NPL play-offs: Edgeworth keen to home in on favourable draw

OUT: Nate Cavaliere
OUT: Nate Cavaliere

EDGEWORTH will be eyeing a home semi-final in the NPL play-offs when they take on Canberra Olympic on Saturday night at Deakin Stadium.

The three-time Northern NSW NPL champions made it to the national grand final last year, which they lost away to Sydney United 58, after wins on the road against Victorian winners Bentleigh Greens and Perth FC.

This year, Edgeworth coach Damian Zane is hoping to make the most of a favourable draw, which pits them against South Hobart or Brisbane Strikers if they beat Olympic. Away goals are worth more this year in calculations to decide who hosts matches and Zane said “we’re dying for a home game in this competition”.

“If we want to do well in this, we need to win and win well and get it back to our home,” Zane said. “We think if we can get it at home, it’s another winnable game and we’d be a good chance of hosting the final.

“But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. There’s no easy teams, because they are all champions, and even in the smaller leagues, the top teams are stacked.”

No.1 goalkeeper Nate Cavaliere has had surgery to a broken finger he played through in the 2-0 extra-time NNSW grand final loss to Lambton Jaffas two weeks ago. Josh Low will take his place and Brody Taylor (overseas) will miss the game.

Zane went to Canberra last weekend to watch Olympic lose to Belconnen and said striker Stephen Domenici, who has scored 28 goals, was a danger man.

“It’s not as physical as our league, but I know futsal is quite big down there so they are good technically and in tight areas,” he said.

“They are a decent team and have done well in the FFA Cup and were unlucky to be knocked out by Sorrento in Perth. 

“Domenici has scored 28 goals and ex-Socceroo Andy Bernal believes he’s the best player in Australia outside the A-League.”