Bankstown Sports Strikers on the hunt for a Champion of Champions title


It’s going to be a huge Sunday for the Under 15 Boys from the Bankstown Sports Strikers club as they look towards celebrating a Champion of Champions title against Football South Coast’s Shellharbour JFC.

As the sole representative side from the Bankstown District Amateur Football Association, these young group of men are not just playing for their club, but for their entire region, something coach Essa Lakmas is very proud of.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my team and what they’ve achieved so far this year.

“The Strikers were fortunate to win the Under 13s boys’ competition in 2014 so we are following their path and trying to bring it back to Bankstown again.

“With BDAFA being a smaller association, we don’t get as many teams to compete on the big stage.

“We do have some good teams though and the quality is improving year on year.

“With Bankstown United now firmly entrenched within the area, it will only attract better players.

“The boys have been working towards this moment for a long time. It is not an overnight event that has got us this far. The team has been together a long time with players joining who have complemented the team. The support from BDAFA, Strikers and in particular the families within the team is where the success has stemmed from. The players understand it is a team sport and the team is not only on the field but the base we have off the field is just as important. Without that foundation, we would not have had the success.

“On a personal note, I never got a chance to play Champion of Champions but to see my son and his teammates do so well, it is something I hope they remember for years to come.

“The boys are enjoying the experience that comes only with this competition. To make it this far is a bonus. It would be great to get the win on Sunday, if not, it has been a great time for all of us and some lifelong lessons learnt for the players and memories for the parents.

“BDAFA has some great people within the association and our club in particular is one of the forerunners.

“Our Men’s Premier League team have been top of the table the past few seasons with a great squad and Coach Ali Haasan. I am hoping some of my boys can be playing Champion of Champions with the Men’s team in the coming years.”

It’s been a tough run to the Final for the Strikers, but Lakmas stated the boys have consistently dug deep in getting to the big dance.

“Every match was tough.

“We had our local Grand-Final on a Saturday and backed up for our first Champion of Champions match against Castle Hill Rockets on the Sunday. Playing two matches into extra time was hard on the boys, but we got through it and have continued.

“Playing clubs like Springwood United and Camden Tigers, we have had to really lift for.

“All 3 matches could have gone either way, but we have been lucky to win all 3 in penalty shootouts.

“This is all off the back of a tough local season for us.

“We have been lucky to have a strong Under 15s competition this year at BDAFA, so every match has been difficult and you know you must compete. BDAFA worked extremely hard to make sure we played the full season and did not miss any games due to wash outs. We were probably the only association to do so. This gave the boys the opportunity to complete the season and finish as Premiers. Unfortunately, we could not get the grand final win but a Champion of Champions victory would be amazing for the team, club and area.”

Bankstown Sports Strikers take on Shellharbour JFC in the Under 15’s Champion of Champions Final this Sunday at 11am on Field 3 at Valentine Sports Park.

Those not able to attend the match can catch it live and exclusive only on NPL.TV

Photo credit – Brett Nielsen Photography