Eagles lose strike weapon

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DANIEL McBreen will be 10,000 kilometres away making his international and senior coaching debut when Edgeworth try to complete another title double in the Northern NSW NPL.
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Daniel McBreen

The veteran, though, does not believe the Eagles should miss him too much.

McBreen, 41, was the hero for Edgeworth on Sunday, coming off the bench and scoring in the 84thminute to clinch a 1-0 win over Lake Macquarie and the club’s fourth consecutive premiership.

However, the cameo could be the second-last McBreen makes for the Eagles, where he also tasted premiership success in 1999,2000,2016 and 2017.

The 2012-13 A-League golden boot and grand final man of the match with Central Coast will play against Valentine on Sunday in the last round before starting a stint as Guam national team assistant coach and analyst.

McBreenhas taken up an invitation from former North Queensland and Fulkirk teammateKarl Dodd, who became Guamnational coach this year.

Guam head to Japan for a five-day training camp before thefirst round of the East Asian Football Federation Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where they play the hosts, Macau and Northern Mariana Islands.

McBreen returns NPL grand final daybut will not be available if the Damian Zane-coached Eagles get past their fourth-placed opponents in a two-leg semi-final. Lambton Jaffas, Maitland and Hamilton can all finish fourth heading into the last round.

Although disappointed to miss the finals, McBreen was excited about the opportunity to coach senior football on the world stage.He holdsa coaching A-licence and guided the Jets Academy 16 years side to the NPL 18 years premiership this season.

“It should be a good experience,” McBreen said.

“I spoke to Zaney a while ago and said it might be happening, and he understood.Coaching is what I want to do and it’s too good of an opportunity to knock back.

“The young boys have been doing well lately so they shouldn’t miss me too much.

“It’s obviously quite a young team but they do well and step up when they need to.And it will be a good experience for them too in the finals.”

Zane has had McBreen, their 2016 grand final man of the match,coming off thebench the past three weeks in preparation for the departure.

“We’re going to miss him,” Zane said.

“He’s not a bad guy to have and against Maitland or Hamilton, he would have started in those semi-finals, so it’s a loss straight away.”

The development means the match against wooden spooners Valentine at CB Complex could be McBreen’s last.He is focused on coaching andhas also started a new role with the Newcastle Jets as theircommunity liaison officer.

“I still haven’t made up my mind on that one and I’ve got to sit down with Zaney and see if they want me as well,” he said.

“They’ve got young boys coming through, so they might say it’s time to go. We’ll see.”

Regardless, McBreen was savouring another memorable moment with Edgeworth, where his late father, Jim, won two premierships.

“It was Old Boys’ day so we had a few guys there on the hill who played with my Old Man back in the ’70s and a few of the boys who played with me first time around in 1999-2000, so it was pretty good,” he said of Sunday’s match-winner.

Meanwhile, the crucial Maitland v Broadmeadow match at Cooks Square Park on Saturday has been moved back to a 6pm start –the same time as Hamiltonv Weston at Darling Street Oval.

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