The NPL 3 season is back this weekend as Western United prepares to take on Nunawading City to kick off the 2022 campaign.
Western United vs Nunawading City
Sunday, 20 March
Kick-off: 12:30pm AEDT (Under 21’s), 3:00pm AEDT (Seniors)
City Vista Recreation Reserve, Caroline Springs
Western United members will have free access to home matches all season.
A new era for the Western United Academy
Anthony Frost will take charge of his first official match in the NPL 3 competition after joining Western United as the Club’s inaugural Academy Director and new Senior Men’s NPL Head Coach.
Frost has worked in previous academy roles at Melbourne City while also being involved in the national team pathway as an assistant coach in the Australian Men’s U20 team.
Speaking in December at the very beginning of his time in the new role, Frost said he is eager to help shape the Academy for the West.
“It means I’ve got the opportunity to take the experiences I’ve had in different roles and different environments and try and take into consideration the context of the Club; make sure there’s a really clear connection with the West,” he said.
“The selling point for me – bringing in players, bringing in coaching and support staff – is that they can be part of that journey and really shape things in the direction that we want to go.”
Fresh squad for the 2022 season
Western United announced its 2022 NPL squad last week, with the majority of players in this year’s side retained from the Club’s inaugural academy team in 2021.
The success of Western United’s first NPL season saw four players sign scholarship contracts with the A-League Men side, and all players on scholarship deals in the senior team will be available for Frost to select as he wishes.
There have also been a number of additions to the coaching staff alongside Frost, with former Melbourne Victory, Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory midfielder Diogo Ferreira joining as Senior Men’s NPL Assistant Coach.
Pablo Puime will operate in an assistant coaching role in the Under 21’s side, working under Vaughan Coveny who will resume his position as Under 21’s Head Coach.
Mate Dugandzic has also joined the coaching staff having made 130 appearances in the A-League Men as a player, and will step into a development coach role.
Big Round 1 fixture to kick off the season
Western United will call City Vista Recreation Reserve its home for the entire NPL 3 season this year, and the Caroline Springs venue will play host to a big Round 1 clash against Nunawading City.
The Green and Black was sitting in third place on the table and just one point adrift of the top when the 2021 season was suspended due to COVID-19, with Nunawading eight points further back in seventh.
The two sides only got to meet once last season due to the shortened schedule, and it was a thrilling 3-2 win for United.
Frost and his players will be out to begin the season with a win and resume where the side left off last year in fighting for promotion, with the NPL 3 set to be hotly contested once again in 2022.