Olympia FC Warriors are just one win away from a national final, with the Tasmanian Champions to travel to Western Australia to meet Bayswater City in the Playstation 4 National Premier Leagues Semi-Finals this Sunday.
The Warriors were given little chance of progressing beyond South Melbourne and into the Semi-Final but in a shock result, they upset the Victorian giants and put themselves into the final four in the country. The Victory League Champions will need to produce another historic upset this week to make the final, meeting a semi-professional powerhouse full of ex-A-League talent, away from home.
Last week’s quarter final victory has been described as the biggest in Olympia’s rich fifty year history but coach Glen McNeill told David Wood he believes the result was more significant than just within the walls of Warrior Park, claiming it as a win for Tasmanian football.
Olympia have answered every challenge in front of them in 2015, seeing off a title challenger in South Hobart in a thrilling see-sawing season-long title race. Last week, they battled bravely to survive a second half onslaught from the fearsome South Melbourne after being reduced to ten men early in the second stanza. This weekend however, will present their biggest challenge yet, travelling to Western Australia to play an unknown quality team in hot conditions, without their Best and Fairest in Shae Hickey.
Olympia survived 35 minutes with ten men and without their midfield general in Shae Hickey but they will have to go this week without their main man with last week’s red card ruling him out of this week’s encounter.
“The logical change is to bring Lachlan Nichols into midfield. There are three central defenders who will be vying for that role so it is up to them who gets the nod.”
The nature of the National Premier Leagues finals series is that clubs collide with little knowledge of their opponent but the Warriors boss went above and beyond last weekend. After winning on Saturday, McNeill travelled to study his Semi-Final opponent. The intel will come in handy for the Warriors up against a powerful Bayswater, if Olympia are to win on Sunday, they will snap a season long undefeated streak for the Western Australian powerhouse.
“Bayswater are a very well drilled unit. They are fit, fast and boast a number of ex A league players. They are coached by former Socceroo Chris Coyne and we will have our work cut out for us this Sunday. They are undefeated this season.
The trip west will be further and warmer than anything encountered by a Tasmanian team regularly, but the Warriors head to Frank Drago Reserve full of confidence; after defeating one of the biggest and best outside the A-League In South Melbourne.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 Semi Finals
Game 5 – Sat, 26 Sept 2015 Blacktown City FC
Moreton Bay United FC Lilys Football Stadium 7:30pm EST
Game 6 – Sun, 27 Sept 2015 Bayswater City SC
Olympia FC Frank Drago Reserve 2:30pm WST
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 Grand Final
Game 7 – 3/4 Oct 2015 Winner of Game 5 v Winner of Game 6