Romero signing demonstrates value of NPL NSW as NSD project dawns

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As the National Second Division begins to take shape, Jason Romero’s signing for Macarthur FC is an example of what the National Premier Leagues NSW competition currently offers.

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With expressions of interest flooding in for the National Second Division, including many of the sides currently in the NPL NSW, it remains to be seen what the impact will be on the premier state competition.

NPL NSW star Jason Romero came off the bench for the final portion of the Bulls’ 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday afternoon in his debut game.

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Romero signed from former National Soccer League powerhouse APIA Leichhardt FC and had gotten off to a flying start picking up four goals in the side’s round two clash with Rockdale Ilinden. 

Macarthur coach Mile Sterjovski, who has himself spent time in the competition as a coach was impressed by the performance of his new forward, while also highlighting what he brings to the side. 

“I think we needed some fresh faces and somebody that was in form and fit,” he said.  

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“He ticked all the boxes for what we were looking for and in the NPL he’s pretty prolific with his goalscoring. We just wanted a bit more energy for us and somebody who can put the ball in the back of the net.”

Players in the NPL NSW have often signed for clubs in the A-League Men as injury replacements. Just earlier this season, Sydney United 58 defender Adrian Vlastelica signed for Sydney FC on a three-month deal after captaining United to the 2022 Australia Cup final. 

Sterjovski believes that there is plenty of talent in the competition, but finding it is a difficulty. 

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“I think it’s easier said than done. I think you really have to have a good connection with the clubs,” he explained.

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“I’m fortunate enough to have worked in the NPL for a couple of seasons now so I look for players who fit the profile of what I’m looking for.

“I think there are definitely players there, especially in our academy there are quite a few good young players coming through and I’m not afraid to use the young players if it’s needed, if it fits what we’re trying to do.

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“I think I have a good idea of what the gap is between the NPL and the A-League and which players can actually make the step up.” 

The NSD project is proposed to get underway next year and with an official format and selected teams set to be announced in the future.

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Feature image credit: Football New South Wales

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Timothy Gibson
I am a student currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism/ Bachelor of Laws while writing football match reports and feature articles.

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