PREVIEW: Goal fest on cards as Olympic host Napier in Men’s National League

By Luke Austin

Two of the country’s finest attacking teams meet at Martin Luckie Park on Saturday in a fixture that promises to deliver goals.

Olympic scored an impressive 79 goals during their Central League season (averaging more than four a game), while Napier put away 50.

Both sides comfortably won their opening games of the National League last weekend, with Napier beating Petone 3-0 at home and Olympic returning from South Auckland with a 5-2 win over Manurewa.

Wellington Olympic’s goalscoring defender Ben Mata. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Olympic’s goals have come from all directions in 2023, with Jack-Henry Sinclair, Hamish Watson, Kailan Gould and Benjamin Mata (who plays centre-back) all hitting double figures for goals scored during their Central League campaign.

Add to that the likes of Gavin Hoy, Gianni Bouzoukis and former All White Joel Stevens, who have all chipped in with several goals, and you have enough attacking talent to frighten any team in the country.

Main photo: Wellington Olympic’s Hamish Watson … double figures in this year’s Central League. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Despite their attacking dominance, Olympic also tend to concede a lot.

This is something Napier will look to take advantage of, especially attackers Deri Corfe and Jonathan McNamara.

Napier City Rovers’ Jonathan McNamara (right) contests the ball with Auckland City’s Aidan Carey. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

English import Corfe spent six years playing youth-level football at Manchester City before being released and playing professionally in the US and Scotland.

He has been a constant threat with the ball at his feet this season for Napier, finishing second in the Central League Golden Boot leaderboard with 15 goals and setting up many more for his teammates.

He marked his National League debut with a brace against Petone and will be eager to continue his fine form this weekend.

Bold prediction

I’m predicting a high-scoring game, with Olympic coming away with the win. But if Napier can contain the home side’s attack, they have what it takes to cause an upset.

The stage is set for an entertaining clash.

READ: Wellington Olympic’s match programme for Napier City Rovers game >>>>

Wellington Olympic squad


Scott Basalaj, Christopher Kotrotsos, Joshua Ingham, Jacob Daly


Jack Cawley, Joseph Hopper, Dylan Wood, Justin Gulley, Benjamin Mata, William Vincent


Tor Davenport Petersen, Nathaneal Hailemariam, Zach Hassall, Joshua Apaapa-Preston, Theo Ettema, Samuel Mitrakas, Tamupiwa Dimairo, Lukas Halikias, Leo Gunn, Hami Paranihi-Nuku, Theo Jones


Kailan Gould, Joel Stevens, Hamish Watson, Gianni Bouzoukis, Jack-Henry Sinclair, Devon Thurston, Gavin Hoy, Isa Prins, Gianluca Salas, Oliver Davies, James Murdoch-Gibbs

Napier City Rovers squad


Oscar Mason, Ben Graney, Kyle Baxter


George Andrew, Liam Schofield, Kaeden Atkins, Jack Albertini, Jim Hoyle, Fergus Neil


Ry McLeod, Ta Eh Doe, Sam Lack, Cam Emerson, Alex Mort, JC Mack, Harry Huxford


Deri Corfe, Jonny McNamara, Harry Mason, Stefan Karajovanovic, Christian Leopard

How to watch

The game will be one of 46 Men’s National League games to be live-streamed under the new content partnership between NZ Football and FIFA+.

READ MORE: ‘Gamechanging’ deal to provide more live-streaming of football than ever before >>>>


Game to be played on Saturday September 30, 2023

Wellington Olympic v Napier City Rovers
Martin Luckie Park, Berhampore, 1pm

Luke Austin

Luke Austin is a Wellington-based football fan and volunteer, who plays for Island Bay, and follows the Central League.

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