Northern NSW Football’s (NNSWF) FFA Cup State Qualifiers are set to take place this Saturday, 8th June at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility (LMRFF) featuring the last eight teams all vying for a spot in the prestigious national Round of 32.
The first of the four matches will begin at 10 am and conclude with the monumental clash between former Round of 32 participants, Edgeworth Eagles and Broadmeadow Magi at 5:30pm.
The two battled it out in last year’s National Premier Leagues (NPL) Northern NSW Grand Final and even played one another in the league last weekend where a 0-0 draw was encountered.
Broadmeadow’s former Hyundai A-League forward James Virgili returns from injury and will look to continue his hot-form in front of goal having scored seven in his eight games played, while Mitch Oxborrow has also been a standout for Magic this year.
A question mark sits over whether new star recruit, former Central Coast Mariner Andrew Hoole will represent the club on Saturday, however if he does, he’ll come up against fellow Central Coast Mariner, Josh Rose, who’s had a stellar start to the NPL NNSW season.
Both teams have an ample amount of experience in progressing to the national stage, with Magic having done so on four occasions only missing out once in 2016, while the Eagles have been there three times.
The fact that both these heavyweights have been drawn against one another means a team which have never featured in the Round of 32 are guaranteed to find their way there this year such as Hamilton Olympic and Maitland FC, who both have had lost out in final round in years prior.
Football Far North Coast (FFNC) team Bangalow Bluedogs will take on Olympic at 3:00 pm in their first-ever State Qualifiers match after winning 1-0 in their Round 5 match against Kempsey Saints.
The Bluedogs currently sit atop of the FFNC Men’s Premier Division having only lost two games, while their opponents having only won one from their past five matches and sit in eighth in the NPL NNSW.
Hamilton will still go in as strong favourites though, as will Maitland who face off with North Coast Football (NCF) side Boambee Bombers earlier at 12:30pm.
The Magpies currently sit in fourth in the NPL NNSW and are touted as a premiership contender boasting the least amount of conceded goals in the competition and with games in hand of those above them.
They’ll be disappointed if they’re expecting an easy win though as the Bombers currently hold a perfect record in the NCF’s C.ex Group Men’s Premier League having won seven from seven and also featured in Round 6 last season as well.
NPL NNSW club Valentine Phoenix play the only NEWFM Northern League One side to have progressed to the State Qualifiers since 2016, Kahibah FC, kicking off the day at 10 am.
Both teams went through extra-time thrillers in Round 5, with Phoenix needing penalties to defeat Weston Bears, while Kahibah played out a 5-4 score line against Cessnock, scoring in the dying minutes.
All of the State Qualifiers will be streamed LIVE thanks to BarTV Sports on NNSWF’s Facebook, as will the Round 7 Draw immediately succeeding the final game.
From each of the matches played during the State Qualifiers, NNSWF’s Major Partner in Education and Training, TAFE NSW will identify a TAFE NSW ‘Game Changer’ – Player of the Match.
If a Northern Conference team progresses to Round 7, their match will take place on Monday 10th June at the LMRFF, while if all four progressed teams are from the Southern Conference, the matches will be held on either Tuesday 11th, or Wednesday 12th at a club venue.
State Qualifiers fixtures:
Kahibah FC vs. Valentine Phoenix FC – 10am
Boambee Bombers vs. Maitland FC – 12:30pm
Bangalow Bluedogs SC vs. Hamilton Olympic FC – 3:00pm
Edgeworth Eagles FC vs. Broadmeadow Magic FC – 5:30pm
State Qualifiers (Round 7) Draw
Where: Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, Speers Point
When: Saturday 8 June, 2019
Time: Immediately following the final Round 6 match (Approximately 7.30pm)
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