NPL Women’s Grand Final Preview

The NPL Women’s Queensland Grand Final pits the competition’s dominant force The Gap FC Women against up-and-coming Olympic FC Women in a mouth-watering showdown.

Gators are out to continue their perfect sweep of silverware in the national second-tier competition after twice claiming the Premiership and winning last year’s inaugural Grand Final.

Their pedigree is undeniable after posting 21 straight wins in 2016 on their run to the end-of-season showpiece.

Running the show is captain and W-League player Ruth Blackburn, whose tough-tackling in midfield and attacking threat has seen her dominate the centre of the pitch for two straight seasons.

The Gators attack boasts plenty of outlets, including dynamic winger Eden Jones, but it is striker Greta Bodey that leads the scoring charts with a better than a goal a game return of 27 goals this season.

However, it’s at the back where the Gators set the platform with centre-half Catherine O’Neill, fullback Ashleigh Bucknall and goalkeeper Noran Abaza amongst the less-heralded heroes of a side that has shipped only nine goals this year.

Out to spoil the party is a dogged Olympic side that has proven the big improvers of 2016 – recording their first top three finish on the way to their maiden Grand Final appearance.

Key to their prospects is star striker and 2016 Golden Boot winner Kirsten Jamieson, who smashed the record for most goals in a season with 59 to her credit so far this year.

Delivering the supply is a crafty midfield that features the W-League experience of Lorena Maggio and Allira Toby, and the bedrock utility of Rebekah Horsey, who has proved equally adept in the central or defensive third this year.

Gators boast home field advantage for the match, however, the normally parochial home crowd will have to contend with a large number of Olympic faithful expected to make the short hop across the river..

Interestingly, Olympic have not defeated Gators in four previous attempts in the Women’s competition – but there is no better time for them to put that unwanted record to rest.

Match Details

NPL Women’s Queensland 2016 Grand Final

The Gap v Olympic FC
Sunday, September 4. Kickoff 5:30PM
Walton Bridge Reserve, Brisbane

Admission – Free

Watch via LIVE STREAM with Facebook Live at fb.com/nplqld

Squads

The Gap FC

1. Noran ABAZA, 3. Talitha DORO, 5. Lauren BUTLER, 6. Ashleigh BUCKNALL, 8. Kaitlyn WINTER, 9. Hayley RICCARDI, 10. Bethany ASHTON, 11. Greta BODEY, 12. Jessica DILLON, 13. Megan PRICE, 14. Charli MCLENNAN, 15. Ruth BLACKBURN (c), 16. Catherine O’NEILL, 17. Charlotte BOHL, 18. Eden JONES, Ayana AOIGI

Head Coach – Rob Askew

Olympic FC

1. Jessica MCLEAN, 2. Leah MILES, 4. Allira TOBY, 6. Matalena DANIELS, Teani KARALOUKA, 8. Kate MORTON, 9. Kirsten JAMIESON, 10.Elizabeth DOHERTY, 11. Natalie TATHEM, 14. Rachel SMITH, 15. Kristi NEW, 16. Bronte WATSON, 18. Lorena MAGGIO, 19. Rebekah HORSEY, Taleisha DERRICK

Head Coach – Phil Canham

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