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Sep 08, 2017   |  12:29AM AET

NPL Preview: U20 and U18 Semi Finals

NPL Preview: U20 and U18 Semi Finals

The Western Sydney Wanderers U20 and U18 Academy sides will play in their NPL 2 Semi Finals on Saturday afternoon with both teams looking to make back-to-back Grand Final appearances.

The Wanderers U20s side has had a great season so far, finishing in 2nd position and earning a bye for the first week of the finals. 

Confidence will be high for the Red & Black as they enter into the clash having had four consecutive victories. The most recent against their semi final opponent North Shore Mariners. 

North Shore Mariners ended the U20 regular season in 5th and progressed to the Semi Finals after a 3-2 victory in last week’s elimination final against Marconi.

The Red & Black will need to keep an eye on Chris Deblaere who has scored 13 times this year including goals in both previous matches against the Wanderers. 

For the Wanderers U20s, Mohamed Najjar will be one to watch after finishing the season as joint top scorer in the NPL 2 U20s competition.

Najjar has scored 20 times this season, including ten goals in his last six games. 

Jarrod Carluccio is another Wanderer that has been in great goalscoring form. After starting the year with the U18 team, Carluccio has been promoted to the U20 squad where he has scored eight goals. 

The U18s squad also finished 2nd in the regular season and had a bye in the first week of finals ahead of Saturday’s Semi Final against Northern Tigers.

The Red & Black have not only been deadly in attack, scoring 90 goals over the course of the regular season, but they have also been clinical in defence having kept five clean sheets in their last six games. 

Northern Tigers come into the U18 Semi final after a convincing 5-1 victory over Blacktown Spartans. 

The Tigers finished the regular season in 3rd place, only two points behind the Wanderers, and also have a variety of players in goalscoring form. 

Dylan Ruiz-Diaz has been in excellent form recently scoring nine goals in his last four appearances. 

Ruiz-Diaz’s season tally of 21 goals sees him tied as top goal scorer for the NPL 2 U18 competition. 


NPL 2 NSW U20 Semi Final
Western Sydney Wanderers v North Shore Mariners

Saturday 9 September, 2:30pm
Lambert Park, Leichhardt

NPL 2 NSW U18 Semi Final
Western Sydney Wanderers v Northern Tigers
Saturday 9 September, 2:30pm
Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park