3 years ago, Kewell gave a pep talk to an Aussie kid. He just arrived in the NPL with a stunner

It was another entertaining weekend of football in the National Premier Leagues, and beyond, across Australia. KEEPUP brings you the best bits.

Mariners youngster opens his account in style

Aydan Hammond announced himself with his first goals in NPLM NSW over the weekend.

The Central Coast Mariners prospect scored twice, including a ‘Goal of the Season contender’ in a 4-2 win over Bulls FC Academy on Sunday.

Hammond, who spent some of his youth abroad playing in Portugal, broke the deadlock with a moment of individual brilliance at Pluim Park.

The 19-year-old showed off his quick feet and movement in the 41st minute, shifting past three opponents before finding the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

He also scored a header in the 73rd minute as the Mariners bounced back from defeat to sit 10th in the standings, while Zeljko Kalac’s young Bulls are bottom.

From Sydney, Hammond was schooled at Belenenses in Portugal while his older brother Tristan, who represented Australia at the Under-17 World Cup in 2019, played for Sporting CP in Lisbon and also knocked back an approach to switch allegiances to Peru, opting to pursue a future with Australia instead.

Hammond – who has a Peruvian mother and an Italian passport – also previously trialled at Leeds United.

During his time abroad, he crossed paths with Socceroos legend Harry Kewell and received some sound advice.

“It was amazing meeting him – my dad (Shane) played with him when they were both at the NSW Institute of Sport and has always been a huge fan, just like me,” Aydan told SBS Sport in 2020.

“To get to meet him was just a different feeling. He took me aside and gave me a bit of a pep talk and was interested that I’d trained with Leeds.

“It would be incredible to achieve what he’s done – he gave me so much advice and told me to forget about the parties and just work hard and stay focused. He said the more I put in the further I’ll go.”

More recently, Hamond was part of the Australia squad that qualified for the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan, where the Young Socceroos went on to reach the quarter-finals.

Elsewhere in NPLM NSW, APIA Leichhardt remain the team to beat – six points clear atop the standings following their 2-1 win away to Rockdale City Suns.

South Melbourne’s wild seven-goal shoot-out

Imagine coughing up a three-goal lead, only to go on and win the game 4-3 in the 89th minute? Step forward South Melbourne.

Sunday’s NPLW VIC showdown between South and league-leading Boroondara-Carey Eagles had it all.

In difficult conditions at Lakeside Stadium, South raced out to a 3-0 lead inside 16 minutes.

Boroondara hit back with two goals before half-time and then managed to equalised within a minute of the restart away from home.

But as time was running out, captain Danielle Wise popped up in the final minute of regulation to give South a memorable victory.

South are now within two points of Boroondara in second position, while defending champions Calder United crushed Bayside United 6-2.

In NPLW NSW, APIA Leichhardt’s red-hot start to the season continued with their ninth consecutive win – a 3-0 victory against Northern Tigers.

Over in NPLW QLD, Lions FC were 3-1 winners over Gold Coast United to stay five points clear at the summit while Perth RedStar extended their advantage in NPLW WA courtesy of a 2-0 success against Hyundai NTC.

NPLW SA leaders Adelaide Comets humbled Flinders United 9-1.

Can anyone stop RedStar’s talisman?

Another game and another hat-trick for reigning Golden Boot winner Daryl Nicol in NPLM WA.

Nicol’s treble fuelled Perth RedStar’s 5-1 demolition of Cockburn City.

The Scottish forward has already scored 13 goals this season as RedStar sit second in the standings, two points behind Stirling Lions after 10 games.

In NPLM VIC, Avondale FC and South Melbourne are level on points at the top of the table following respective 5-2 and 1-0 wins over Altona Magic and Gren Gully.

MetroStars stretched their lead in NPLM SA to five points as their rivals dropped points over the weekend.

Second-placed Campbelltown City lost 1-0 to MetroStars, while Adelaide United went down 3-1 to reigning champions Adelaide City.

In Tasmania’s men’s competition, Devonport City’s unbeaten season continued with a 2-1 win away to Zebras, while NPLM Capital Football leaders Canberra Olympic routed Woden Weston 4-0.