Broadmeadow will likely have top scorer James Virgili on board but lose attacking options out of defence for their first semi-final against premiers Edgeworth at Magic Park on Saturday night.
Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich said Virgili, who had a swollen ankle after the 2-1 win over Hamilton last week, would probably play but wing-backs Luke Virgili and Lawrence Foteff were likely out. Luke Virgili was sidelined last week with a hamstring strain, while Foteff hurt his ankle.
Shane Paul and Jon Griffiths return from resting last week because of cards but the loss of Foteff and Virgili would limit Magic’s ability to make wide, overlapping runs out of defence.
“I’ll have to look at balance and work on a few things tonight,” Zadkovich said on Friday about his formation without the pair. “But we’ll have to keep it quite simple, that’s for sure.
Edgeworth coach Damian Zane had no injury concerns and Ayden Brice was back in calculations after resting last week because of card trouble.
Zane was impressed with Magic’s performance last week but was not concerned with who they had available for their 6.30pm match.
“Whatever formation they go with, the key for me is shutting down their front three,” Zane said of Virgili, Kale Bradbery and Dino Fajkovic. “That’s where they are dangerous. Our defence has got to be on their game, but we have played them well in the past.”
** NNSW Football on Friday confirmed a transition of responsibility for licensed skill acquisition programs from zones to premier competition clubs from 2018.
Northern NSW Football statement:
A summary of the key amendments to the pathway for boys follows;
The Skill Acquisition Phase of the Emerging Jets Program will be gradually phased out commencing with the omission of 9’s in 2018;
The implementation of Licensed SAP’s will transition from Member Zones to Premier Clubs commencing with 9’s in 2018;
Talent Support Programs (TSP), which provide identified 13 and 14-year-old players at PS4 NPL Clubs with additional training and coaching will be established at the LMRFF;
Member Zones will be encouraged to establish Football Development Programs for interested 7 and 8-year-old Aldi MiniRoos Players who would like additional coaching; and
ID Gala Days will be scheduled to identify players who have the potential to transition to the Talented Player Pathway.
“NNSWF is extremely appreciative of the many stakeholders who contributed to the comprehensive consultation process,” NNSWF’s CEO, David Eland said.
“The endorsed amendments substantively address the gaps identified in the current pathway.
“NNSWF is confident, that over time the base will broaden significantly and provide players with more opportunities to transition to the pathway as they develop and improve,” Eland concluded.
The Talented Player Pathway for girls in the Hunter Region will remain unchanged until at least 2020. This decision will allow existing clubs in Women’s Premier League (WPL) to focus on transitioning the WPL to a division of the National Premier Leagues in 2021. NNSWF’s Board resolved to expand the Women’s Premier League in 2018 by accepting New Lambton FC’s application. The structure of the WPL was also amended to First Grade, 20’s, 17’s and 14’s in 2018.
The amendments to the Talented Player Pathway in the Hunter Region and the ensuing review of the Regional Pathway, which commenced on 18 August reflect NNSWF’s commitment to contribute to Football Federation Australia’s Strategic Plan priority of building generations of successful National Teams by lifting the technical standard of identified players and coaches throughout Northern NSW and establishing defined and appropriate pathways.
The amended Talented Player Pathway will be supported by the appointment of a number of Technical Advisors who will assist the coaches engaged by Premier Clubs and Member Zones to implement programs which are conducive to developing future A-League Newcastle Jets, Socceroos and Matildas.