The newly renamed NSFA Women’s Premier League kicks off this Sunday as seven challengers look to knock four-time consecutive champions Northbridge A off their perch.
We take a look at the first round of fixtures as each team attempts to make a positive start to the season.
Turramurra United vs North Sydney United – 3pm Sunday, NTRA 3
This year’s Turramurra United team will make the unique milestone of being the merged club’s first Premier League team since coming into existence in 2018. Last season in Division 2 they produced a dominant season, winning 17 of 18 matches, scoring 73 goals and conceding nine as they secured the league title before also winning the finals series.
However, North Sydney United will provide a tough test in their first Women’s Premier League encounter. United have been consistent challengers for the title in recent seasons, finishing runners-up in each of the past four seasons since lifting back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014. The team in red and black will be keen to kick-start their season with an early win as they look to break Northbridge A’s dominance.
Lindfield B vs Northbridge A – 3pm Sunday, Koola 3
It doesn’t any tougher for Lindfield B, starting their 2019 season against the four-time champions Northbridge A in one of two fixtures between the NSFA’s two largest clubs on Sunday. The 2019 Lindfield B squad is a mixture of last year’s team that finished sixth in the competition, bolstered by the addition of several players from the Division 2 squad that just missed out on finals last year.
Northbridge A are no doubt eager to write their names into the history books once again with another title. Having retained the majority of their core players from last season, some new blood has also been added into the ranks and undoubtedly they once again shape up as favourites to be top of the table at season’s end.
Northbridge B vs Lindfield A – 3pm Sunday, Bicentennial Reserve
Northbridge B made an impressive start to life in the top tier last season, with the young side providing a stern challenge to the likes of North Sydney, Lindfield A and Northbridge A on their way to a fourth-place finish. With the team being bolstered by new additions from last year’s Division 2 runners-up and G18 Division 1 winners, a finals place is certainly on the cards once again.
Lindfield A have finished third in both of the past two seasons, just shading Northbridge B on goal difference in 2018 after both teams finished with 33 points. A round one win would set the pace for a push towards a title challenge, but with Turramurra United being promoted on a strong season, Lindfield A will also be looking over their shoulder at a new challenger for their top four position.
UTS vs West Pymble – 3:05pm Sunday, Charles Bean Oval
UTS make their return to the top flight for the first time since 2016 and will welcome fellow promoted side West Pymble to Charles Bean Oval on Sunday afternoon. Having finished fourth in Division 2 last year, the bulk of the existing squad has been retained, and the addition of some new faces will hopefully see a strong start to the season.
West Pymble round out the list of new arrivals in the competition this season, running third in Division 2 in 2018 and finding the back of the net an incredible 80 times in 18 matches. This season marks their first in the top tier since 2015, but with the majority of their squad retained a challenge for a finals position isn’t out of the question.