March Round Up

 

With no more weekly updates from us, we figured it’s hard to leave that massive hole open. Our solution is to instead offer a monthly round up of the 4 divisions. Less overall work for us, less rushed articles, better quality (debatable), it’s wins all round.

State League

Mens State League kicked off only two weeks ago. Apart from the washed out game we now get 6 State League Games a week with new teams Central Coast United and South Coast Flame entering the competition.

Our first look at Central Coast United saw them smash the recently relegated Balmain Tigers 5-0. We had to wait til the 2nd week to see South Coast Flame play their first league fixture, against Balmain also winning 5-0.

Judging by the first two rounds, Balmain are in strife if they have their sights set on promotion back into NPL 3.

Bankstown United is the only team to win both games, winning 1-0 and 3-2 against the two Hurstville teams. Many readers will remember Bankstown United had a great run last season, however always struggled to win matches by a large score line.

You kind of get the feeling that the State league competition will be tight this year, with almost every team having a good chance at playing in the finals series.

Realistically only probably 2 or 3 teams will have a shot at promotion. South Coast Flame have impressed in their FFA Cup match and opening league game so far, Bankstown were right in the mix last year and Nepean and Central Coast will probably be up their come seasons end too.

Again, many will remember how close Nepean came last year only to fall short on the final days play. If they can bounce back and get promoted It will be one hell of a story.

Unfortunately, it might come down to how the 18s and 20s perform, picking up crucial club championship points each week.

We’re looking forward to following the State League this year, and once again have the hope that FNSW will turn the competition into NPL 4, hopefully adding two more teams into the mix.

 

NPL 3

After a thrilling season last year where we saw Rydalmere and Fraser park duke it out all season long, trading 1st and 2nd multiple times it’s going to be hard to follow it up with another great season.

However, after 4 rounds no one would have foresaw that Fraser Park would be in 13th with only 2 draws whilst SD Raiders, Hawkesbury City and Bankstown Lions sharing 1st place.

It will definitely be interesting to revisit this article in a few months’ time to see what has changed.

Newly promoted Camden Tigers are currently sitting 6th in 1st grade whilst recently relegated Bankstown are coming 2nd, and looking hard to getting promoted back into NPL 2.

Like State league, almost any team could make the finals, much how It was looking last year. I think that this is a real big testament to the quality of football in NSW compared to other states, no massive score lines with run away teams like they have in QLD and VIC.

The Club Championship is a week old, but surprisingly Gladesville Ryde have the lead followed by Hawkesbury City then Bankstown City. Dulwich Hill are sitting last, and need to start looking at how to turn their season around.

Some notable scores have been SD Raiders smashing Granville Rage 5-0, Camden beating Mariners 7-3 and SD Raiders beating Stanmore 8-1. Based on these few results, Raiders are looking the team to beat for the season.

Can they be the team to get promoted this season? Last year they proved us all wrong here at The Clean Sheet, making a strong run into the finals as well as taking APIA all the way in the FFA Cup.

It’s going to be a fun an exciting season, with a lot of potential teams for promotion.

 

NPL 2

Anyone remember when people were saying that the A-League academy teams should be automatically entered to NPL 1 and extend the comp to 14 teams? It’s been great so far as Sydney FC reached promotion in their first year, with a bit of luck keeping them in last season whilst the Wanderers have been struggling since entering. And Central Coast? Yeah everyone manages to forget them, but they haven’t been doing too well.

However, everyone remembers Marconi Stallions run last year, and how they threw the cheque book, the kitchen sink, the whole kitchen at players just to get promoted. They had a fantastic season wrapping promotion up with weeks to go.

Hopefully this year we will see a tighter promotion battle. So far Rangers are leading the way followed by about 10 different teams all very close to each other. Seems to again be the same story as last year, where almost every team could make the finals.

Western Sydney for all the money and everything they can offer to youth players have only managed 2 wins from 5 with teams such as Spirit and Hills ahead of them. Even Spartans are only 1 win behind them.

Canterbury Bankstown are languishing in last place on the ladder after 5 rounds, managing a measly draw in the under 18s. At this stage unless something changes they will be heading down to NPL 3 in what could be a direct swap with Bankstown rivals, Bankstown City Lions. I guess we may have to wait a while longer to see all the Bankstown teams in the same competition.

Parramatta FC after getting relegated last year are sitting In 12th, thanking their lucky stars that Bankstown and Macarthur are in the competition, although a lot can change over the coming months.

There isn’t a lot to say about NPL 2, apart from the fact that we’ll see a team or two duke it out for promotion, possibly two teams fighting a relegation battle whilst the rest fight for finals placings.

 

NPL 1

And now what everyone has been waiting for, the NPL 1 teams.

It’s no surprise that Blacktown City are leading the table with 3 wins and a draw so far, after their stellar performance last year. Olympic, Sharks and Wolves all trail within a game, with Wolves the only team so far to take points off Blacktown, yet also losing to Sutherland. Weird right?

New lads Marconi are sitting in 9th (game to play), happy to be back in the top flight of NSW Football, whilst Bonnyrigg who if not for Parramatta last year, would have faced relegation themselves are sitting last on the table, just behind last season’s winners Manly United.

We will post the new Club Championship update once it is released, but it looks like it could be a tight competition this year to stay up.

There has been no crazy score lines so far this season with the biggest win being Blacktown 4-0 over Bonnyrigg, and Bonnyrigg f*cking up a 3-0 lead over Rockdale to lose 4-3.

I said it before in this article, NSW is truly the state with the most even competitions. Anyone can win on any day, and every team has a decent chance at not only the premiership but also at the championship.

If you had to ask me which teams I see taking home the silverware, it would be Blacktown City to win the Premiership with APIA winning the Championship. However, I could be very wrong.

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