NPL 3 NSW MEN’S 2020 SEASON PREVIEW
2 March , 2020 By Football NSW
With the long-awaited return of National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s football only days away, we give the latest rundown ahead of what is sure to be another blockbuster campaign.
2019 semi-finalists Bankstown City FC will be expecting to push for the title this season as they prepare for a new campaign under the leadership of Sash Tirovski.
The Lions have secured the services of talented ex-Sydney FC midfielder Peter Triantis who joins the club from Mounties as well as his brother Chris who comes in from Gladesville Ryde Magic.
Bankstown also raided Magic for another one of their star players with Christos Tomaras also making the switch.
Tomaras will complement what is sure to be a deadly attacking force as he features alongside the Triantis brothers and NPL3’s 2019 golden boot winner Nikola Todoroski who has once again hit a hot streak in pre-season matches. He along with former Sydney United gun Ante Tomic will prove a formidable force in 2020.
Bankstown United FC will look to build upon their 5th placed finish last season as they gear up for their second year in the competition.
Coach Scott Belgre has been able to keep hold of the core of his team with Eros Bergamin, Jovan Miladinovic, Steve Wright, Lachlan Willmore, Mitch Cross all re-signing for the club.
Their most notable departure comes between the sticks after David Hamilton’s three-year stint with United comes to an end as he looks to pursue opportunities outside of football.
United have boosted their attacking ranks after Jayden Russell put pen to paper for the 2020 season. The ex-Camden Tigers front man was the name on everyone’s lips in the 2018 NPL 3 season after he notched an impressive 30 goals for the Tigers that campaign.
New boys Canterbury Bankstown FC join the league following their relegation from the NPL2 last season.
It will be a case of rebuilding the club this season and luckily, they have the right man at the helm to guide them through the process with the experienced Wally Savor taking control of first team affairs this season.
Savor will be hoping to strike the right balance in his youthful squad as he looks to complement the youngsters’ talent with the few experienced heads that he can call upon.
There is another new team to welcome to the competition this year as Central Coast United FC join after being promoted from State League.
Central Coast have enjoyed a meteoric rise over their short existence in the state league system and will be a force to be reckoned with in their debut campaign in the NPL 3.
The Pirates will field a similar line up to last year after most of their players re-signed for 2020. Club legend and two-time State League player of the year Daniel McFarlane will once again lead his side while Graham Toope, Geordie Howe, Adam Woodbine, Alex Arbelo, Scott Mcginley and Yuki Morikawa will all be lining up for the club again this season.
Dulwich Hill FC had a major squad upheaval over the off season with only four first grade players remaining at the club ahead of the 2020 campaign.
Dulwich Hill coach Paris Svilicich has brought in eight signings as Dully look to make a fresh start this season. New to their ranks are Tai Smith (Mounties), Luke Kairies (Wollongong Wolves), Gonzalo Paradanta (Canterbury Bankstown), Daniel Fornito (Dunbar), Jamie Dib (Macarthur), French import Maxime Arias, Justin Maddalena (NNSW) and Nathan Lopino who returns after a year out of the game. Ben Vidaic will also return to lead the Dully attack after he too had a year off.
Dunbar Rovers FC will be a new look side come their match next Saturday, with the eastern suburbs outfit bringing in eight new signings.
New players linking up with the side in 2020 include Aaron Zavolokin (Terrigal United), Andrew Alvanenga (Gazy Auburn), Justin Ivanovic (Granville Rage), Kyle Hazelbrook (Oak Flats Falcon), Luiz Lobo (Fraser Park), Mauro Leon-Devilla (Bonnyrigg), Raoul Zaccariotto (Waverley Old Boys) and Stefano Di Marino (Hawkesbury City).
Five former players have also found their way back to Hensley Athletic Field with Conor Earley, Dylan Deep-Jones, Jordan Seib, Nick Mouzourakis and Tod Bamber all returning to Rovers this season.
Last season’s semi-finalists Gladesville Ryde Magic have been busy in the off season, the men from Christie Park will have three brothers all lining up for their side this season.
The infamous trio of Chris, Michael and Harris Gaitatzis will all wear the Magic jersey this season. Chris returns for another season as club captain, Michael rejoins the club after spending last year playing in the NPL NSW Men’s top tier while Harris will link up with Gladesville for the first time with most of his career spent in the elite NSW league.
Magic welcome back Claudio Rosano this season, the Gladesville junior returns to the club after playing for Northern Tigers and most recently North Shore Mariners in the NPL 2.
NPL NSW 3 royalty Kyriakos Tohouroglou will continue his incredible service to the club after he signed on for another season between the sticks while Aaron Khan and Chris Kerr will once again lace up their boots for Magic. The pair have been incredible servants to Gladesville, with Khan entering his 10th season while it will be Kerr’s 9th year at the club.
A new era awaits Inter Lions FC as they prepare to move into their new state of the art facility in Concord at the back-end of April.
Inter have brought in a number of high-profile signings as they look to improve upon their 6th placed finish last season.
Hills United duo Marcus Zarantonello and Nathan Rayner have both made the switch to Inter, the club has also boosted their goalkeeping ranks with the signature of ex-Sydney Olympic shot stopper Enzo Consoni while Giuseppe Tilio and Matias Da Silva join from Sydney FC and St George FC respectively.
Macarthur Rams FC are one of the three outfits who join the competition from the NPL 2. There has been a major overhaul at the club over the off season with a host of Camden players rejoining the club.
All in all, there are a total of eight Camden players who have made the switch with Danny Martinez, Callum Rogers, Brad Durrant, Dean Mugridge, Sean Doherty, Bailey Simpson as well as Mitchell and Blake Brooker all joining the Rams.
The experienced Jason Breton will be in the hot seat for the 2020 season whilst club legend Craig Cooley has signed on for what will be his 15th season with the club.
Rydalmere Lions FC return to the competition after a two-year absence following their relegation from NPL 2.
The highly regarded and Scottish legend Gavin Rae will take the reins at Rydalmere after a successful stint at Hakoah. The former Scottish professional will once again be in the dugout with his trusted assistant in former NPL NSW Men’s gun player Neil Jablonski.
The Lions have revamped over the break and made a number of astute signings. The signature of former North Shore Mariners captain Ricky Woodward is a coup for the club whilst the addition of the experienced Mathew Clowes from Berries will no doubt strengthen the squad.
There looks to be a good mixture of youth and experience in the squad with Rae also managing to secure the signature of young gun Jake Chidiac from Central Coast Mariners as well as Louis Zacharopoulos who joins from nearby Spirit.
2019 Premiers Stanmore Hawks will look to bounce back from last year’s grand final heartache as they look to go one step further this season and be crowned league champions.
Ben Rollison has managed to tie down much of the same team that did so well last campaign and has added to it by bringing in some talent from rivals Bankstown City.
Midfield maestro Lawrence Hanna joins the Hawks from Bankstown while his teammate Adam Savetta will also feature for the inner west outfit this season.
Stanmore have also added to their defensive stocks with the capture of Paul Turrin from St George City FA.
Sydney University SFC will be striving for finals football come September as they look to improve upon last season’s 11th placed finish.
Uni’s new arrivals all have either NPL or NPL2 experience which will no doubt benefit the youthful squad. A familiar face will return to the side as Dale Howarth moves back to Sydney after a season away.
While there are four more players who will call Uni home for the 2020 season with Liam Thomas, Jonathon Karipis, Charlie Day and Harry Quirk all lining up for the ‘students’ this year.
Football NSW wishes the clubs and players all the best for what promises to be a thrilling season.
-By NPL 3 NSW Men’s Chief Writer Samuel Greco
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