The Bankstown Umbro Premier League season has come to an end and after eighteen thrilling rounds of the regular season we head into an exciting weekend of finals football at Padstow Park this Saturday.
The first clash this Saturday will see Panania Diggers Reserve Grade team take on Padstow United’s Reserve Grade team in a 4th vs 5th knockout clash, before Yagoona Lions Reserve Grade team and Central Sydney Wolves Reserve Grade team go head-to-head with the winner of this game taking on the premiers of the Reserve Grade competition Bankstown Sports Strikers next weekend.
Our first 1st grade finals fixture will see Central Sydney Wolves battle with Panania Diggers as both sides look to keep their Grand Final hopes alive in a knockout final, before last year’s grand finalists meet with Bankstown Sports Strikers readying for battle against Padstow Hornets with the winner of this match taking on the premiers of the competition Yagoona Lions next weekend.
Reserve Grade Premiers, Bankstown Sports Strikers have a bye this round.
1st Grade Premiers, Yagoona Lions have a bye this round.
Reserve Grade Knock-out Final: Panania Diggers vs Padstow United, 5th August 1pm @ Padstow Park
Previous Meeting: Panania Diggers 2-3 Padstow United – Rd 17, 2023
Panania Diggers will look to win their first of two knock out final fixtures in the BUPL this weekend as they take on 5th placed Padstow United who look for a tough win as they are the underdogs in the final’s series.
When these two sides met in Round 17, Padstow United came down from a 2-1 deficit to win the game 3-2 which at that stage of the competition looked to all but confirm their spot in the final’s series.
4th placed Panania Diggers had a strong start to their season as they remained in the top two positions for almost the entirety of the campaign, however, in their final three games of the season they were only able to pick up one win which saw them slip out of the top two and into fourth position.
Defensively this season Panania Diggers have been one of the strongest teams in the competition having kept 8 clean sheets out of their 16 games this season. Panania were able to keep a clean sheet against Padstow United in their 1-0 win when they met in Round 9, however, they will be looking to be stronger in defence after their last game when they conceded three goals to a determined Padstow United in Round 17.
Panania Diggers goals this season have come from all over the pitch having lacked a consistent goal scorer in their squad. Panania Diggers Number 8, Jack Amy has scored 5 goals in their past 5 games as he could prove to be one of Panania’s biggest threats this weekend, however, with threats all over the pitch, Panania could look to threaten Padstow United’s defence from many different areas.
5th placed Padstow United had a rocky start to their season having lost four of their opening six games, however, they had resurgence during the season and finished strongly to push themselves into a finals position.
Notably, Padstow United have proven to be a side this year who can cause an upset as they are the only team left in the Reserve Grade Competition to defeat the premiers as they beat Bankstown Sports Strikers 4-0 back in Round 11.
Padstow United have won their past two games which will give them some positive momentum heading into this match. Padstow United have a mix of experience and youth in their squad and will certainly be determined to win this match as they are the only Padstow United team appearing in the BUPL finals series due to their 1st grade squad not making finals.
Both sides have proven all season that they are two strong teams, with both sides having won a fixture each against each other this season, expect this knockout final to be anyone’s to win.
Reserve Grade Preliminary Final: Yagoona Lions vs Central Sydney Wolves, 5th August 3pm @ Padstow Park
Previous Meeting: Yagoona Lions 3-1 Central Sydney Wolves – Rd 14, 2023
Yagoona Lions and Central Sydney Wolves Reserve Grade Squads meet for the 3rd time this season as both sides compete for the chance to play the premiers, Bankstown Sports Strikers in the semi finals next week and avoid a knockout final with the winner of the Reserve Grade Final played before them.
Yagoona Lions have looked to have the upper hand when these two sides have met this season as they defeated Central Sydney Wolves 3-1 in their most recent fixtures in Round 14 after the two sides drew 1-1 in Round 8.
Although Yagoona Lions finished 2nd on the ladder, these two sides were only separate by a 1-point after 16 rounds as this fixture looks to be a thriller on paper.
2nd placed Yagoona Lions are one of the form sides in the Reserve Grade finals series as they have managed to win six of their past seven matches, heading into this fixture with some positive momentum.
Yagoona Lions come off a massive boost in their final game of the regular competition having defeated Georges River Thistle 5-0. They also had five different goal scorers in the match which highlights their attacking strength across the pitch.
With Yagoona Lions First Grade side finishing 1st, they will be eager to win this match to guarantee both of their BUPL sides playing in the top Semi-Final next week to give both their sides a chance at an automatic Grand Final Spot.
3rd placed Central Sydney Wolves had the ideal finish to their season as they won their final two matches which saw them sneak in to the top three positions on goal difference.
Central Sydney Wolves play a very attacking brand of football which has seen them score 49 goals this season with multiple players in their side scoring four or more goals this season.
Central Sydney Wolves have a strong team on paper including last year’s BUPL Reserve Grade Gold medallist Mayas Hamdan who captains the side and will look lead them to a Grand Final spot this season.
With two very strong sides eager to win this match to avoid playing a knock-out Semi Final next weekend, this clash should provide plenty of entertainment.
1st Grade Knock-out Final: Central Sydney Wolves vs Panania Diggers, 5th August 5pm @ Padstow Park
Previous Meeting: Panania Diggers 2-3 Central Sydney Wolves – Round 10, 2023
It doesn’t get more exciting than this, Panania Diggers and Central Sydney Wolves will prepare to go into battle for the first of two-1st grade final matches this weekend which will see one of these two teams knocked out of the 1st Grade finals series in 2023.
When these two sides met in Round 10, Central Sydney Wolves were able to come back from a 2-1 deficit to win the game 3-2 after Kallie Bangura scored a last-minute winner for Central Sydney Wolves. However, when the sides met in Round 7, Panania Diggers won the match 3-2 as there doesn’t seem to be much splitting these two sides.
4th placed Central Sydney Wolves were able to jump Panania Diggers into 4th place as they won their final two matches 7-1 and 9-2 to give them massive encouragement heading into this knock-out final.
Saed Al-Zebdeh who joined the club from Bankstown Sports Strikers this season has given their side a massive boost in attack as he has scored the most goals for his side this season, he will look to be a constant threat to the Panania Diggers defence.
Central Sydney Wolves will play on Padstow Park for the seventh time this season which is a ground where may feel like they have a slight advantage to the rest of the competition having not lost in all their six games this season at Padstow Park and only conceded one goal.
With sixteen goals from their past two matches, expect the Wolves to continue to fire in attack this weekend.
5th placed Panania Diggers were the competition leaders for much of the 2023 season, however they have recently had a drop of form in their final five matches which has seen them only win one fixture.
Panania Diggers come off a bye in Round 18 which has given them an opportunity to have a week off before the finals series as they look find their best form back in a must win game this weekend.
Panania Diggers Joshua Adams has been one of the stars of the competition this season which has seen him be a consistent goal scorer and playmaker for his side this season. He will most likely play a key role in this game if his side are to get the important victory Saturday Night.
Arguably the most exciting finals match to be played on Saturday Night will see one side knocked out of the 1st Grade Finals series, expect this match to go down to the wire.
1st Grade Preliminary Final: Bankstown Sports Strikers vs Padstow Hornets, 5th August 7pm @ Padstow Park
Previous Meeting: Bankstown Sports Strikers 2-3 Padstow Hornets – Rd 16, 2023
The two 2022 Grand Finalists will go head-to-head for the third time this season in the first week of the final’s series in a fixture in the last few years that has proven to be a blockbuster every single time these two sides have met.
Both times these two sides have me this season the game has been split by one goal with Bankstown Sports Strikers victorious in the first meeting before Padstow Hornets went on to win the second time, they met in Round 16.
2nd placed Bankstown Sports Strikers have strong form coming into this fixture having won four of their past five matches, however, they will be out for revenge having taken their only loss in the last five weeks come at the hands of Padstow Hornets in Round 16.
Bankstown Sports Strikers finished the season off strongly last weekend against Revesby Workers as the won the game 8-3 with their main man up top, Robson Aparecido De Souza scoring five goals which will give him some confidence in front of goal heading into an important finals fixture.
Coach Ali Hassan has his side playing a unique style of football where they look to hold onto the ball and break down their opposition, if his side can stick to their tactics and not allow Padstow Hornets many chances in front of goal, they will go a long way to winning this game.
3rd placed Padstow Hornets found their feet after a rocky first half of the season which has seen them undefeated in their last nine games of the season which included seven wins.
Padstow Hornets are a side who understand how to win games in finals as they have won the competition numerous times over the last few years and will be eager to retain their champions status again this season.
Padstow Hornets attackers Mike Cklamovski and Neil Philippou have led their side in attack during the second half of the season as they charged up the ladder. They have combined for 26 goals in their last nine matches, and they will look to be in goal scoring form once again.
The final match of the BUPL finals this Saturday is going to be a blockbuster, it’s anyone’s match to win as the 2022 Grand Finalists go head-to-head.