NPL Women's NNSW Grand Final Preview: Olympic out to settle the score against Magic in the championship fight

Broadmeadow Magic FC v Newcastle Olympic FC  
Magic Park, Sunday 5pm  


Broadmeadow Magic will go head-to-head with Newcastle Olympic at Magic Park on Sunday to crown the NPL Women’s NNSW champions. 


Magic have had a perfect season so far, being crowned premiers and winning their qualifying final to go straight through to the big dance.  


But despite also winning the premiership in 2021, this is the first time that Magic have had the opportunity to make it to the grand final, as there were no finals due to COVID-19.  


Magic’s coach Jake Curley is thrilled for his side to be a part of a grand final for the first time and have the chance of taking out the premiership championship double in 2023.  


“Making the first grand final for the club is massive,” Curley said.  


“The girls are excited for the game.  


“I think it would be good to do the double for the club and for the girls. I think they have been exceptional over the past four years. 


“The club have put a lot of resources into our women’s program to get here.”  


Curley is happy that his side get another opportunity to play Olympic and hopes his team can come out the same as they did the last time they played each other and get the win. 


“Playing Olympic in the grand final is good because they have always been our most competitive team to play,” Curley said.  


“It’s always a close game between us and Olympic. It will be about what team can finish their chances and we have been really good at that this season. 


“AJ (Adriana Konjarski), Chelsea (Lucas), Lucy (Jeram) and Kiarra (Lewis) have been exceptional at scoring and creating chances this season.” 


“I think we started off really well against Olympic in the qualifying final but when we played them the time before, I thought we started a little slow. We are going to try and be ready from the start of the game.” 


This weekend’s clash will be Jerram’s last game in the competition, as she is moving back home to Western Australia. Curley said he hopes they can get the job done for the star striker's final match in Magic colours.  


“She (Jerram) has been fantastic over the last four years and hopefully we can send her out by winning the grand final,” Curely said.  


Magic will be without Keziah White who is overseas, but the remainder of their squad will be unchanged from their qualifying finals fixture. 


Curley and his side were glad to have a week off between final matchups, to give bodies a rest and work on areas that they believe will win them the championship.  


“We have had niggling injuries all year so the break has been good for the girls,” Curley said. 


“To be fair to the girls, we are strong in all areas. 


“We have been mainly focusing on finishing. We have identified that’s how you win and lose games by creating chances. We haven’t been the best team in some games but we score goals to get results. 


“Our focus is just on ourselves. We just do what we do and hopefully we get the result. 


“It would be really good to win from all perspectives.” 


Magic will have the home-ground advantage on Sunday, playing at Magic Park. Curley believes that this will help to some degree but the players will still need to go out and do their jobs.  


“I think Magic Park suits the way that we play and the girls are familiar with it playing all of our home games there. I think it’s an advantage but the girls still have to go out there and perform.” 


“I think one of the things about Magic is that we want to compete at every level and having the men’s and women’s teams in the grand final is a great reflection of that.” 


Olympic have had both ends of grand final experiences, going down to Warners Bay in 2022 and winning the championship in 2020. 


The Olympic side have had another successful season in 2023, finishing second on the table and winning the inaugural Women’s League Cup. But they are yet to defeat the premiers this season and will have a score to settle on Sunday.  


After going down in the qualifying final, Olympic had to take on Maitland in their last chance to make it through to the grand final.  


Neil Owens side bounced back with a dominant performance to beat the Magpies 3-1 and progress through to this Sunday’s showdown. 

Owens is excited to have another opportunity to have a crack at Magic and take home the championship trophy. 


“I am really looking forward to it.” Owens said.  


“We have had a draw and three losses to them and have conceded three goals in the last final against them. They are the only team that have done that to us.” 


Despite conceding three goals against Broadmeadow in the qualifying final, Owens believes his team needs to mix things up and focus on getting the job done at the other end of the park.  


“We have to come up with something different because Magic have the upper hand on us. We can’t just keep doing the same same,” Owens said.  


“I think the issue is maybe scoring against them not defending against them. We can defend. So I think we need to come up with better options up top and apply a bit more pressure on them. In the last final they applied a lot of pressure in the first 15 minutes, and we just couldn’t get out. So we just need to come up with a bit better of a plan.”  


It is still uncertain how striker Jemma House will feature in the match, after being unused on the bench against Maitland in the preliminary final with a niggling ankle injury. 


Owens is confident that House will take part in this weekend’s clash, but whether that is off the bench or starting, he is still unsure.  


“It doesn’t matter for her having two weeks off, she’s fit enough so and I am happy enough to bring her on later in the match,” Owens said.  


“Maybe we will let the battle happen and then bring her on in the second half. We will just see how she pulls up.” 


Georgia Amess returned for the preliminary final against Maitland in a big way, helping to fill the attacking hole of House by causing havoc for the Magpies’ defence and scoring the third goal for Olympic to secure the win.  


“She’s (Amess) one of the quickest players in the competition. When she’s on, she’s on. When she’s on and confident she’s a very well-balanced player and can score. She scored a great goal, the third goal.” 


“That’s going to be a threat for us, similar to Lucy who has the pace as well. In any competition, pace is going to be a threat. She will change our attack from that last game against Magic.”  


Owens is not too fussed about Magic playing at their home ground but does recognise the challenges Magic Park imposes on opposition teams.  


“You’ve got to play somewhere; it doesn't bother me,” Owens said.  


“It’s a big park, it’s easy on a small park like ours, easier to press. It’s a different beast, it’s a bigger ground which makes it hard when teams dominate you. 

“Our first grade boys support the girls and our girls go and watch the boys. There is a lot of support at the club. We have our teams in the reserve grade and under-17s matches too so we should have some big numbers there.” 


The blockbuster first grade match will headline reserve grade and PYL girl’s grand finals in what is expected to be an action-packed day full of the best female football in the region.  


Premiers Newcastle Olympic will take on Charlestown Azzurri in the reserve grade grand final. Maitland FC will face Newcastle Olympic in the under-17s decider, while Adamstown Rosebud JFC will play Maitland FC in the under-15s match and premiers Charlestown Azzurri will look to complete the double when they meet Adamstown Rosebud JFC in the under-13s grand final.


NPL Women’s NNSW First Grade Grand Final
Broadmeadow Magic v Newcastle Olympic

NPL Women’s NNSW Reserve Grade Grand Final
Newcastle Olympic v Charlestown Azzurri

PYL Girls Under-17s Grand Final
Maitland FC v Newcastle Olympic

PYL Girls Under-15s Grand Final
Adamstown Rosebud JFC v Maitland FC

PYL Girls Under-13s Grand Final
Adamstown Rosebud JFC v Charlestown Azzurri