Broadmeadow coach Anthony Richards believed the hard work of his players during the COVID-19 break was the key to their flying start against Valentine on Sunday.
Magic were the most impressive side in round one of the delayed Northern NSW NPL season, beating Phoenix 5-0 at CB Complex.
James Virgili scored a first-half double and captain Luke Virgili struck early in the second. Recruit Mitch Rooke and Jacob Dowse, who was returning from a long-term injury, iced the win late.
It was a quality performance, especially considering the loss of Mitch Oxborrow, Kale Bradbery, Kristian Brymora, Justin Broadley, Josh Piddington and Paul Bitz from last year's side.
Valentine had recruited quality in former professionals Danny Ireland, Adam Hughes and Alex Read.
Richards believed his team's fitness gave them an edge.
"They've worked really hard," Richards said.
"We've had a good 20s, reserve grade side for while and we've been playing those boys and they've given us a good go.
"They've all worked hard to keep fit during COVID and I think that was the difference on the day."
Magic also had the distraction of uncertainty over the club's head coaching position.
Richards told the club a month ago he was unable to commit to 2021. Magic then signed Edgeworth's Damian Zane, who Richards said would be integrated into the club in a couple of weeks.
"We get on really well and caught up for a coffee on the weekend," Richards said.
"He'll transition in as the season goes on."
"He'll probably come in in a couple of weeks.
"We've got enough coaches there at the moment. Ruben [Zadkovich], John Bennis, Cass [Koppen], a heap helping out, and it would only confuse things.
"At the moment everyone needs to concentrate on the job and have no distractions.
"We'll make it a nice transition."
Meanwhile, Tom Smart resumes training this week with Magic after missing sessions because of work commitments.
Richards said Smart, who was signed from Charlestown, would start in reserve grade this week.
James Gardiner reports: Josh Rose won an A-League championship for the Central Coast and played nearly 200 A-League games at left fullback.
He played the same role in his opening two season at Edgeworth, but the 38-year-old's days of getting up and down the left touch line appear over.
Rose started at the point of the Eagles attack in the 4-1 win over Maitland and was their most dangerous player. He set up the Eagles' opener with an inch-perfect through ball for Will Bower and went close at least three times himself.
"It is something we have been working on," coach Keelan Hamilton said.
"I had a lot to do with Mitch Hunter coming into the squad as well.
"Rosey can give us some real quality and nous in that front third. Starting as a central striker he did well in the early part of the game. He gave us a good outlet and linked up play."
** Keelan Hamilton did his homework in the lead up to his first game in charge of Edgeworth.
In a surprise, Hamilton introduced Keanu Moore for Dylan Holz after just 32 minutes of the 4-1 win over Maitland and later revealed it was part of the game plan.
"I did research on a lot of games around the world that have come back after coronavirus," Hamilton explained. "There have been a lot of goals scored in that period when the game is stretched out. "
The Eagles were leading 1-0 at the time and doubled their advantage against a tiring defence on the stroke of half-time.
"It was a hard one for Dylan," Hamilton said. "He sacrificed himself for the team today. He has known about the plan for a while. He would have wanted to play more minutes, but he is working back to full fitness as well."
** Maitland attacker Matt Comerford's first game in two years ended in heartache.
The striker, making his return from a serious knee injury, was injected off the bench in the 65th minute for Mat Swan.
But he lasted just 12 minutes before clutching at his right hamstring.
"He has been putting in during the pre-season so it is unfortunate for him," coach Mick Bolch said. "Hopefully he has only twinged his hammy and he is out for a week or two."