Even with the win, they will need to hope that Comets defeat Adelaide City. 

Rob Saraceno will also be letting his squad know that MetroStars are also in a must-win situation, with the club still chasing a finals spot, currently sitting in seventh place, one point off sixth-placed Blue Eagles. A win will most likely see them play finals football next week.  Dylan Smith, Lachlan Barr, Tom Strain, and Michael D'Aloisio will face late fitness tests this week. Justin Davis and Nick Menechella are both out with season-ending injuries.

West Adelaide: 1. Lewis Moss (GK), 3. Gatlat Tongyik, 5. Zachary Hristodoulopoulos, 6. Elias Vlassis, 7. Perry Mitris (C), 8. Jack Yull, 11. Ibrahima Kamara, 12. Matthew Bouraee, 14. Matthew Di Matteo, 15. Asad Kasumovic, 16. Jordan Maricic, 17. Tzoi Tsarkani, 19. Jaiden Diamantis, 20. Thanasis Lesi, 23. Kristos Stefanopoulos, 25. Rian Del Nido
Coaches: Stavros Gelekis, Nicholas Bouzalas
Team Staff: Charlie Larosa, Kosta Mantis

MetroStars: Matthew Dawber, 1. Isaac Carmody (GK), 3. Cohan Morris, 5. Timothy Henderson, 6. Lachlan Barr, 7. Michael Daloisio, 8. Rocky Callisto, 9. Thomas Strain, 10. Anthony Solagna (C), 11. Matthew Charalambous, 15. Liam Wooding, 18. Fabian Barbiero, 19. Cooper O'Donnell, 20. Luis Benedetti, 22. Hamish Gow, 23. Christian Esposito, 24. Nahuel Bonada, 25. Jackson O'Donnell, 26. Stefan Cali
Coaches: Robert Saraceno, Travis Dodd, Terry Frangakis
Team Staff: Giorgio Capoccia, Joseph Polisena, Peter Terminello, George Laoutaris



Adelaide City vs Adelaide Comets
Venue: Adelaide City Park
Date: 17/08/2019 07:00 PM

It's simple for Adelaide City; avoid defeat and secure NPLSA 2020 status and avoid relegation.

A draw should be enough for City, with a seven-goal swing needed by West Adelaide to close the goal difference gap.

It's been a long and tough season for the Black and Whites, starting the campaign six points behind the rest of the league and with a new, younger coach at the helm. 

Tonight they welcome a flying Adelaide Comets to Oakden, who are chasing a top-two finish themselves. 

Comets require a win and hopes Raiders drop points against Adelaide Blue Eagles to ensure a double chance in the finals series. 

Comets are flying though, demolishing champions Campbelltown City 4-1 at SA Athletics Stadium last weekend.

The sides met last in June where Comets were rampant in a 5-0 whitewash.

Adelaide City: Zakariah Waters, 4. Elliot Green, 6. Dominic Matricciani, 7. Christopher Pepe, 8. Joseph Costa, 9. Anthony Costa, 17. Stefan Casalbore, 20. Fabio Ferreira, 26. Sadegh Heidari, 46. Joe Gauci (GK), 48. Marcos Flores
Coaches: Michael Matricciani, Geoff Hargreaves, Joe Verringer
Team Staff: Peter Romeo, Oliver Totani, Kevin Doan, Mark Zito

Adelaide Comets: 1. Alexander Woodlands (GK), 2. Harry Keramidas, 4. Tom Dittmar, 5. Adam Le Cornu, 6. Jack Bladen, 7. Thomas Cyganov, 8. Connor Gollan, 9. Andreas Wiens, 10. Lansana Smith, 11. Jayden Lobasso, 12. Tete Yengi, 14. Nathan Andijanto, 15. Philip Cash, 16. Stephan Travaglione, 17. Franz Pjetri, 18. Stefan Simic, 22. Allan Welsh (C), 23. Scott Nagel, 31. Thanasi Doupolis
Coaches: Konstandinos Antoniou, Elias Demo, Antonios Galanopoulos, Chris Simpson
Team Staff: Evangelo Katsambis, Elsie Kenny, Bridget Siviour



Raiders vs Adelaide Blue Eagles
Venue: Croatian Sports Centre
Date: 17/08/2019 07:00 PM

A win for Raiders will secure a magnificent top-two finish, which for a newly promoted team will be a great achievement.

Raiders could have all but secured the top-two qualification last weekend but a stubborn Croydon Kings held the club to a 1-1 draw at Polonia Reserve.

Blue Eagles though will be cautious as finals football is not secured just yet for them. Fate is in their own hands though with a one-point gap between them and MetroStars in 7th, and two points ahead of Adelaide United in 8th. A win guaranteeing progression. 

The club, formally known as 'Azzurri' will be hoping for a nerve free evening and to finish the season in a positive way after a superb first half of the campaign.

The sides last met in round 9, with Blue Eagles securing a 1-0 victory thanks to a Hamish McCabe strike.

By Saturday night though, both newly promoted sides could be in the Finals Series. 

Raiders: Kalilou Kamara, Emanuel Philip, Aaron Acton, Giovanni Previtali, Vasilios Tryfopoulos, Mark Ulaj, 2. Michael Acton, 4. Paul Blefari (C), 5. Adam Van Dommele, 6. Omari Didero, 7. Jackson Walls, 8. Rocco Visconte, 9. Scott Tunbridge, 10. Terence Carter, 13. Nicholas Munro (GK), 14. Oliver Zafiridis, 16. Ambesager Yosief, 18. Joshua Mori, 21. Jake Monaco, 91. Yasmin Sudic
Coaches: Nikica Kuzman, Larry Piscioneri, Michael Paleka, Lindsay Paterson
Team Staff: Antonio Vella, Lisa Feleppa, An-Phong Nguyen

Adelaide Blue Eagles: Tyson Linsenmeier, Raffaele De Lucia, 6. Brylon Nthoane, 7. Shekubah Hutton-Addy, 8. Damien Crettenden, 9. Daniel Cockerline, 11. Christopher Mercorella, 13. Alemayo Kebede, 14. Stefan Gluscevic, 15. Christian D'Angelo, 16. Hamish Mccabe, 17. Liam Mccabe, 18. Lucas Candeloro, 19. Christopher Annicchiarico (C), 22. Evan Kounavelis, 23. Antoni Panagoulias, 24. Adrian Barone, 26. Richard Goss (GK)
Coaches: Vojislav Gluscevic, Danny Barone
Team Staff: Zlatko Belanic, Bhavik Dadia, Cale Amos, Zac Bastick



Adelaide United FC vs South Adelaide
Venue: VALO Football Centre 
Date: 17/08/2019 07:00 PM

The football gods will need to be on Adelaide United Youth’s side if they are to qualify for the Finals Series heading into the last round of the regular season.

As it currently stands the Young Reds are eighth on 29 points, MetroStars lie seventh on 31 points, and Blue Eagles sit sixth with 32 points.

The odds are stacked against Paul Pezos’ troops. However, in football anything is possible until it is mathematically impossible.

Therefore, in order to secure a finals appearance they must win against South Adelaide and rely on both Adelaide Blue Eagles and MetroStars losing to Raiders and West Adelaide respectively.

The chances are slim but Young Reds centre-back, Yared Abetew, insists the team is not giving up hope and will be targeting the three points.

“I think mathematically it’s still possible for us to make the top six,” he explained.

“So we’ll be doing everything we can to get the three points.

“Obviously last time we played them the result didn’t go our way so we’ll be looking to get the win this week.”

He added that their approach going into the game will not change.

“We approach it like no other really,” he stated.

“We go out with the right mindset, work as a team and no matter who comes in and out of the squad we just work as a whole and try and get the result.”

With the Panthers already relegated they have little to play for other than pride.

However, Abetew expected South to be determined to finish the season on a high note.

“Regardless of them being relegated they know that they want to end the season on a high,” he said.

“We’re not underestimating them or anything and we’ll go into it like no other and like I said regardless if whether it is Campbelltown or South Adelaide we go in with the right mindset looking for the three points.”

Adelaide United FC: Daniel Bressan, 5. Noah Smith, 9. Ninko Beric, 11. Carlo Armiento, 12. Yared Abetew, 17. Aladin Irabona, 21. Domenic Costanzo, 22. Cristian Aloisi, 23. Jason Konstandopoulos, 28. Kristin Konstandopoulos, 30. Isaac Richards (GK), 34. Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio, 44. Jared Clark
Coaches: Paul Pezos, Mario Karlovic, Joshua Smith
Team Staff: Robert Muscio, Julian Urlings

South Adelaide: Michael Goode, 1. Ryan Veitch (GK), 4. Robert Parker, 6. Jeven Beck, 7. Nicholas Harpas, 8. Sam Carmichael (C), 9. Thomas Parks, 11. Taiyo Izumi, 13. Jai Conroy, 14. Jack Ellis, 15. Christopher Ashwood, 16. Brayden Micallef, 17. Joel Smith
Coaches: Brenton Hiern, Matthew Huntley, Fraser Mc Lean
Team Staff: Kym Goode, Lucy Boseley, Connor Fagan



Campbelltown City vs Croydon Kings
Venue: Steve Woodcock Sports Centre
Date: 17/08/2019 07:00 PM

Back-to-back minor premiers Campbelltown City welcomes Croydon Kings to Steve Woodcock Sports Centre on Saturday night, with Croydon Kings still with vital points to play for. 

Kings provisionally said goodbye to their long-time home last Saturday in their 1-1 draw with Raiders, however, a win or a draw could give them at least one more match at Polonia Reserve.

While Croydon Kings will be looking up, a defeat could see them drop out of the top-six too.

Despite a 4-1 thumping at Comets last Saturday, the Red Devils secured top spot for a second successive year. 

However, with two wins in the last five matches, and signs of unrest in the dressing room, Joe Mullen will earn his stripes to get his side back on form before finals football begins next week. 

In round 9, Campbelltown City ran away 3-2 winners at Polonia in a pulsating encounter.

Campbelltown City: 1. Jamie Signorello, 4. Iain Fyfe (C), 5. Matthew Mullen, 6. Dion Kirk, 7. Joel Allwright, 8. Alexander Mullen, 9. Marc Marino, 10. Luigi Ditroia, 11. Anthony Ture, 12. Jacob Williams, 14. Adam Piscioneri, 15. Antony Piscioneri, 16. Daniel Mullen, 18. Yohei Matsumoto, 20. Nicholas Harpas (GK), 23. Jake Halliday
Coaches: Joseph Mullen, Philip Stubbins, Edward Scalzi
Team Staff: Panfilo Ciccocioppo, David Cavaiuolo, Elio Bria

Croydon Kings: 1. Gianni Tramontin, 2. John Panagaris, 4. Alexander Sunasky, 5. James Skeffington, 6. Kerrin Stokes, 9. Nathan Munro, 10. Luke Klimek (C), 11. Antoni Trimboli, 14. Peter Mercurio, 16. Adam Martinello, 17. Alex Demasi, 18. Jarrod Brazzale, 19. Masahiro Haruoka, 20. Zade Heinicke, 21. John Hall (GK), 23. Patrick Caraccia
Coaches: Angelo Costanzo, Maurice Natale, Robert Matosevic
Team Staff: Mario Catalano, Joshua Avery, Latham Byfield



Para Hills Knights vs Adelaide Olympic
Venue: The Paddocks
Date: 17/08/2019 07:00 PM

Para Hills are one of three sides in the league who have nothing to play for this weekend, but make no mistake, Barney Smith and his side will want to finish the season as well as possible as they welcome Adelaide Olympic to The Paddocks on Saturday. 

Olympic, who dropped two points at home to strugglers West Adelaide last weekend, are heading into the Finals campaign without star duo Ionnis Simosis and Kristi Vangjeli, who have both left the club to pursue careers overseas.

The odds will have to be massively in Olympic's favour if they were to squeeze into the top two, with losses to Adelaide Comets needed and Raiders to drop points at home to Blue Eagles. 

However, a loss could even see Olympic drop out of the top 6 altogether. 

Para Hills Knights: 1. Timothy Ramsey (GK), 3. Peter Eleftherakis, 4. Kieran Mcnally, 5. Tyson Herraman, 6. Matthew Marchioro, 8. Logan Mcfall, 10. Luke Colalancia, 11. Andrew Butler, 12. Jordan Findlay (GK), 14. Thilo Wilke, 15. Pierce Stephens, 16. Todd Leahy, 17. Mohammed Sumaoro, 18. Pietro Piantedosi, 19. Kyle Crout, 20. Charlie Devereux, 21. Isaac Mullen, 22. Hirofumi Kochi, 23. Tyler Bailey
Coaches: Barney Smith, Paul Crout, Jamie Ocego-Kingsley, Matthew Bates
Team Staff: Geoff Sullivan, Emma Gericke, Dwayne Hall

Adelaide Olympic: 1. Daniel Vaughan (GK), 2. Jacob Butler-Bowdon, 3. Matthew Halliday, 4. Thomas Brown, 5. David Makridis, 6. Elias Vlassis, 7. John Karatzas, 8. Manni Katopodis, 9. Christos Pounendis, 10. Ricardo DaSilva (C), 11. Alexandros Koutoulogenis, 12. Dimitri Toumazos, 13. Paul Espina, 14. Fausto Erba, 15. Jack Chivers, 16. John Tsimopoulos, 17. Paul Koutsampasis, 21. Nikolas Harpas, 23. Michael Alexandrou
Coaches: George Tsonis, Tony Sacca, Ali Sadick
Team Staff: Caroline Riemelmoser, Carl Robinson, Alex Abela