Manly United crowned 2020 NPL NSW Women's Champions

The underdog showed fantastic character and heart to once more come from behind, only this time to claim the Championship. 

Sydney University had already began engraving their name on the trophy but it wasn’t to be as Manly United came away with what turned out to be a comfortable victory.

It wasn’t just a battle for the Championship between Sydney University and Manly United but a battle between two coaches to finish their incredible runs at their respective clubs with the best possible accolade.

United started well, taking confidence from last week’s game despite not having their super star Remy Siemsen available.

The Premiers would take the lead though after only nine minutes.

A deep corner by Rachel Soutar found Teigen Collister at the far post.

Only Collister knows how she didn’t score but instead her effort hit Grace Maher and the ball crossed the line in bizarre fashion.

Uni took control from here and created a few more half chances through set pieces and the dangerous Collister down the left.

But it would be the drinks break that changed the game.

Manly came out a different team and had their equaliser soon after.

A fine delivery by last weekend’s hero Libby Copus-Brown found the head of Emily Minett who powered a fantastic header into the back of the net.

It gave further life to the United attack as they grew in confidence.

It was another set piece that would undo Uni.

Uni didn’t deal with a cross in from the left which Tara Andrews took full advantage of, making no mistake and putting United in front at the break.

The second half it was expected Uni would come out with all out-attack mentality.

Instead it was fine game management from Manly.

Chris Williams’ team did everything right, slowing the game down at set pieces, disciplined in defence, direct when going forward and breaking down the play.

Uni had no answer and couldn’t break down the stubborn Manly wall.

Despite throwing everything forward in search of an equaliser, Alex Epakis’ side couldn’t find that elusive goal to send the game to extra time.

Chris Williams would win the sideline battle and finish his final game in charge of Manly with a victory.

Through my time as the NPL NSW Women’s writer, I’d like to take a moment to thank these two incredible gentlemen for all the work they have done for the women’s game in this state.

They will be sorely missed in the 2021 season and I wish them the best of luck in their future career endeavours.

By Nikola Pozder, NPL NSW Women’s writer