Futsal State League Grand Final Review


The Futsal State League championship day delivered everything it promised with nine outstanding trophy matches held at a packed Valentine Sports Park, featuring several come-from-behind wins, some stunning upsets and plenty of outstanding play.

Sutherland came away with little despite fielding five grand final sides and it was left to club champions South Coast to clean up with three Taipans victories (17 Girls, 15 Girls & 14 Boys) matching the feats of Eastern Suburbs Hakoah (Open Men, 13 Girls & 12 Boys). Boomerangs won the Open Women and Youth Men divisions.

Open Men – premiers & champions Eastern Suburbs Hakoah

Open Women – premiers & champions Boomerangs

Youth Men – premiers Sutherland Shire; champions Boomerangs

17 Girls – premiers & champions South Coast Taipans

16 Boys – premiers & champions Sydney City Eagles

15 Girls – premiers & champions South Coast Taipans

14 Boys – premiers Sydney City Eagles; champions South Coast Taipans

13 Girls – premiers South Coast Taipans; champions Eastern Suburbs Hakoah

12 Boys – premiers & champions Eastern Suburbs Hakoah

Open Men – Hakoah repel Raiders

Eastern Suburbs Hakoah lifted the Open Men trophy following an absorbing 1-0 championship win against a Raiders outfit that resembled gladiators in a heartbreaking third straight grand final defeat – again within a blade of victory.

Hakoah looked sharp from the opening whistle and threatened several times before nailing the first goal, Raiders defender Adam Savetta brave in blocking a close-range Hakoah shot on the line only for the ball to fall nicely for Robert Ezekiel to poke in from a metre out and Easts led 1-0 after seven minutes.

Raiders glovesman Nenad Vekic was superb in blocking a Jordan Mundell drive minutes later and he was continually getting busier until team-mate Damien Smith clipped the crossbar with a stirring Raiders effort to take some pressure off their defence.

Dylan Basger missed a great opening for Hakoah midway through the term and Easts keeper Max Nightingale pulled off a brilliant save to continue his side’s edge.

The match then balanced out neatly with both sides creating and missing some obvious chances, the goalkeeping exploits of Daniel and Nightingale cancelling each other out as Easts clung to a tense one-goal gap at the interval.

The Raiders shotstopper sought to inspire his team with a bold dash up court to start the second half and his lay-off to Jovan Miladinovic was sublime, as was Nightingale’s smother to douse the attack, and Daniel then had to bolt back to deny a sneaky Hakoah counter.

Daniel kept working hard and trailed a hand to stop Jarrod Basger from scoring, both sides finding it hard to hit the back of the net.

Kodai Hayashi came very close as his shot on the turn as he was being dragged down stung the hands of Nightingale, who then had to organise his defence to stop Goran Ljuboja’s freekick missile.

Hakoah were being tested as Raiders enjoyed a spurt of possession and chances inside the Easts final-third, but they weathered the storm and fired back a salvo of their own, a Jarrod Basger rocket denied by the acrobatics of Daniel.

There was further uproar with a dozen minutes to go when Goran Ljuboja’s drive into the corner while Nightingale was on the ground bounced off Basger’s shoulder, but the officials deemed it legitimate and the arm-wrestle continued.

Whether his team won or lost you couldn’t fault Vekic in goal for Raiders – he was everywhere: blocking shots, intercepting passes and sparking attacks as he sought to lift his side.

Paul Meltz missed a golden chance to strengthen Hakoah’s stocks but his shot at an open net drifted agonisingly wide, and it almost proved costly as Nightingale had to pull off a remarkable reflex save to prevent Raiders from equalising.

It was all or nothing for Raiders inside the final two minutes and they couldn’t find enough kitchen sinks to throw as Easts held on for a nervewracking 1-0 victory – their 12th straight win of an unbeaten summer.

Hakoah coach Doron Pozniak made a beeline for the bathroom straight after final whistle to expel some anxious moments, but he returned with a Cheshire grin that certainly told the story.

“I sweated more as a coach in this game than I ever did as a player, where I used to just hang around at the back,” he laughed as he wiped his brow yet again.

“That trophy was a long time coming for an amazing bunch of boys. We could’ve put it to the sword a number of times but their keeper (Vekic) was outstanding; and I think our composure was quite good, even though it probably didn’t look like it.”

“The sport’s definitely growing and to get it to a quality like we saw in this game is the reason why we keep getting better as a Futsal-playing country.”

No team’s been able to keep Hakoah under three goals a game this season, unfortunately Raiders did it the same day they put in their first scoreless performance. But three straight grand final appearances has helped define Raiders as the team everyone fears, and player-coach Goran Ljuboja wore two very different emotions on his sleeve post-game.

“I’m gutted,” he said. “That’s three in a row we’ve lost… but I really couldn’t be prouder of the way we played. We had so many chances and showed we really wanted to win it, but their keeper was on fire and full congratulations to Hakoah for an incredible season.”

“But, tonight, the game won. The standard of Futsal both sides put on showed just how far we’ve come and it’s always good to be part of something like that.”

Eastern Suburbs Hakoah: Max Nightingale, Zac Rabie, Garen Douzian, Robert Ezekiel, Gilad Swartz, James Brunacci, Joshua Shubitz, Mark Filler, Andy Kanchik, Jordan Mundell, Paul Meltz, Dylan Basger, Jarrod Basger, Coach Doron Pozniak, Manager Paul Meltz

Raiders Futsal Club: Ibrahim Daniel, James Raiti, Adam Savetta, Damien Smith, Christopher Godoy Bascur, Goran Ljuboja, Slaven Ljuboja, Christopher Marco, Adam Voloder, Kodai Hayashi, Jovan Miladinovic, Nenad Vekic, Coach Goran Ljuboja, Manager Yako Rageed

Referees: Daniel Mathie , Peter Liaros, Salma Aly

Open Women – Boomerangs break Sutherland

Sutherland Shire were excellent value in a heartbreaking 2-3 loss to premiers Boomerangs in a riveting Open Women grand final at Valentine Sports Park.

The Territorians hadn’t lost since a 3-1 opening round defeat to Sutherland but they were faced with a tough Shire challenge from the outset.

A cagey opening saw Boomerangs with the only half-chances, Madelyn Whittall’s shot clipping the post on the way out and Alex Martens shooting just over the bar, and then (as it often does) Sutherland turned the tables with a Melissah Parlato goal against the run of play making it 1-0 to Shire.

Montana Bolzan had a good chance to double the lead five minutes out from halftime but Boomerangs custodian Sophie Rolfe was up to the task with a fine block, her Sutherland counterpart Amy Woodhouse also contributing with a couple of great saves at the opposite end to maintain Shire’s slight edge at the interval.

Sutherland’s Emma Noro was presented a good opportunity seconds into the second term with Rolfe pulling off a great block, but they didn’t have to wait much longer to find a breakthrough with Megan Embleton capitalising on some good lead-up play from Parlato to double the Shire lead.

Their joy was shortlived however as Whittall went on a canter upcourt and finished off superbly and then Olivia Gurney pounced with a 12-metre dazzler that brought Boomerangs right back into the contest at 2-2 with 10 minutes to play.

Gurney added to her heroics with a second goal with five minutes to play and Boomerangs held on for a nailbiting 3-2 victory, much to the delight of stalwart coach Kristian Collins.

“We were behind 3-0 in the semi-final and came back and we were down again today. Traditionally we’re not good coming from behind but the girls put in another great effort,” he said.

“We’ve got some good young girls coming through learning off the experienced older girls and that’s made a good balance in the team… hopefully it’s the sort of progress that will help get the club back into premier league very soon.”

Boomerangs FS: Rebecca Collins, Rebecca Watts, Michelle Aurousseau, Michaela Day, Sabrina Spinapolice, Madelyn Whittall, Olivia Gurney, Sophie Rolfe, Hayley Buckingham, Alex Martens, Ruth Kravis, Ragel Corbett, Coach Kristian Collins & Sam Smith & Michelle Aurosseau, Manager Jennifer Rolfe

Sutherland Shire: Amy Woodhouse, Raegan Deeley, Megan Embleton, Emma Noro, Willow Shorrocks, Alisha Dudman, Melissah Parlato, Montana Bolzan, Allegra Vickas, Mikayla Cecere, Coach Glenn Woodhouse & Glenn Errington, Manager Tania Black

Referees: Cameron Lee, Kaine Mannell, Matthew McOrist

Youth Men – Boomerangs bring down Sutherland

Boomerangs played out of their skins to bring down previously unbeaten Youth Men premiers Sutherland Shire 4-3 in an exciting trophy match at Valentine Sports Park.

The result was sweet revenge for two heartbreaking defeats during the season – 4-3 in the opening round and a penalty shootout loss in the major semi-final – and underlined the Australian capital’s deep Futsal talent

Boomerangs fired the first shot across the bow when Thomas Zeitlhofer showed dexterity in beating three Shire players, including Sutherland keeper Brad Peryman, only to see his shot into an open goal denied by some brilliant scrambling defence.

Shire fired straight back when James Markovic fed Jack Lombo across goal and his shot was well blocked by Boomerangs glovesman Zachary Sorenson.

The game was well and truly alive as Jake Wilsener found Boomers team-mate Ben Basser-Silk on the right and his strike cannoned off the upright with the contest flowing from one end to the other.

Boomerangs eventually hit the front with a terrific team goal when Jonathan Ciminelli lured Peryman out and laid across for Basser-Silk to push home into an open net and the Territorians led 1-0.

Nicholas Rathjen almost doubled the advantage with a cheeky backheel in front of goal that was nervously nudged clear by the Sutherland defence.

At the other end Lombo had a great chance to square it up for Shire after Boomerangs lost it in defence and Sorenson was heroic in his dive to knock it clear, but he couldn’t do anything to stop Nathan Spinola’s cutback for Rodney Lewin to smash home and tie it up at 1-1 just before the break. 

The Boomers nudged in front again when Basser-Silk passed to Ciminelli away from goal and no-one closed him out so he blasted away from range into the top corner to make it 2-1.

An amazing reflex save from Peryman stopped Basser-Silk’s low poke but Chris Smith’s neat pass for Michael Rinaudo to finish off extended the Boomerangs break to 3-1, and Zeitlhofer’s fastbreak goal against a Shire fifth-man press seconds later gave Boomerangs a healthy three-goal cushion.

Sutherland never stopped trying and their tenacity paid off when Spinola’s hopeful shot ricocheted off team-mate Steven Kalantzis into goal to halve the deficit with minutes remaining and they grabbed another through Samuel Gulisano seconds later, but it was too late as Boomerangs pulled off a stunning 4-3 victory.

Sutherland Shire: James Markovic, Rodney Lewin, Brandon Groom, Jack Lombo, Nathan Spinola, Steven Kalantzis, Samuel Gulisano, Bradley Peryman, Scott Armstrong, Thomas Papa, Samuel Kelly, Coach Babak Menati, Managers Frances Groom & Leanne Peryman

Boomerangs FS: Benjamin Basser Silk, Thomas Zeitlhofer, Jonathan Ciminelli, Jake Wilsener, Nicholas Van Aalst, Nicholas Rathjen, Michael Rinaudo, Christopher Smith, Zachary Sorenson, David O’Gorman, Coach Grant Davoren & Sam Smith & Daniel Fulton, Manager Leah Zeitlhofer

Referees: Salma Aly, Matthew McOrist, Jordan Lake

17 Girls – Coast overcomes Shire

17 Girls premiers South Coast Taipans had to fight hard for a 2-0 victory over fourth-placed Sutherland Shire at Valentine Sports Park – in the end a miserly Taipans defence proved the difference, with the Coasters conceding just 14 goals in 14 glorious games over summer.

Sutherland goalkeeper Mikayla Cecere made an immediate impact on the decider with a couple of good saves to deny South Coast, while Ehlana Hards was proving a handful for the Taipans defence at the other end, and Coast keeper Miriam Bartlett was also having a fine game to ensure a 0-0 halftime stalemate.

With chances at a minimal and the contest getting scrappy the game finally got the goal it needed and what a goal it was with South Coast’s Kaitlyn Leadbetter playing a delightful tap to Heather Duffy on the burst down the sideline and she played it perfectly across for Eboni Fraser to smash it in at the far post, the lead doubled within seconds after Rylee McGartland rocketed home another solid Taipans attack. 

Although the final scoreline was 2-0 to the Southerners, Sutherland can thank Cecere for giving them a chance as she courageously denied Coast’s big guns on several occasions.

South Coast Taipans: Miriam Bartlett, Katelyn Leadbeatter, Heather Duffy, Kari Gonzalez, Abigail Jordan, Rylee McGartland, Eboni Fraser, Emma Gidney, Kya Stewart, Beth Whitaker, Breanna Payne, Olivia Mavridis, Roisin Collier, Coach Bobby Mazeviski, Managers Colin Bartlett & Ellen Bartlett

Sutherland Shire: Raegan Deeley, Kate Mateffy, Shannon Thompson, Ehlana Hards, Shannon Tevardy Coolican, Madeleine Fox, Mikayla Cecere, Olivia Buckley, Mollie Lombo, Chantelle Symes, Coach Glenn Woodhouse & Glenn Errington, Managers Nelida Hards & Jeremy Hards

Referees: Hang Lee, Gordon McOrist, Kaine Mannell

16 Boys – Eagles peck Sutherland

16 Boys premiers Sydney City Eagles stormed home to snatch the Cup from a worthy Sutherland at Valentine Sports Park, winning a gritty game 3-2 after Shire led late in the game.

A tentative start was broken when Sutherland’s Matthew Donnelly fed Reece McAlpine on a superb fast break for Shire to grab the early ascendancy, and City glovesman Michael Figueira was superb in denying a second attempt from the same combination seconds later.

Perry Kambitsis almost drew Eagles level as Shire keeper Mitchell Georgievski dropped fast to stop the deft grasscutter, but it was 1-1 soon enough when Mario Shabow’s low cross was turned into the Sutherland net by Shire defender Thomas Papa.

The Shire boys then went ahead a second time when Samuel Kelly danced his way up court and shot well inside the D to make it 2-1 just before oranges.

A chess match broke out in the second stanza as both sides probed and it was City’s Yasser A-Taay who found the breakthrough with a great individual goal that returned the score to evens, 2-2.

Al-Taay then turned provider as he squared up Dimitri Konstantinidis across goal and his team-mate gave the pass true justice with a strong finish.

Georgievski threw his body on the line to keep Sutherland in the contest and Reece McAlpine sprinted off the bench to almost snatch a Shire equaliser but Eagles anxiously held on for a spirited victory.

Sydney City Eagles: Pierguido De Maio, Yasser Al-Taay, John Morabito, Mario Shabow, Cameron Caligiuri, Dimitri Konstantinidis, Nikita Parkes, Joshua Evans, Perry Kambitsis, Michael Figueira, Vincent Breckenridge, Mohamed Al Taay, Coach Roy Perre & Matthew Trotter, Manager Irene Konstantinidis

Sutherland Shire: Ryan Tran, Mitchell Georgievski, Brock Whiffin, Ryan Fletcher, Mitchell Tran, Reece McAlpine, Scott Armstrong, Christopher Katsaros, Thomas Papa, Samuel Kelly, Matthew Donnelly, Mitchell Ward, Coach Jordan Guerreiro, Manager Colin Armstrong & Jum Apostolovski & Manager Bradley Peryman

Referees: Janush Adabjou, Jordan Lake, Matthew McOrist

15 Girls – Coast deny Raiders 

South Coast Taipans made it a premiership-championship double with a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win against an invigorated Raiders outfit at Valentine Sports Park.

Taipans keeper Emma Gidney had the first say of the game when she denied a Raiders rocket but she couldn’t do anything to stop Nicole Ossio’s far-post tap-in after Isabella Libri’s hypnotic dance down the sideline as Raiders led 1-0 early.

The second goal was incredible as Alyssa Marco lined up a Raiders freekick in front that smashed off the wall and her blistering follow-up smashed into team-mate’s Libri’s face and into goal for a two-goal buffer by halftime.

South Coast got themselves back into it immediately when Beth Whitaker fed Danika Matos for a rapid Taipans goal that halved the deficit straight after the restart.

The Coasters were storming back into the match and Raiders keeper Regan Hill had to be brave in blocking a Breanna Payne freekick and dropped low to keep out an audacious Payne try from halfway, but disaster struck when a Raider player turned the ball away at the back and Matos finished clinically for Taipans from the top of the D to draw the sides level at 2-2.

The stadium then erupted when Gidney appeared to carry the ball over her own line in an outstanding save at the other end, Raiders fans screaming the goal should stand as both referees waved play on.

Hill was again excellent in initially denying Claytyn Gehrke’s close-range effort but was isolated as Kya Stewart powered home from a couple metres out to push Taipans in front for the first time with just minutes remaining, and South Coast nervously held on to claim an exciting win – their third successive one-goal victory over Raiders.

South Coast Taipans: Emma Gidney, Claytyn Gehrke, Kya Stewart, Beth Whitaker, Danika Matos, Ashley Kotevski, Breanna Payne, Rebekah Hutton, Olivia Mavridis, Roisin Collier, Coach Adam Potts, Manager Fay Matos

Raiders Futsal Club: Regan Hill, Emma Voloder, Jessica Fallah, Isabella Libri, Kira Maggio, Alyssa Marco, Keely McBride, Nicole Ossio, Angela Petrusevic, Doveinah Vine, Coach John Ossio, Manager Tina Libri

Referees: Grace Pears, Laura Hockings, Julian Nichols

14 Boys – Taipans nip Sutherland

South Coast Taipans claimed an exciting 3-2 grand final win over a very good Sutherland Shire, Tim Chapman finding the winning goal with just seconds to play in an enthralling contest at Valentine Sports Park.

The match began at a frenetic pace with a high degree of skill but the first goal was anything but as Sutherland’s Mitchell Ward powered a corner across goal that flicked the legs of Taipans keeper Kaydin Harrison and trickled over the line for a 1-0 Shire lead midway through the term.

South Coast went close to restoring parity a minute later with Jack Hooper’s low drive blocked well by Sutherland custodian Mitchell Tran, and Shire were lucky to hang onto their advantage with a great save from Tran followed up by a goal-line block from Nathan Wedesweiler that hit precariously close to his arm.

The Taipans pressure eventually told however as Kieren Brodnik fed Joel Starr, who danced into the D and finished from close range to level the scores 1-1 at the interval.

The Coasters then pushed in front when Zak Bedelovski waltzed his way down the sideline and found Jason Pappas at the far post who tapped in from a metre out with a quarter-hour to play.

Tran stood tall for Sutherland to deny a Taipans third and kicked clear a Kayne Kotevski low pop, and his hard work in goal paid dividends when Jacob Zasadzki delivered a delicious ball to Daniel Da Rocha who blasted into the top corner of the netting to draw the sides level once more inside the final five minutes 2-2.

But it was to be the Southerners’ day when Jake Levy played a cheeky one-two that freed up Tim Chapman for an easy poke home that ended up being the deciding goal of an entertaining grand final.

South Coast Taipans: Kaydin Harrison, Zak Bedelovski, Jason Pappas, Kieren Brodnik, Bailey Babarovski, Luke Day, Joel Starr, Jake Levy, Kayne Kotevski, Timothy Chapman, Jack Hooper, Alexander Bonetig, Coach Matthew Mazevski

Sutherland Shire: Jacob Zasadzki, Dean Ellis, Nathan Wedesweiler, Mitchell Tran, Ryan Tran, Advin Trebincevic, Daniel Da Rocha, Guy La Mela, Mitchell Ward, Charlie Lombo, Paul Sfeir, Coach Jordan Guerreiro, Managers Paul Tran & Robert Zasadzki

Referees: Philip Di Matteo, Janush Adabjou, Kyle Johnson

13 Girls – Hakoah stun South Coast

Eastern Suburbs upset 13 Girls premiers South Coast with a dazzling 4-2 grand final win at Valentine Sports Park, three unanswered second-half Hakoah goals stunning previously unbeaten Taipans.

Easts started strongly but found themselves on the back foot when Anastasia Grozdanov passed ahead to Jade Lockton and her Taipans team-mate cleverly poked past an advancing Lara Joffe in goals for Hakoah.

The Coasters doubled their advantage seconds later as Rilee Wagner rocketed home from range but Easts kept themselves in the contest through a good goal from Sophie Sullivan against the run of play and Joffe pulled off two terrific stops with her legs at the other end to make it 2-1 Taipans at the break.

Jordan Weizman came into goal for Hakoah and was immediately called to action as she blocked several attempts in a goalmouth scramble that kept the scoreline unchanged.

Emilee Rawson then turned the game on its head with an opportunistic goal from outside the D that somehow dribbled between Coast keeper Isabelle Noble’s legs across the goal-line to level it at 2-2.

It was anybody’s match after that as the Easts post denied Wagner before Joffe went coast-to-coast only to be denied by some great Taipans defence, then Sinead Hayes struck for Hakoah after her shot smashed against the upright and rebounded off Emily Carbone into goal and Easts led for the first time.

It was 4-2 seconds later as Sullivan took advantage of some open space to fire into goal, but the Southerners never gave up as Margaux Chauvet had a sharp chance parried away by Weizman before fulltime consigned the premiers to runners-up in a fantastic game of Futsal.

South Coast Taipans: Isabelle Noble, Margaux Chauvet, Anastasia Grozdanov, Rilee Wagner, Emma Jones, Zoe Dribbus, Jade Lockton, Emily Carbone, Jasmine Limon, Ashley Dribbus, Coach Walter Del & Kyle Del

Eastern Suburbs Hakoah: Lara Joffe, Lara Rutstein, Sinead Hayes, Angelina Mastoris, Emilee Rawson, Sophie Sullivan, Jordan Weizman, Jessica Best, Brigid Sullivan, Ella Cusack, Coach Simon Maher & Rob Best, Manager Daniel Weizman

Referees: Julian Nichols, Tara Brown, Emma Lewis

12 Boys – Hakoah down Sydney

Eastern Suburbs Hakoah completed their highly successful summer campaign with an emphatic double, holding off a gallant Sydney Futsal Club 2-0 in the championship decider at Valentine Sports Park.

Fourth-placed Sydney were given little chance of toppling the runaway undefeated premiers but gave themselves every opportunity by keeping the contest close, and only a couple of brilliant Easts strikes (who averaged eight goals a game this season) separated the teams in the end.

It was a brisk start to the match as both sides steadied but the first real chance came five minutes in when Sydney keeper Sasha Chilas did well to drop and smother Matthew Shapiro’s sharp Hakoah chance from inside the D, and moments later Sydney’s Nectarios Triantis let fly from range with the ball whistling past the post.

Hakoah eventually took the lead when Ethan De Melo found Adam Strasser unmarked in the D and he finished from close range to put Easts 1-0 in front at halftime.

Hakoah continued to pressure in the second period but couldn’t land the knockout blow with Sydney forced to punch on the counter, until De Melo passed up front for Zachary Sapsford to nudge past an advancing Chilas and Easts suddenly led 2-0.

Hakoah keeper Daniel Solsky then showed his mettle between the sticks as he blocked a strong Jeremy Siarakas attempt in front of goal and then acrobatically denied an excellent Triantis follow-up shot.

De Melo could’ve iced the game for Easts with two blistering drives clattering against the inside of the post, but it mattered little as the fulltime buzzer sounded with Hakoah 2-0 victors.

Eastern Suburbs Hakoah: Daniel Solsky, Matthew Shapiro, Ryan Collins, Kyle Devine, Jake Ziman, Brad Benstock, Adam Strasser, Zachary Sapsford, Lee Charles, Ethan De Melo, Noah Feilich, Coach Adriano De Melo & Brett Rosenberg, Manager Geoffrey Ziman

Sydney Futsal Club: Connor Magiasis, Ben Katz, Jess Shainfeld, Nectarios Triantis, Marcus Apostolakis, Gustav Soerensen, Jeremy Siarakas, Max Becker, Fabrizio Dardano, Sasha Chilas, Coach Bruno Nobrega & Arthur Kazas, Manager Soeren Soerensen

Referees: Kyle Johnson, Philip Di Matteo, Laura Hockings

-By Dan De Nardi