NPL: Broadmeadow striker John Majurovski rising to derby challenge

ON TARGET: Broadmeadow striker John Majurovski jumps for a header against Weston this season. The veteran scored a hat-trick on Tuesday against the Jets Youth in the NPL and a double in the FFA Cup win over Canberra FC. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
ON TARGET: Broadmeadow striker John Majurovski jumps for a header against Weston this season. The veteran scored a hat-trick on Tuesday against the Jets Youth in the NPL and a double in the FFA Cup win over Canberra FC. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

All things considered, Sunday’s derby between Broadmeadow and Hamilton at Magic Park will mean more to Olympic.

Hamilton’s Northern NSW NPL finals hopes go on the line in the penultimate round, while Broadmeadow already sit safely in the play-offs with one eye on a home FFA Cup round of 16 clash with Bentleigh Greens on August 21. Magic’s slight chance of winning the premiership will be over at fulltime if Edgeworth have beaten Lake Macquarie at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Rejuvenated striker John Majurovski, though, knows better than most what victory means in the Magic-Olympic derby, especially when one team’s season is in the balance.

Majurovski, who lost the 2012 grand final with Hamilton against Broadmeadow, is back in Magic colours this season after a year in interdistrict football and he’s proving a key addition.

After “copping it” from both sets of fans over the years, Majurovski was keen to come out on top in a game Hamilton desperately needed to win.

“It's a big game for me, I don’t care what’s said about points or whatever,” Majurovski said.

“I want to win, simple. I’ve trained all year just for this time of year. I’ve kept my body in shape, which I very rarely do,” he laughed.

“But I’ve kept it going all year. I’ve only had one injury, I’ve stayed fit and kept going to training, and kept trying to motivate the young boys. I’ve been trying to help them out, and it’s helping me out in return.”

The 35-year-old scored a hat-trick against the Jets Youth in a 5-1 win on Tuesday night, which was Magic’s first game since Mitch Oxborrow was banned for five games for spitting. Broadmeadow’s other former A-League player, James Virgili (hamstring strain), is also sidelined.

Oxborrow has appealed his suspension. Northern NSW Football has 21 days to schedule the hearing.

Magic, though, have shown they remain a force without their star pair and Majurovski has led the way.

“Maj put in so much hard work in pre-season and his attitude has been flawless all year for the team,” Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich said. “He’s been really selfless and the hard work has shown the last few weeks.

“In some big games when we’ve needed him, he’s popped up. He put on a real exhibition the other night. 

“Those front guys, Dino [Fajkovic], Kale [Bradbery], Cody [Carroll) and Maj, have shown that even if we don’t have James ‘Chill’, they can do the job for us.”

Magic are second on 35 points – five behind Edgeworth. Hamilton are sixth on 27 – a point outside the four.

Olympic coach Peter McGuinness said Jed Hornery (hamstring) could return on the bench, while Rhys Cooper (tonsillitis) was expected to play. 

Also Sunday, Weston (19 points) play the Jets Youth (23). On Saturday, Lambton Jaffas (34) can dent the finals hopes of fourth-placed Maitland (28) at Edden Oval and Adamstown (17) need only a draw to hand Valentine (11) the wooden spoon.

McGuinness, a premiership-winning coach at Magic, has also been on both sides of the Broadmeadow-Hamilton derby and was excited about the clash.

“It’s good for local football to have rivalries and there’s always talk in the local communities because they are both clubs well supported by passionate people who love football,” he said.

“It means a lot to them, the clubs and the players, you throw that into the mix along with the fact we're playing for our survival, there’s a lot on the line.”