Academy Preview: NPL3 host Essendon, Juniors at home


Melbourne Victory will look to continue its march towards automatic promotion on Sunday as they host Essendon Royals at Epping Stadium.

Joe Palatsides’ side maintained their six point gap at the top of the NPL3 standings last week with a 5-1 win over bottom placed Ballarat City.

The side’s form has been impressive over the past three weeks, scoring 14 goals and conceding one in their nine-point haul that has seen them tighten their grip on automatic promotion to NPL2.

The Royals, lead by former Victory midfielder, Michael Ferrante, sit in ninth spot on the table but have had a mid-season revival, picking up seven points in their last three games, going unbeaten in that period.

Victory were clinical in the last match up between the sides at Cross Keys Reserve in April, taking out a 4-1 win headlined by an Adem Duratovic double, and will look to replicate that result on Sunday at Epping Stadium.

Nobuyuki Usui was the scorer for the Royals in the last matchup between the sides and he will be the one to watch for the visitors once again this weekend, leading Essendon’s goal-scoring with five goals this season.

The Under 20’s will be looking to maintain their eight-point buffer at the top of the table in the curtain raiser.

Victory face Essendon on Sunday at Epping Stadium, kick-off 3.00pm Under 20’s 12.15pm.


Our junior sides host a Altona Magic, South Melbourne and Northcote City for their JBNPL1 Round 9 fixtures. 


The Afghan Women’s Team will be on a two-week hiatus with a bye and catch-up round in the State League 3 East competition.

The side will enter the break coming of a 1-1 draw with Monash Villareal last Sunday at Ron Barassi Snr Reserve in Docklands. The result has seen them relinquish top spot to Manningham United by goal difference with Manningham having a game in hand. Monash has also joined the AWT on the same points with the AWT having a better goal difference.