Broadmeadow coach Jake Curley admits he will be a nervous at-home spectator as Magic battle Newcastle Olympic on Friday night in a match which could end up determining the 2021 Newcastle Herald Women's Premier League premiership.
Curley lives at Norah Head on the Central Coast and is under Greater Sydney lockdown conditions due to the latest coronavirus outbreak.
He has not been able to attend a match or training since Magic demolished Mid Coast 10-0 in round 13 on June 26.
Former W-League defender and Magic centre-back Kirstyn Antoni also lives on the Central Coast and will not be available for the top-of-the-table, round-16 clash, which will be livestreamed through BarTV Sports from 8pm.
"It's challenging but we've just got to manage it until we get out of lockdown," Curley said. "The good thing about this week's game is it's on BarTV, so I can watch it live.
"From my perspective, it will probably be a nervous watch but this time around we've got Erin [Wilson] back, we've got Lucy Kell back, the girls are scoring quite a lot of goals and are being pretty effective."
Taking chances will be key to success with little separating the sides.
Olympic are the competition leaders with 39 points. Magic are two behind on 37. They are both well clear of third-placed Adamstown on 22 points and have only lost to each other - Magic won 2-0 in round two and Olympic 1-0 in round eight.
Broadmeadow also dropped points in a 2-2 draw with Warners Bay in round seven. Both have scored 53 goals while Olympic have conceded 12 compared to Magic's 10.
"Between us, it's just about who scores the goals, really," Curley said.
"So for us, it's just about who can finish. That's the area that's the key for us."
Olympic are without midfielder Jade McAtamney, who also lives on the Central Coast, but coach Harmonie Attwill will otherwise have a full complement to choose from.
Former W-League defender Stacey Day has been increasingly getting more game time since returning from a knee complaint and attacker Keea Parrish featured off the bench against Warners Bay on Sunday, playing her first minutes since sustaining a hamstring injury in round seven.
"We're looking forward to it," Attwill said. "There's nothing wrong with being pushed to be your best and we like those games against Magic. They're always tough. I think they can bring out the best in us. Sometimes they can bring out the worst in us too.
"It could go either way. If everyone does their job, we can win the game."
Meanwhile, New Lambton produced their first win of the season when they beat Charlestown 3-2 at Alder Park on Wednesday night.
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