Match Preview: Newcastle Olympic v City

You got a taste of it last week with our first pre-season friendly, but now it’s almost time for our first competitive match of the 2022/23 season!

We’ll officially kick-start our new campaign on Tuesday night when we travel to Newcastle to take on Northern NPL side Newcastle Olympic FC in the Australia Cup Round of 32.

While only just over three weeks into pre-season training, last week’s friendly provided a valuable hit-out for the boys to get some minutes into their legs ahead of this Tuesday’s Cup fixture.

It was truly a game of two halves, with five goals hitting the back of the net in the first 45, while the second stanza was a much quieter time for the men in between the sticks.

City went 2-0 up thanks to early goals from Max Caputo and Jordan Bos, before Dandenong Thunder got back to level pegging with the signs of pre-season rust showing in both goals City conceded.

Florin Berenguer’s close-range tap in just before half-time would ultimately be the difference, with a mostly youthful City outfit taking to the pitch in the second half.

New signings Callum Talbot and Richard van der Venne were both notable absentees from the friendly, and City’s fans will hoping to get their first glimpse at their new faces in action on Tuesday night.

The usual front three from last season; Andrew Nabbout, Jamie Maclaren and Mathew Leckie, also didn’t take part in the friendly, with Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo set to make a call on whether his star attackers see minutes on Tuesday after only recently easing back into training.

City’s last Cup campaign ended in dramatic fashion, going out on penalties to Wellington Phoenix in the Quarter Finals of the 2021 edition following 120 minutes where the teams couldn’t be split.

Since Kisnorbo took over the top job, the Australia Cup (formerly FFA Cup) is the only piece of domestic silverware that has eluded him – albeit from only the one aforementioned attempt – so expect this to provide plenty of motivation for the squad ahead of the new campaign.

Tuesday night will be Newcastle’s second consecutive appearance in the Final Rounds of the Cup, previously going down to Macarthur FC in the 2021 Round of 32.

Although currently sitting mid-table in the Northern NPL, Olympic’s form of late would’ve been an encouraging sign for the Joel Griffiths coached team.

They’ve now won five of their last six fixtures, including a 1-0 victory over Charlestown Azzurri FC at the weekend.

Match Details

Australia Cup: Round of 32

Newcastle Olympic FC v Melbourne City FC

Tuesday 2 August, 7:30pm

Live and free on 10 Play