Lambton Jaffas FC capture unique NPL Northern NSW premiership-championship double

Samuel Webb holds the NPL Northern NSW Championship trophy aloft on reveal after the Lambton Jaffas’ 2-1 Grand Final victory over Broadmeadow Magic. Photo: Sproule Sport Focus.

TEA Gardens soccer prodigy Samuel Webb has two big reasons to smile today.

After helping the Lambton Jaffas clinch a maiden National Premier League Northern NSW premiership-championship double in his debut season with the club, life is rosy for the gifted left fullback.

The Jaffas captured the imagination of the Newcastle Football public when they clinched back-to-back championships after a thrilling 2-1 Grand Final win over Broadmeadow Magic in the recent trophy decider at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

In front of a crowd of over 2000, the Jaffas collected their fourth championship and went back-to-back for the first time in the club’s history.

It followed the club securing this year’s minor premiership title after one of the most competitive and tightest NPL series on record.

The Jaffas (46 points) edged out Broadmeadow (45 points), Charlestown Azzurri (44 points), Maitland Magpies (40 points) and Weston Bears (39 points) to wrap up the minor premiership.

Turn the clock back twelve months and the 24-year-old Webb was putting his feet up after missing out on finals action with Cooks Hill United.

“To win both NPL trophies in the one season is a pretty big achievement, it’s one that I’m super proud of,” a delighted Webb told News Of The Area.

“Coming into the Grand Final we hadn’t lost a match in our past eleven games, we had a lot of momentum behind us.

“I think we controlled most of the match and created the better chances, we probably should have put the game to bed a little earlier,” said Samuel.

“Broadmeadow are a top team, they’re quick and mobile.

“I think the experience of our squad made us difficult to beat, we forced them to play a style of football they’re not quite used to.

“That’s what gave us the extra cutting edge,” he added.

A dedicated Webb continues to produce skilful performances under the coaching of David Tanchevski and Paul Gomez.

Having followed his mentor across to the Jaffas from Cooks Hill FC, the former Australian Indigenous Football representative has thrived in a competitive environment.

“When I arrived at the Lambton Jaffas there was an expectation to back up last year’s title-winning achievement which intensified as the season unfolded.

“There is quality throughout our whole squad, we were tipped to do well this season and we didn’t let that pressure get to us,” reflected Webb.

Samuel lapped up the opportunity to play alongside experienced campaigners such as former Socceroos defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley, former Newcastle Jets keeper Ben Kennedy and experienced campaigners and Grand Final goal scorers Reece Papas and Kale Bradbery.

This year’s Grand Final proved an absorbing tussle with the Jaffas grabbing a 1-0 lead through a spectacular long range Papas goal after 52 minutes following smart work by Ben Hay and Bailey Newton.

The lead was short lived after frontman Jayden Stewardson converted from the spot after Magic were awarded a controversial penalty.

Lambton stalwart Bradbery proved the hero with a stunning match-winner with just two minutes left in stoppage time.

The elusive Bradbery latched onto a perfect Hoole long pass and slotted the ball past keeper Jack Pandel.

The 29-year-old striker has now played in five Grand Finals with both Lambton and Broadmeadow, winning four and scoring in the most recent three.

Lambton’s versatile workhorse Riley McNaughton capped a super game by earning the Player of the Match award.

Despite a slow start to the season, Samuel had plenty of belief in the tight-knit Lambton squad.

“With several new players coming into the squad, it took some time to hit our straps. Our achievements this year reflect how hard we’ve worked to add to the success of this club.

“We’ve felt the support since day one and I couldn’t be prouder of the boys, nothing beats this feeling,” he beamed.

A proud Tanchevski, who won his third top grade premiership as a Lambton coach, described his squad as “amazing.”

“The boys have the biggest hearts and it just shows the character of the squad – I think the next few years are pretty exciting at the club,” he stated.

By Chris KARAS

A jubilant Lambton camp display the NPL championship spoils. Assistant Coach Paul Gomez, Samuel Webb, Bailey Newton, Head Coach David Tanchevski, Riley McNaughton and Pat Bond. Photo: Sproule Sport Focus.

Leave a Reply