Monday, 14 August 2017

Sutherland Sharks 1-2 Sydney Olympic

After a slump that saw us on the brink of being out of contention for this year’s Finals Series, we have steadied the ship somewhat and finished the regular season with 3 straight victories. Sydney Olympic came back from being 1-0 down at half-time to record a come from behind 2-1 victory against the Sutherland Sharks on Sunday, sealing us 5th spot on the Ladder.

It was a poor start to the match for Sydney Olympic, as within the first 5 minutes we managed to fall behind by conceding an early goal, meaning that we would now have to chase the game against Sutherland. This was always going to be a difficult task as Sutherland sat back after they scored and organised themselves so that they could hit us on the counter-attack, knowing full well we would come out trying to score goals. This is how the rest of the first-half played out. We created a couple of chances to draw ourselves level in the contest, but we could not put the ball into the back of the net. As we pushed, Sutherland predictably managed to find the space in behind us and get themselves into a couple of good goal scoring opportunities, but they could not add to their 1-0 lead. We continued to play well but we could not crack the Sutherland defence. After a fairly even first-half we headed to the half-time break trailing 1-0, knowing full well we had a job ahead of ourselves to come away with a draw let alone the 3 points.

In what could have been a carbon copy of how we started the first-half, the first 5 minutes of the second-half could have easily seen us cop another early goal to go 2-0 down, but luckily for us, Sutherland did not have their scoring boots on this time. After this brief scare we got back into the groove of the match. Around 15 minutes into the second-half we were awarded a penalty, this made a lot of the supporters nervous as our penalty-taking record in 2017 has been pretty abysmal, but Mitchell Stamatellis stepped up and confidently converted the spot-kick, to bring us level at 1-1. The goal seemed to give the players the boost that was needed to go on and hunt a winning goal. We were creating enough chances and even had a goal disallowed for offside, but with around 15 minutes to go we would get the all-important winner via Nick Tsattalios with his well struck finish. All in all it was not the greatest of performances from Sydney Olympic, but we did what was needed and head into the Finals with our tails up.

It was a good hit-out for the team, to experience going down early in a match, trail at half-time, but then be good enough to turn around the result in the second-half. The last 3 weeks should instill enough confidence in the players to know that they can beat anybody that is put in front of them.

As is usual at this time of the season, clubs have been and are preparing and putting their squads together for next season. I have it on good authority that several opposition clubs are circling and planning to speak to several of our players. Sydney Olympic should do everything reasonably possible to keep this year’s squad together and in fact add to it for next season.

For the Club Championship, the U20’s lost 3-0 and the U18’s recorded a 2-2 draw.

Sad news for the Club from the past week was news of the passing of former Sydney Olympic President, Jim Kelaiditis, who was President of the Club during the 1990’s. Our condolences go out to the Kelaiditis family.

Well it is now Finals time. This Saturday Night, August 19, we will play a 4th vs. 5th Elimination Final against Manly United at Cromer Park. Kick-Off is at 5pm.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Sydney Olympic 4-0 Hakoah Sydney City-East

Sydney Olympic seems to have gotten itself out of the funk it was in, backing up last weekend’s tough 2-1 victory over Sydney United by smashing Hakoah Sydney City-East 4-0 in what was a dominant display on Sunday Evening. We controlled the match from start to finish and if it wasn’t for Hakoah’s goalkeeper it could well have been more than 4.

We started off confidently and looked switch-on right from the get-go. We had a couple of early raids on Hakoah’s goal inside the first 10 minutes but no major chances were created from any of them. Hakoah had a good chance to open the scoring also early on, but their player fluffed his lines and missed the chance. We continued our good play and good start to the match and 15 minutes into the first-half we had our reward, Jinya An put in a dangerous looking cross which was met by William Angel on his left foot, who came in from his Right-Wing to put the ball into the back of the net via a deflection. Only a couple minutes later we had our second goal in what was almost an identical goal to our first, another dangerous cross from Jinya An was once again met by William Angel, but this time no deflection was needed as he buried it passed the Hakoah goalkeeper to make it 2-0. For the rest of the first-half we dominated the play – possession and chances – we had another great chance from a free-kick late in the first-half but it was well saved. We could not further add to our 2-0 lead and so we headed for the half-time break looking comfortable.

At the start of the second-half it looked like we just continued on from where we left off in the first-half. We quickly got back into our groove and had a couple of chances to extend our lead, but both were well saved by Hakoah’s goalkeeper, the first from a header and the second from a quick free-kick which we took looking to catch them out. We were really bossing the game and passing it around at will, Hakoah could not get anywhere near us. But so long as the score stayed at 2-0 it kept Hakoah in the game and as the old saying goes – “2-0 is the most dangerous score-line in football” – and as it turned out Hakoah had a good chance from distance with a shot but it was kept out thanks to a great save from Paul Henderson. Despite this chance we continued to press and push for more goals and we would add to the score-line in the last 5 minutes. We scored our third from a well worked goal which saw Yianni Spyrakis have a simple tap-in and our fourth came from a nice pass from Radovan Pavicevic into the box which was met by William Angel this time on his right foot to complete his hat-trick. Right on cue the referee blew his whistle for full-time as we ran out 4-0 winners.

This was one of our better performances in 2017, we looked like world beaters out there and deserved our big victory. Sydney Olympic playing so well might have something do with being at Lambert Park, as we always seem to play well there and the stats back that up. Since the start of 2011 we have played at the venue 20 times for 14 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses.

A lot of the supporters have been calling for William Angel to be played in a more attacking position and this move was justified as he scored 3 goals and always looked dangerous on Sunday. It was also good to see Tass Mourdoukoutas back from Europe, as well as Darcy Burgess back in the starting XI for a second week in a row.

Everyone is playing well though as we head into the business end of the season and it is the right time of the year to be peaking. In terms of Finals Football, the results from the weekend mean we are all but assured of our spot in the Top 5 unless something ridiculous happens in the final round. But a Top 3 finish is now out of our reach.

For the Club Championship it was another 2 losses, the U20’s lost 4-0 and the U18’s suffered a 3-1 loss.

Next week is the last match of the regular season, we are away at the Sutherland Sharks on Sunday August 13, at Seymour Shaw Park in Miranda, Kick-Off is at 3pm.

Get out there and support Sydney Olympic.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Sydney United 1-2 Sydney Olympic

After a poor last month of football, Sydney Olympic returned to the winners circle on Sunday Afternoon after a gritty and hard fought victory away at Sydney United. The 2-1 win puts the Club back into the mix to play Finals this season with 2 matches remaining in the regular season.

In a keenly fought first-half we looked like an entirely different team to the one that barely showed up last week, we looked switched-on. The first 10 or so minutes of the first-half were fairly uneventful as both teams took a while to settle into the game. Very soon after though chances were beginning to be created and 20 minutes into the first-half we managed to open the scoring. Some nice work down the right wing from Will Angel saw him put in a dangerous looking cross, which was met on the volley by Hagi Gligor, who finished the chance off nicely. Disappointingly though, the scores were once again level just a couple of minutes later, as a poor give away in possession resulted in the opposition grabbing a soft equaliser. The only positive from this is that we did not drop our heads and continued to play well. The opposition then had a few chances to take the lead before half-time, but some fine goalkeeping by Paul Henderson kept the score at 1-1. We rode our luck a little bit in that first-half, but luck is not something we have had a lot of this season, so we took it and headed to the sheds with the score locked at 1-1.

Early on in the second-half we had an excellent chance to re-take the lead, but unfortunately the chance was spurned. The match was end-to-end with both sides creating chances to take the lead, but nobody could put any of their opportunities away. The match was also a tough contest with no side giving an inch. We were creating our fair share of chances but it looked like the match was destined to end in a 1-1 draw. With 10 minutes to go though, we would grab what turned out to be the winner, as Mitch Stamatellis set off on a marauding run from his own penalty area, after a long run he slipped a nice pass through to Yu Kuboki who made no mistake with the finish to give us a 2-1 lead to the delight of the travelling faithful. The closing moments of the match saw us with all hands to the pump as we tried to hold on for the win. The opposition had a late chance via a freekick, but another great save from Paul Henderson kept it out. Shortly after the referee blew for full-time and we had recorded a huge victory for our season.

So a month of poor results was broken with an important and much needed victory on Sunday. The destiny of our season is now once again entirely in our own hands, with 2 vitally important fixtures to close out the regular season, both of which we must win. It is up to us what we want to get out of this season.

For the Club Championship, the U20’s lost 6-1 and the U18’s suffered a 3-1 loss.

Our next match is our last home game of the regular season and now becomes extremely important. We take on Hakoah next Sunday Evening, August 6, a home game which has been move to Lambert Park, Kick-Off is at 5pm. 

Get out there and support Sydney Olympic.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Sydney Olympic 1-2 APIA Leichhardt

This was by far, one of the worst performances I have ever witnessed from any Sydney Olympic team and I’m sorry to say, but if the players are not giving a rat’s ass because they don’t like the coach or don’t like his style or whatever and want to see the back of him, this doesn’t interest me nor does it interest any other supporter. You play for the shirt, I know that is a foreign concept to kids and younger people these days, but that is the truth. The effort last night was disgraceful. As for the coach himself and the whole farce of him being appointed in the first place I will cover this, don’t worry.

The match started in disastrous fashion, before we even had time to get into the ground and settle in our seats we had conceded a penalty, there was barely 1 minute gone on the clock. The APIA Leichhardt player stepped up and made no mistake as he slotted the spot-kick, meaning we were down 1-0 and would be chasing the game right from the very beginning. Instead of trying to come out and play a little given we were now behind, we for some reason decided to park the bus. That’s right we were losing at home and decided to play defensive football, it defied belief and all logic. We could only muster one solid chance in that entire first-half and wouldn’t you know it, the chance was blown as we missed a sitter from 6 yards out. We had nothing else to offer in the way of chances or our play for the rest of the first-half. It was not as if APIA were some sort of special or outstanding team either, which only made things seem worse, we were dishing up this sort of rubbish performance against this APIA team, really? It was unbelievable. We went to the half-time break trailing 1-0.

The second-half saw an equally inept performance from Sydney Olympic and as poor of a start to the second-half as the first-half, as just a few minutes into it we gave away possession far too easily and APIA went down the other end to make it 2-0. The frustrations on the faces and in the voices of the Sydney Olympic Supporters who made it to the game, were there for all to see. It was unbelievably sad to see such a Great Club in the state it was in, and what a poor state it is in. We managed to somehow score near the end but it made no difference to the result as we suffered yet another defeat. The nature of the defeat no doubt left a sick feeling in the stomachs of the supporters as they filed out of the ground, muttering to themselves and to each other and no doubt asking themselves what the hell has happened to this season and why the people in charge of the Club have let it get to this and have effectively destroyed our season.

The people in charge of the Club are either stupid of epic proportions or something more sinister is happening here. Why on Earth would they go out, at such an important period of the season and bring in another coach, especially when we were doing fairly well? We were seriously challenging for the Minor Premiership and we were looking like a shoe-in for a Top 3 finish. So what do these geniuses go and do? They go and bring in a new coach who has got no idea about the League he’s come to coach in.

Ever since he came in we have played 4 matches, had 1 draw and copped 3 losses, we have not won a match, these incompetent morons running the Club have ruined our season. Why not just leave Peter Zorbas where he was, we were travelling OK, and then at the end of the year if the Club wanted to again assess the situation they could.

That decision alone to appoint a Coach beggars belief.

Next up is the recruitment, another massive failure for the Club and for those involved in recruiting roles. We let too many good players of ours leave and we replaced them with junk. Some of the players that were signed for this season have no business being in a Sydney Olympic jersey. It is actually very embarrassing, they are not fit for park football, let alone fit to represent Sydney Olympic.

The other issue and probably more worrying, is the fact that the people running the Club now have no interest in seeing Sydney Olympic be successful and challenging for trophies. They couldn’t care less where First Grade finishes or what First Grade does, they are only interesting in selling off our players overseas and lining their own pockets.

Max Burgess has been sold to Portugal, Liam Youlley to South Africa, Tass Mourdoukoutas is trialling in Germany and Peter Makrillos is trialling in Poland. None of these players have been replaced, also take into consideration that Jake de Marigny has been injured all year and has not played a game for us this season, Mark Rodic and Goran Subara as well as a couple of others have also walked out on the Club.

The people running the Club know and knew all of this and still insisted on not bringing in any players to replace them, this is a contributing factor to our decline.

Two years ago there was a lot of optimism about an alleged new home for Sydney Olympic at Tempe and people were excited. Nobody has heard anything about it since, yes the issue of the council mergers would have no doubt thrown a thousand spanners in the works, but since we have heard nothing about it, are we to assume that it is all off? Should we throw this dream onto the pile with all the rest of the other plans that have never come to fruition?

Oh and finally fix the Sydney Olympic website, it is shit.

For the Club Championship, the U20’s grabbed a 3-3 and the U18’s grabbed a 4-4 draw. For those interested, Sydney Olympic has now not won an 18’s, 20’s or First Grade match since June 18, that’s right we have not won a senior match in any of the 3 grades in over 5 weeks.

It’s all enough to make a grown man cry.

Our next match is next Sunday Afternoon at Edensor Park as we take on Sydney United, July 30, Kick-Off is at 4pm. Our season is effectively over anyway as we are sinking like the Titanic, but anything less than a win here and our season is officially all over. We know that the Sydney United players will be up for it as usual, but will our players turn up? That is the question.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Blacktown City 4-0 Sydney Olympic

Our season is now officially spiralling out of control after we copped a 4-0 hiding against Blacktown City on Sunday Afternoon. At this point it seems to have been a masterstroke for the club to have appointed a new Coach with 6 weeks to go (rolls eyes). Making the Finals now looks like an improbability and even if we did happen to make the Finals, if we dish up that sort of rubbish again, it would simply be a waste of time being there.

It all started positively enough as we held our own against the League Leaders Blacktown City. It was actually a good contest and a fairly even first-half where both sides were playing well. Both teams also created quite a few good opportunities to score, but both goalkeepers were having good games and both were doing their jobs well as they kept the score at 0-0. As we headed to the break dead-locked at 0-0 we were optimistic of another solid performance in the second-half, but no one could have guessed what would be waiting for us in the second-half.

At the start of the second-half things looked normal and the first 10 minutes or so of the second-half was a continuation of the type of game we had been seeing in the first-half. Sure there were the usual frustrations of struggling to put away chances and to score goals, but we were fairly confident that the one facet of our play that has held us in rather good stead this season, our defence, would hold up and continue to keep us in the contest. After all Sydney Olympic came into this match having the best defensive record out of anyone else in the League. But within the space of 20 second-half minutes all that would be blown apart as Blacktown City ran riot. We were even treated to a 15-minute hat-trick by former player James Andrew, a player 99% of all Sydney Olympic Supporters never wanted to see leave the Club, but was deemed surplus to requirements by the Club. We totally lost our way conceding goal after goal and we just could not respond to what was happening, seeing us slump to a 4-0 loss.

A running theme of this season is the amount of penalties we have missed so far this season and on Sunday we missed another one. I must admit I have not been keeping track of it this season, but I ballpark the figure, at least 5 missed penalties. This all nicely ties in with our other on-going theme from this season, not being able to score goals.

The tradition that keeps on keeping on is the tradition of Sydney Olympic ousting its own promising players only for them to come back and bite us on the ass with an opposition club somewhere down the track, I would seriously be here all week naming them all. It was the same story on Sunday as former player James Andrew collected a hat-trick and made us look like the mugs we are.

Poor recruitment, poor signings, playing people out of position has been the hallmark of Sydney Olympic in season 2017 and with 4 massive games to finish this season it certainly does not look good.

Not sure why the Club spends so much time and money searching for and hiring obscure Iberian Coaches, especially ones with absolutely no idea what it takes to navigate a team through the NSW State League, is it just a status thing to say “hey look at us we have a Spanish Coach”? If only they spent their money signing players for the front third of the pitch.

Our season is slipping away.

For the Club Championship it was another poor round of results, the U20’s got beat 3-0, while the U18’s grabbed a 3-3 draw.

Our next match is next Sunday Afternoon, at Belmore Sports Ground, July 23 against APIA Leichhardt, who just smashed Parramatta FC 6-0, so it is going to be another up-hill battle. Kick-Off is at 5pm.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Sydney Olympic – The Run Home

With 5 Rounds to go in the regular season, we sit in 4th position, the Minor Premiership is out of reach but we are well and truly in the race to make the Finals and with a bit of luck even the Top 3, which gives a double-chance in the Finals. We have been there or there abouts so far this season, if things click for us we are capable of doing something special.

We will take a look at and break down our run home, a run home which is looking like a fairly tough one it must be said.

R18 – Blacktown City (Away)
You have to take your hat off to Blacktown City. Every year they seem to be at the top no matter how many players seem to come and go there. This year they once again find themselves clear at the top of the table.
When we played them earlier in the season at Belmore, we gifted them 3 first-half goals and the match was effectively all over, it was a match where we arguably put in our worst performance of the year.
We are playing better currently and the week off I feel is just what we needed, so we should go there full of confidence believing we can come away with the 3 points.

R19 – APIA Leichhardt (Home)
It is teams 1 and 2 in consecutive weeks as we take on APIA Leichhardt at Belmore, an APIA team who are flying high in season 2017.
Earlier in the season we came out on top in a titanic struggle at Lambert Park winning a close encounter 2-1, in what possibly was our grittiest and most committed performance thus far this season.
APIA are playing well at the moment and as it always is against APIA, it will be a difficult and tight contest.

R20 – Sydney United (Away)
There is always plenty of attention in the media on this team, for reasons most of you would be aware of by now.
If against Blacktown we saw our worst performance of the season, then our first encounter with the Croats earlier this season would have to be right up there also, we were tragic, really really poor.
They also currently have the wood on us having beaten us in each of our last 4 encounters with them.
It’s always tough to go there and win, but depending on what we do against APIA and Blacktown, this game could become vitally important.

R21 – Hakoah Sydney City-East (Home)
This year’s Waratah Cup Winners. In our first match earlier in the year we played out a dour 0-0 draw against Hakoah.
They are a tough team to break down and are also a very physical side, so getting the 3 points at home here will not be easy.
You would think though, coming off the back of the 3 tough matches, this would be a game the Club should have pencilled-in as a must win, especially since it is at home at Belmore.

R22 – Sutherland Sharks (Away)
We round out the season against Grant Lee’s Sutherland team.
They have looked better since he was installed there as coach, but they have not been able to climb the ladder.
As is always the case against Sutherland, they will not just lie down for us and seeing as it is the last match of the season, a lot could ride on the result of this match for both teams.
If we hold our decent form we should really fancy the 3 points here.

So the League season resumes with our next match, which is next Sunday Afternoon, July 16 away to Blacktown City, at Lily’s Football Centre (Seven Hills), Kick-Off is at 3pm.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Sydney Olympic 1-2 Manly United

It is Round 17 and the story has been the same not only for this season, but for the past few seasons – WE CANNOT SCORE GOALS – a combination of flop signings and shit recruitment has seen us continuously shoot blanks, especially in the big and important matches. Don’t take my word for it, look it up yourself. It was the same story on Sunday Night too, a game we should have wrapped up early on, only for us to drop our bundle and fold like a cheap suit to a fairly average side.

There was not too much to write home about in that first-half in terms of chances. Sydney Olympic was the far superior team but the game was virtually bogged down in midfield. Our best chance of the first-half came via corner and we managed to take full advantage of it, as Mitchell Stamatellis put away his header to give us a 1-0 lead. Nothing much happened for the rest of the half and so we went to the half-time break leading 1-0.

At the start of the second-half it was evident that the instructions were to sit deep and defend the 1-0 lead, which was moronic if you ask me, we should have attacked and tried to put Manly away. Instead all we did was invite them into our own half and put ourselves under all sorts of unnecessary pressure. While they did have a lot of the ball they didn’t really create too much in the way of chances. Meanwhile on the break we had numerous chances to put the game to bed, but a poor final pass combined with some shocking finishing meant the door was left ajar for Manly to turn the game on its head and turn it on its head they did scoring 2 goals in the final 10 minutes. The first came about via a poor punch out from Paul Henderson and them putting the rebound into our net, whilst their second goal came after a fast break as we flooded too many players forward. We were now 2-1 down and we did not have any energy left to mount any sort of reply, seeing us lose 2-1.

What made it worse is that everyone out there would have known that next weekend was a bye round, so there would have been no excuses not to give it everything knowing that whatever happened, they had 2 weeks to recover and to get ready for the next match. Hagi Gligor and Mitch Stamatellis were our best last night, the rest looked dis-interested and didn’t want to be there.

While we have been spruiking the possibility of finishing in the Top 3 this season and earning a double-chance in the Finals, we will be lucky to finish in the Top 5.

In terms of the Club Championship, our U18’s lost once again, this time 3-2, I wonder if that has anything to do with punting the coach at the start of the year? And in the U20’s we drew 2-2 after being 2-0 up, what a shambles. That pretty much rounded off another pathetic week for Sydney Olympic.

A word of advice for people in charge of Sydney Olympic’s various social media outlets, stop blocking, banning and deleting comments from passionate supporters who actually give a fuck about the predicament of the team, otherwise soon enough you will have even less people rocking up to matches. And the condescending comments that are made by people who are only at the Club because a relative happens to be working there at the current moment only makes matters worse. It is not all good, not at all.

Also the Club in its infinite wisdom decided to appoint a coach with 6 rounds to go, another genius decision no doubt. Who knows it might turn out that he knows what he is doing, but in this League, if you don’t have players who can score regularly and create chances for you, ie a no.9 and no.10 you will be an also ran. We have let plenty of those players leave the Club in the last few years too, more idiotic decisions.

As mentioned earlier next weekend there are no games, because of the Waratah Cup Final taking place between APIA Leichhardt and Hakoah Sydney City-East.