Congratulations to St George City FA, who have been crowned the 2018 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Mens Premiership and Club Championship winners following a nerve-wracking and exciting Round 25 of football over the weekend.
Let’s review how the Camden Tigers – St George City FA fixtures unravelled, before taking a look at the remainder of the Round 25 matches, including our feature match between Stanmore Hawks and Gladesville Ryde Magic.
Camden Tigers – St George City FA 1-2
Facing Camden Tigers at Ron Dine Stadium, St George City FA won the Under 18s fixture 3-2 before defeating Camden Tigers 4-0 in the Under 20s match.
These two results meant that St George City FA’s lead at the top of the Club Championship ladder had become insurmountable, and they were deemed Club Championship victors before the First Grade kick off.
St George City had to hold off the celebrations, knowing there was a First Grade battle royale looming against a tough Camden Tigers outfit with a fantastic record at home.
News had come through that Hawkesbury City had defeated Dunbar Rovers 3-0 in the early match, which had closed the gap between the two sides at the top to just 2 points, with St George City FA knowing that a win and subsequent three points would stretch that lead out to five points with just one round of football remaining.
Kerim Kumsuz put St George City in front on 16 minutes, but Camden’s Jayden Russell threatened to spoil the party, equalising for the home side on 24 minutes with his 28th goal of the campaign.
But St George City FA would not be denied, edging back in front just after the half hour mark through Matthew Mayora, and doing enough to keep the Tigers at bay as they snared all three points in a 2-1 win.
The victory puts St George City FA on 56 points, five in front of Hawkesbury City, giving them the First Grade Premiership trophy on a momentous day for the club.
St George City FA – 2018 Premiers and Club Championship winners
It has been an arduous but fulfilling road for St George City FA, and FNSW asked Head Coach, Manny Spanoudakis, what this achievement means to the club.
“This achievement is validation and confirmation that we are doing something right, and that we are building a new pathway for kids in the St George district to senior football. The support by the community, including the member clubs, has been overwhelming, and we are proud to be representing the St George Football community.”
What have been some of the qualities that you encouraged and witnessed that has enabled the club to be so successful?
“The club comes before everything. No individual is more important than the club, we all share the same clear vision that it is the club and team before anything else, and we are all willing to sacrifice anything for the betterment of the club.”
“We are very proud of the brand of football that we play – it is a positive, attractive and contemporary brand of football that is evident across all teams in the club.”
“We also love the fact that we create opportunities for players to progress their career – players come to St George City FA and have the opportunity to develop their career and progress to a higher level such as NPL 1 and A League. The best form of advertisement for our club is for a player to develop to their fullest potential in our program and go on to a higher level of football.”
Who have been some of the key personnel on and off the park that have been major contributors to the club’s success?
“Off the park, Aytek Genc is our Head of Football, a man who has the experience, knowledge and vision to take a holistic view of our club and drive towards our objectives on all fronts.
Adrian Webster has been a great 1st grade assistant, as well taking over as our U20s coach midway through the year, whilst Stelios Pikoulas (Strength & Conditioning coach) and Mina Lawendy (Physio) have been professional, diligent and supportive in managing the challenges of keeping the players fit and on the park throughout the season.
Our team manager, Steve Keremelevski, remarkably takes on the managing duties for U18 & U20’s and is selfless in the time and effort he gives the club, whilst Micky Jurilj has done a sterling and successful job in coaching our U18s as well as coaching one of our NPL Youth teams.
On the park, we have managed to build a well-balanced squad that has been able to support the challenges a long season can bring. Our strikers, Geoffry Lino and Sam Messam, have taken turns in being the go to men in the front third. Club captain Bill Tsanidis has been our stable rock in the centre of defence, whilst our right back, Sean Thomas has been our most consistent player. James Spanoudakis has recovered well from injury early in the season to steer the attack around the park in the latter part of the season. Young Emanuel Koumis is 18yo and has developed into an outstanding striker in the absence of Geoffry Lino since Rd 15 and Steve Kuzmanovski (21yo) has made a fantastic return from a serious injury and shown his elite qualities as a former Young Socceroo and A League player. Our keeper, Chris Marques, has helped keep many clean sheets, whilst our signings in the transfer window have come in a done a great job for us, with Matthew Mayora adding experience and scoring a few goals, and Paul Turrin solidifying our backline, the list goes on and on – in short, the balance and mix was right, we could depend on anyone and any given point, and we had the best defence in terms of a work ethic throughout the team.”
St George City FA will go in to their final game of the competition proper against Granville Rage at Garside Park next weekend with two trophies under their belt, and will no doubt be now aiming for a clean sweep with their eyes firmly set on a Championship victory in a few weeks’ time.
Hawkesbury City – Dunbar Rovers 3-0
In Saturday’s early game at 5-30pm, Hawkesbury City kept the pressure up on St George City FA by comprehensively accounting for Dunbar Rovers 3-0 at David Bertenshaw Field.
Bradley Gibson put the Hawks in to the lead on 26 minutes, heading home after some good build up play and cross by Sebastian Gallegos Berriel.
In fact, Gibson almost made it two moments later with yet another header, although this time the leather crashed against the cross bar and stayed out.
Paul Orgad almost equalised for Dunbar within minutes, but his snapshot from outside the penalty area was well saved by Daniel Schwarzer, the Hawkesbury custodian.
The home side doubled their advantage on the hour mark when Sebastian Gallegos Berriel volleyed home a screamer from the top of the box following some effective lead up work by Flavio Scarone.
The Hawks were flying at this stage, and were managing the game really well, leading 2-0 and looking to put the game to bed.
Flavio Scarone hit a great effort from outside the box that cannoned off the Dunbar cross bar, whilst Gallegos tried a cheeky chip from distance, trying to catch Dunbar keeper, Terry Dal Broi, off his line. Dal Broi back pedalled feverishly, desperately stopping the ball from crossing the line.
The match was well and truly all over in the 83rd minute when Daniel Morsillo netted, chipping home to present the home fans with a 3-0 triumph.
The win and three points keeps Hawkesbury City in second spot on the ladder as they move to 51 points, but they are only two points ahead of Gladesville Ryde Magic as the teams move in to the final round of football next weekend.
The loss sees Dunbar Rovers remain in 6th spot on 43 points, and they have it all to play for next week, holding a 2 point lead over Sydney University, knowing a slip up on the last day could allow the ‘students’ the opportunity to leap frog the Rovers in to that last coveted finals spot.
This week’s feature match was at Arlington Oval between Stanmore Hawks and Gladesville Ryde Magic.
MATCH OF THE ROUND
STANMORE HAWKS – GLADESVILLE RYDE MAGIC 0-1
Gladesville Ryde Magic assured the fight for second spot on the ladder would go down to the final round when they snatched a dramatic late 1-0 win over the luckless Stanmore Hawks at Arlington Oval on Saturday night.
The win and subsequent three points puts Gladesville Ryde Magic on 49 points in 3rd place, just 2 points behind Hawkesbury City, with all to play for in the final round next weekend.
The match was played at a frenetic pace throughout, with both sides keen to move the ball quickly out of defence up to their respective front thirds, but defences held firm throughout.
Gladesville’s Abanoub Mickael had the game’s first opportunity on 6 minutes, effecting a swift give and go with Michael Gaitatzis before stabbing wide under pressure from a Stanmore defender.
Magic were in again just a minute later, and this time it was Stanmore’s keeper, Nicholas Carosi, who did well to parry a close range effort from Gladesville’s Chris Gaitatzis, when the skipper was put through on goal.
Stanmore replied with an effort of their own within a minute, and this time it the Hawks’ captain, Cristian Bottalico, who headed over from a Jordan Seib corner as both teams traded blows.
Jackson McMenamie then went close for Stanmore in the 29th minute, trying his luck from 25 yards once he burst through a gap in to space, but Magic custodian, Kiriakos Tohouroglou, back pedalled to make light work of the save.
The arm wrestle continued until half time, but Stanmore almost went in front on the whistle, with Magic defender, Sergio Tarazona, almost finding his own net when trying to clear a dangerous long throw in.
Half time brought a reprieve for both sets of players as each camp went back to the drawing board to determine a potential break through.
Stanmore’s Jonah Caragher was on the end of a cross in the 54th minute, before swivelling and hitting a low shot that was well held by Gladesville’s half time substitute for Tohouroglou, Gabriel Koliomihos.
Ex-Gladesville player, Heo Wookbum, was working feverishly on the flank for the Hawks, and he delivered a great cross on 64 minutes that found Jayson Moro, but Moror’s header failed to hit the mark.
The hearts of the home fans stopped for a moment in the 67th minute when the league’s top marksman, Michael Gaitatzis, lined up a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, but the ball missed the near upright by inches Carosi scrambling in the Stanmore goal.
Jayson Moro then connected sweetly with a fierce volley in the 87th minute, but he hit the ball too well as it went straight down the throat of Koliomihos in the Gladesville goal.
A game that was frenetic at times, with final passes often missing the mark by inches, seemed destined to end in a scoreless stalemate, and if truth be told, both teams would’ve settled for a point given the circumstances.
But Gladesville’s young second half substitute, Peter Voukidis, had other ideas after entering the fray in the 81st minute.
With the clock well and truly in the ‘time added on’ phase, a long ball was sent in to the Stanmore penalty area via a Chris Gaitatzis free kick from wide on the touch line, and with plenty of ‘tall timbers’ scrambling to connect, up popped Peter Voukidis to direct a perfect header just inside the far upright past Stanmore’s keeper. Nicholas Carosi.
The jubilation was there for all to see, with the valuable three points keeping the chase for second spot alive until next weekend’s final round of the season.
National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s
Round Twenty Five
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Arlington Oval, Dulwich Hill
STANMORE HAWKS 0
GLADESVILLE RYDE MAGIC 1 (Voukidis 90’ + 3’)
1.N.Carosi, 8.S.Awad, 4.C.Bottalico (capt), 17.J.Caragher (12.A.Caragher 75’), 18.S.Georgiou, 3.T.Masch Marchiori, 29.J.McMenamie, 16.J.Moro, 14.M.Nicolaou, 40.J.Seib (5.H.Brown 90’ + 2’), 80.H.Wookbum.
Substitutes Not Used – 37.C.Agliozzo, 31.D.Vaccaso, 21.C.Dionispoulos.
Yellow Cards – 16.J.Moro 81’.
Red Cards – Nil
GLADESVILLE RYDE MAGIC;
33.K.Tohouroglou (21.G.Koliomihos 46’), 9.C.Gaitatzis (capt), 17.M.Gaitatzis, 5.L.Harte, 34.N.Ioannides (18.P.Voukidis 81’), 13.B.Kerr, 4.A.Khan, 8.J.Martinez, 6.A.Mickael (10.C.Tomaras 71’), 2.C.Newton, 3.S.Tarazona.
Substitutes Not Used – 14.A.Jolly.
Yellow Cards – 34.N.Ioannides 54’, 5.L.Harte 90’ + 1’.
Red Cards – Nil
Granville Rage – Dulwich Hill 4-1
Granville Rage made light work of Dulwich Hill at Garside Park on Saturday night, winning 4-1 in a one sided affair.
Rage converted a penalty on 25 minutes before doubling their advantage on the half hour mark, taking a 2-0 lead in to the half time break.
Two more goals in the final half hour made it 4-0 to Granville, and they held on to win comfortably despite a Gosue Sama consolation goal for Dulwich Hill late on.
The win and three points sees Granville Rage join Dulwich Hill on 30 points on the ladder, with Dully holding on to 9th spot based on goal differential only.
Fraser Park – Inter Lions 1-7
Inter Lions annihilated Fraser Park on Saturday night, leading 2-1 at the break before going on with it after half time to register a 7-1 drubbing.
Already bottom of the National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Mens ladder, the loss all but condemns Fraser Park to last spot on the Club Championship, with the club requiring nothing short of a miracle next week if they are to retain their position in the National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Mens competition.
Hezio Silva Neto was the hero for Inter Lions netting a hatrick, whilst young striker, Julian Rinaldi, helped himself to a brace. Nicholas Sullivan and Christopher Lawson also got on the scoresheet for Inter, rounding off the 7-1 scoreline which takes Inter Lions to 22 points and above Stanmore Hawks on the ladder into 11th position.
Sultan Wrayde managed a consolation goal for Fraser Park on a dour day for the club.
Sydney University – Western NSW Mariners 5-0
Sydney University kept their faint finals hopes alive with a 5-0 drubbing of the Western NSW Mariners on Sunday afternoon at the Uni Football Ground.
Coming in to the match in 7th position on 38 points, Sydney Uni knew that Dunbar Rovers had come unstuck against Hawkesbury City on the Saturday, losing 0-3, which meant a win against the Mariners would put the ‘students’ within two points of the Rovers leading in to the final round of football next weekend.
Things were tight during a nervous opening forty five minutes, although the home side had two early Scott Tonkin goals both ruled out for razor thin offside calls by the officials.
Next to go close for Uni was Michael Loupis, who cracked the outside of the post with a sharp drive as the ‘students’ upped the ante.
Uni keeper, Charlie Fanner, then had to be alert to deny Ken McCall the game’s opening goal, the Mariners’ playmaker hitting a pearler of a free kick only for Fanner to produce a great save.
With the teams going in to the sheds at 0-0, Sydney Uni were staring down the barrel of elimination from this season’s finals series.
But a half time pep talk from assistant coach, Tommy Hyde, was just the tonic Sydney University needed, and they came out a renewed outfit and proceeded to run riot, effecting a 5-0 outcome by full time.
The breakthrough finally came on 56 minutes when Blake Serefin broke into the box and set up Jovan Blagojevic, who in turn slotted home from close range to edge Sydney University in to the lead.
One quickly became two when Michael Loupis showed a real touch of class, curling home a 25 yarder which left the visiting Mariners keeper, Brock Logan, with no chance.
The home side had found their groove at this point and after Conor Quilligan found space on the left, he clipped a delicious cross into the penalty area where Scott Tonkin made no mistake, tucking home a header for 3-0.
After having two goals disallowed in the first half, Tonkin was out to make amends and made it 4-0 moments later, easily slotting home from a one on one situation with Logan, the Mariners keeper.
With the clock ticking over the 90 minute mark, there was still time for the Sydney Uni captain, Scott Tonkin, to grab his hat trick and Uni’s 5th goal of the afternoon. Andrew Green slipped the ball through to the big striker, and he made no mistake to complete the scoring.
One round remaining, and the picture is clear – Sydney University (41 points) need to defeat SD Raiders at Marconi Stadium, and hope that Dunbar Rovers (43 points) draw or lose at Dulwich Hill if the ‘students’ are to squeeze in to 6th spot on the competition ladder, and earn an unlikely finals berth – so 6th place belongs to Dunbar Rovers and is theirs to lose.
Bankstown City – SD Raiders 1-1
It’s a case of ‘as you were’ following Sunday afternoon’s 11- stalemate at Potts Park where Bankstown City Lions and SD Raiders shared the spoils.
A dour first half came alive when Goran Ljuboja hit a fierce grass cutter that was expertly tipped around the upright by Bankstown’s custodian, Carl McMahon.
The second half came to life when the referee awarded Bankstown City Lions a spot kick after Jeff Issa was brought down inside the Raiders penalty area.
Nikola Todorovski converted to give Bankstown a 1-0 lead.
The Lions had their ends up and Jack Press almost made it two moments later, his effort following a corner brought out a superb near post save by Michael Rutherford, the Raiders’ keeper.
Daniel Bittar then made his customary long range run down the park, racing towards goal before striking a firm effort that was well saved by McMahon in the Bankstown goal.
The Raiders were not to be denied, and did eventually equalise with XXX converting at the back stick following a Daniel Bittar corner.
That was all she wrote, with the teams remaining level pegged on the ladder, both moving to 46 points, with SD Raiders in 4th spot on goal difference