The Earlwood Wanderers Football Club U16 boys have been crowned the 2019 Football NSW Champion of Champions following a thrilling final against University of Wollongong, winning 3-0 in regular time to claim the title and to bring a great season to an end.
“Over 300 teams participated in this year’s Football NSW prestigious knockout tournament, with over five thousand players vying for a spot in the coveted grand final.
“Our aim has been to play to ‘create memories’, and this win, the goals, the performance, have definitely done that,” said Jim Tatsis, Earlwood’s coach.
Earlwood Wanderers absorbed a strong University of Wollongong spell for the first 15 minutes, as both teams sought to find their rhythm, with Wollongong controlling most of the possession, until an attack on the Earlwood goal in the 20th minute was smothered, with a pass played out to Apostolos Tatsis who sent the ball long to Connor Stock. Holding off two defenders, Connor struck the ball cleanly and firmly from outside the box to beat an outstretched keeper and find the back of the net to put Earlwood in the lead.
Only moments later, Earlwood’s goalkeeper, Michael Maher, saved what could have been a Wollongong goal when their attacker beat the Earlwood backline to find himself one on one with the keeper, however Michael’s diving effort and touch of the ball sent the shot just wide of the far post to keep the ball out of the goals. Both sides created a number of chances and were it not for goal line saves and defensive plays from Jono Tapia, Toby Robertson, Aidan Passell, Carlos Tobiano and Stef Ottavio, the end result could have been quite different.
In the 42nd minute, following a patient build up from Earlwood’s own third, Connor Stock again found himself in the penalty box with the ball at his feet, and Juan Arango metres away and unmarked. An pass to Juan was finished nicely with a well-placed ball into the bottom corner to make the score 2-0.
Oscar Swan, James Melki, Adrian Cambria, Chris Theodorou Louis Williamson, Daniel Odria and Leo Burkitt-Doyle all worked hard in the middle until the final whistle to ensure the Wollongong attack did not get close enough to take any shots on goal. Both teams displayed great sportsmanship, desire and effort.
Earlwood Wanderers in the end sealed the victory with a third and final goal in the 51st minute again from Connor Stock following a great team effort to create the opportunity that led to the ball again finding the back of the net.
All matches were live streamed on Football NSW’s Facebook page and viewed by family, friends and enthusiasts all around the world.
This brings an end to the 2019 campaign and all are looking forward to a much deserved rest, before doing it all again in 2020.
Earlwood Wanderers FC have three crowns from 2019, a Minor Premiership and Championship from CDSFA (Canterbury District Soccer Football Association) and now a Football NSW Champions of Champions title to their name – a fantastic achievement when the Club is celebrating 90 years of establishment.
Team List (Number, Surname and Name)
GK MAHER Michael
2 WILLIAMSON Louis
3 TAPIA Jono
6 ROBERTSON Toby
7 SWAN Oscar
8 ARANGO Juan
9 TOBIANO Carlos
10 ODRIA Daniel
11 MELKI James
13 PASSELL Aidan
14 THEODOROU Chris
15 CAMBRIA Adrian
16 BURKITT-DOYLE Leo
17 OTTAVIO Stefano
24 STOCK Connor
32 TATSIS Apostolos
Coach: Jim Tatsis
Coach: Andy Passell
Trainer: Wayne Robertson
Manager: Steve Cambria