Monday, 19 June 2017

Sydney Olympic 2-0 Parramatta FC

Sydney Olympic have picked up another important victory, beating Parramatta 2-0 at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday Afternoon. In a match which never reached any great heights and at times mirrored a training run, as a result of this, a bit of laziness crept into the side towards the end of the match. The most important thing however was to pick up the 3 points which we did.

Sydney Olympic controlled the match from the outset, this was unsurprising as Parramatta FC were fielding basically an entirely new squad and had a new coach in former Sydney Olympic Legend, Marshall Soper. We controlled most of the possession and we were passing it around well, but we were predictably finding it a little bit difficult to get through the ultra-defensive set-up of Parramatta. 15 minutes into the game though we did end up taking the lead somewhat fortunately, as a shot from new boy Mohamed Rahimi slipped through the Parramatta goalkeeper’s gloves to give us a 1-0 lead. We kept pressing in a bid to find the second goal, but some last ditch defending and some fine goalkeeping by Parramatta kept the score at 1-0. Disappointingly for Sydney Olympic we did allow Parramatta to have 2 very good 1-on-1 chances in the first-half, but a couple of good saves from Paul Henderson kept them scoreless. We probably should have been more in front but we went to the half-time break with a 1-0 lead.

We came out hard in the second-half, having a couple of really good chances to extend our lead. 10 minutes or so into the second-half we would eventually put one of those chances away, as Yu Kuboki got himself on the score-sheet once again this season with a nice low header to make it 2-0 to Sydney Olympic. We continued to create chances as Parramatta struggled to get out of their own half at times, but we could not add to our 2 goals. The final 20 or so minutes of the game descended into some poor play from us, giving the ball away, losing the ball in possession, poor passing and generally looking very lackadaisical out there. Although we were never really threatened by Parramatta who were just not good enough to take advantage of our poor play, there were some worrying signs from us out there. We had a great chance late on to make it 3-0 through a penalty, but Peter Makrillos missed the spot-kick, pretty much summing up the last 20 or so minutes from us.

So it was a comfortable victory for Sydney Olympic in the end. But it was not the sort of match you want to have under your belt when the really big and tough fixtures are coming up, and believe me they are coming in succession over these last 7 rounds of the season.

A mere 3 weeks since we signed Liam Youlley, he apparently has gone overseas chasing an opportunity over there, while there are also murmurings that a couple of others will be gone too, not good news.

In terms of the Club Championship, our U18’s lost 1-0 and in the U20’s we ended up with a 3-1 win.

Our next match is this Sunday Afternoon June 25, a vital game against Rockdale at Belmore Sports Ground, with Kick-Off at 3pm.

In the reverse fixture, morons connected to next week’s opponent damaged vehicles belonging to Sydney Olympic Supporters while also trying to initiate “punch-ons” with sections of the elderly Sydney Olympic Supporters. This happens on a regular basis with this mob, FNSW continues to ignore these actions & the constant provocations from this outfit masquerading as a soccer club. Hopefully Sydney Olympic is prepared for Sunday and can identify these grubs at the gate and not let them into the ground. I urge all Sydney Olympic Supporters to come out and support the club and each other this Sunday.

Get to Belmore this Sunday and support the Club.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Sydney Olympic 2-0 Sydney FC NPL Team

Monday Night’s performance wasn’t one of the most convincing displays we have seen this year, but at this stage of the season, what is of the upmost importance is to keep collecting the 3 points and to pick up as many wins as you can. By doing this hopefully we will find ourselves high on the ladder come the end of the season with Sydney Olympic a chance of doing something in the Finals.

It was a fairly circumspect start to the match from both sides as both took a while to warm into the match. The first bit of action came about 5 minutes into the game, when William Angel made a nice run down the left and then delivered a cross which was deflected and ended up hitting the crossbar and going out for a corner. From the ensuing corner there was a bit of a goalmouth scramble but unfortunately we could not turn it into the opening goal. The opposition did have their periods of dominance in terms of possession and did have a few half chances but they never really looked that threatening in the first-half. In the final 10 minutes of the first-half, in between the two footed challenges from the opposition, we looked the more dominant team in possession and created the bulk of the chances, all be it they were only half chances but certainly we probably should have finished off one of them and taken the lead into half-time. But at the half-time break, neither side could break the deadlock and the score remained 0-0.

We started the second-half the same way we ended the first-half, in full control and clearly the dominant side. As a result of this dominance we were able to take the lead 10 minutes into the second-half through a goal from Jinya An, who scored direct from a corner which was not dealt with by the opposition and missed by everyone to nestle into the back of the net, putting us 1-0 up. The next 25 or so minutes was fairly even as the opposition pressed hard looking for an equaliser while Sydney Olympic defended stoutly, absorbed a bit of pressure and tried to hit on the counter-attack. With about 5 minutes to go we had a great chance to ease the nerves and kill the game off, but Yu Kuboki failed to finish off his golden chance as his shot was saved. Fortunately though, we would grab our second goal soon after, coming right at the death as the ball found its way to Jinya An who made room for himself and his left footed shot found the bottom of the net, to seal the victory and the vital 3 points.

So as stated at the top, it was not the greatest display, but what mattered is the 3 points and that we were fairly comfortable defensively during the 90 minutes with our opponent not throwing a hell of a lot in terms of attack.

2 more new signings made their debut for the Club as well on Monday, George Timotheou came on with roughly 20 minutes to go and looked pretty assured in defence and Ben Morrison who came on with only a few minutes to go.

In terms of the Club Championship, our U18’s lost 5-2 and in the U20’s we ended up with a 3-0 win.

Our next match is this Sunday Afternoon June 18, another must win match against what will be a now desperate Parramatta FC outfit, at Belmore Sports Ground with Kick-Off at 3pm.

Get to Belmore this Sunday and support the Club.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Wollongong Wolves 2-1 Sydney Olympic + FFA Cup debacle

The loss on its own is nothing to be ashamed of as the Wollongong Wolves are a good side and a contender this season, despite where they find themselves on the ladder at the moment. But for Sydney Olympic it brings to an end a disappointing week for the Club and its Supporters.

We started off well in the first-half and looked the more dangerous side, but as has been the case in many of our first-half performances this season we went behind after conceding 2 goals in quick succession. Just before half-time we had a chance to cut the deficit, but the chance was missed and so we went to the half-time break trailing 2-0.

We came out hard at the beginning of the second-half looking to get back into the contest. 10 minutes into the second-half we got our breakthrough, as Niko Tsattalios put in the rebound after the ball had come off the woodwork. Soon after we came close to drawing level only to see the chance cleared off the line. The last 30 minutes or so were frantic, as we looked for goals and Wollongong tried to hit us on the counter. Unfortunately we could not find an equaliser and there would be no change to the score, as we went down 2-1.

In fairness, the players had every right to drop their heads after what happened in mid-week, instead we saw a committed performance down in Wollongong against a team that is on the rise. With a bit of luck we could have quite easily walked away with a draw if not the 3 points.

So as it stands we are currently holding onto 3rd spot on the ladder by our fingertips, with a gaggle of clubs all on our tails. The last 9 rounds of the season will be interesting to say the very least. Can the disappointment of being knocked out of the FFA Cup be used as motivation to do something in the League this season? We shall wait and see.

In terms of the Club Championship, our U18’s won 2-1 and in the U20’s we ended with a 2-2 draw.

A quick word on a few new signings. Liam Youlley played last week and he was joined by Mohamed Rahimi a player signed from Blacktown Spartans and George Timotheou from Canberra, who we signed from Sydney FC.

Who is making these signings? Does this person or persons not see fit to sign a Centre-Forward or maybe Left and Right backs, instead of having to play people out of position all the time, which at the same time removes those players from parts of the pitch where they are actually more useful and dangerous?

I’ve had a few days to ponder over what I was going to write in regards to the FFA Cup debacle of last Wednesday Night. We as in Sydney Olympic Supporters, have a tendency to be melodramatic and over-state certain situations.

But make no mistake, what happened last Wednesday Night was nothing short of an absolute disgrace and is just the latest in a long line of failures for Sydney Olympic ever since we were dumped back into this – black-hole / hell-hole – that now calls itself “NPL NSW”. If FFA or FNSW actually came to Belmore at the start of the year and handed us a pen and paper and told us we could create our own route to make the FFA Cup, we could not have come up with an easier route even if we tried, and yet still we failed.

Of course as a result of losing in the FFA Cup Qualifiers this automatically knocks us out of the Waratah Cup also. Now I can sit here and point fingers and play the blame game and there are plenty of people worthy of blame, but the only thing I can say is to remind the people running the Club at the moment, is that Sydney Olympic is not your play thing, the Sydney Olympic Supporters want to see a successful club from top to bottom and First Grade should be the crowning glory. 1 Championship and 1 Minor Premiership since the end of the NSL in 2004 is just not good enough and is actually an embarrassment.

Our next match is next Monday Afternoon (Queens Birthday Public Holiday) June 12, a tricky home match against an ever-improving Sydney FC NPL team, at Belmore Sports Ground, Kick-Off is at 3pm.

We need a Big Performance next Monday.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Sydney Olympic 4-1 Bonnyrigg White Eagles

We have found our scoring boots for a second week in a row. This time putting 4 goals passed the Bonnyrigg White Eagles on Sunday Afternoon. It was a match similar to last week’s against the Sutherland Sharks, where we laboured in the first-half only to transform into a totally different side in the second-half and runaway convincing winners.

The first-half as a whole was fairly even. Bonnyrigg did come out the stronger in the opening 15 minutes, but poor finishing by them plus a nice save from Paul Henderson kept the score at 0-0. It was after this initial spell of dominance from Bonnyrigg that Sydney Olympic finally got themselves into the game, we had a half chance which we could not put away, this was followed soon after by a golden chance to take the lead, but our header was disappointingly directed over the crossbar. Bonnyrigg hit back after this and it looked like we had conceded the opening goal, but the linesman had put his flag up signalling offside, this brought a sigh of relief from the Sydney Olympic Supporters. In the last 10 minutes of the first-half we tried hard to break the dead-lock but it wasn’t to be and so we headed to the half-time break with the score at 0-0.

In the second-half we looked a totally different side. Only 2 minutes in, some nice solo work from Radovan Pavicevic saw him go on a run and from a tight angle tried to chip the Bonnyrigg goalkeeper, unfortunately the effort struck the crossbar. We only had to wait another 5 minutes or so for our opening goal, a nice cross from the left by William Angel found the head of Yu Kuboki who made no mistake to put us in front 1-0. We doubled our lead soon after, a through ball found a free Jason Madonis who proceeded to lob the Bonnyrigg goalkeeper with a beautiful chip. The cheers would not last long however as straight away Bonnyrigg went down the other end and immediately pulled a goal back. The game went back and forth for the next 10 or so minutes. William Angel then had a chance to extend our lead once again but he was denied by a brilliant save from the Bonnyrigg goalkeeper. In the last 10 minutes Bonnyrigg tried hard for an equaliser but we managed to hold out. Instead we put another 2 goals on them in injury time through a neat finish from Radovan Pavicevic and through Jason Madonis who took his tally to 2 goals for the match. By the time the referee blew for full-time, we had run out deserved winners.

So that’s 2 weeks in a row, where a change of system at half-time has seen us look like a different side for the second-half, which has seen us play some nice free-flowing football and score 7 goals in our last 2 second-halves. It must be said we have looked very good at times during the last 2 weeks.

The mid-week signing of former junior Liam Youlley seems to be a good one, after coming on in the second-half and automatically looking the goods in midfield.

In terms of the Club Championship, the U20’s lost 1-0, while the U18’s won 4-0.

Our next match is this Wednesday Night, May 31, a massive FFA Cup Qualifier where if we win we qualify for this season’s FFA Cup proper. We play the Bankstown Berries (the old Canterbury-Marrickville Olympic) at The Crest, McClean St. Bass Hill, Kick-Off is at 7.30pm.

Our next match in the League is this Sunday Afternoon, June 4, a tough match away in Wollongong against the Wolves at WIN Stadium, Kick-Off is at 3pm.

Get out there and support Sydney Olympic.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Sydney Olympic 3-1 Sutherland Sharks

Once again as with last week, the top 4 were all playing each other meaning points would be dropped by the teams above us. Unlike with last week where we couldn’t capitalise on the situation, on Sunday we did take advantage to pick up a massive 3 points at home to the Sutherland Sharks.

The first-half as a whole was fairly ordinary from a Sydney Olympic point of view, we looked a little tentative throughout. As was expected though against a fairly poor Sutherland team we controlled most of the possession and we were rarely troubled in defence for most of the time. We were looking clunky in attack as whenever we got into any advanced positions a poor final touch, pass or cross would de-rail the move and at times we looked poor in the front third. Sutherland made a few forays towards our goal but their attacks mostly amounted to nothing until 10 minutes before half-time, when one of their players delivered a low non-threatening cross which appeared to be scooped up by Paul Henderson, only for it to be kicked out of his hands, the ensuing scramble saw the ball poked home by Sutherland to give them the lead, all the while Sydney Olympic Supporters called for a foul on the goalkeeper, calls which fell on deaf ears. Once again we found ourselves behind at home. On the stroke of half-time we had a chance to level the scores, but the chance went missing and we went to the half-time break trailing 1-0.

If in the first-half we looked a little lethargic and even incompetent at times, the second-half was an entirely different story. In the space of 10 minutes we had scored 3 goals and could have scored a few more while at the same time making a mockery of our inability to score this season. The first goal came after a run into the box by Sebastian Malfara where he was brought down inside the box. Yu Kuboki stepped up and put the penalty away. The second goal came after a nice run from substitute Nikita Andricopoulos, who then delivered a nice cross into Radovan Pavicevic who finished off expertly. The third goal came after some good pressing and winning back of the football, which resulted in Jinya An finishing off well to make it 3 goals in double quick time. We should have had our 4th goal minutes later but the shot struck the post. We created several more chances throughout the rest of the second-half, but we could not add to our 3 goals, settling for a 3-1 win.

We spoke in previous weeks about being a “Jekyll and Hyde” team from week to week, we seemed to get that all in the one match on Sunday. The team from the first-half to the second-half looked unrecognisable.

So in the end it was a good result considering the likes of; Yianni Spyrakis, Peter Makrillos, Paul Katsetis, Niko Tsattalios, Jake de Marigny (who hasn’t played at all this season) and the departed Max Burgess who has signed for Portuguese 2nd Division outfit, C.F. Uniao were all missing.

A special mention for Tass Mourdoukoutas who looked like an experienced campaigner and was all class at the back in his first start in the League, Hagi Gligor who did not stop running all game and Jason Madonis and Will Angel who never stopped trying down the flanks all day.

In terms of the Club Championship, the U20’s lost 2-0 and the U18’s lost 2-1.

This Wednesday Night we will find out who we will face for a spot in the FFA Cup proper. Either an interesting Derby against the Bankstown Berries or Dulwich Hill.

Our next match is in the League and it is another huge game at home against the Bonnyrigg White Eagles, on Sunday Afternoon, May 28, at Belmore Sports Ground, Kick-Off is at 3pm.

Get out there and support Sydney Olympic.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Hakoah Sydney City-East 0-0 Sydney Olympic

Given that the big guns were playing each other this round and that a few of them would ultimately drop points, it was vital for Sydney Olympic to go to Hakoah on Mother’s Day and pick up the all-important 3 points. Unfortunately it was not to be as we had to settle for a scoreless draw on Sunday.

The first 25 minutes of the first-half were pretty uneventful. We came out and passed the ball around well but it was more or less useless possession amongst ourselves in the midfield, backwards and sideways stuff without any real penetrating forward passing movements. We looked comfortable and totally untroubled by a pretty meek Hakoah side it has to be said, but we struggled to create that real spark to turn our good possession into a flurry of good chances. During the latter part of that first-half we did have a couple of half-chances to open the scoring, but they turned to nothing as we just were not good enough and we were not able to capitalise on the chances, even if they were not clear-cut ones. After a pretty uneventful first-half the score remained 0-0 at the half-time break.

As if realising the urgency of the situation, Sydney Olympic came out in the second-half with a bit more purpose. We looked a lot more dangerous in attack and in doing so created a couple of golden chances to open the scoring and take the game by the scruff of the neck. Again some poor finishing as well as some fine saves by the Hakoah goalkeeper kept the scores at 0-0. We kept on pushing right up until the end but we could just not find the breakthrough. Apart from 1 real chance that Hakoah had, we were not really troubled in defence at all and we easily handled everything they threw at us. As it was, the stalemate could not be broken by either side and we had to settle for a 0-0 draw at full-time.

Take nothing away from Hakoah; they are a decent, well drilled side, with plenty of good players and it is always tough getting a result there, but our problems are there and have been there for all to see this season, our attack is weak and we just cannot score enough goals. 13 goals in our first 10 matches in the League shows this to be the case, the 3rd worst attack in the League. Defensively we have been strong and our 9 goals conceded ranks us 1st in the League, having conceded the least amount of goals in the League.

This time of the year the usual stories and rumours are swirling around, about potential signings to come in during the window. I cannot give you any definitive names but it is obvious if you have been watching the team, that we definitely need some cutting edge in the front third of the park. We need a proven goal-scorer at the very least.

In terms of the Club Championship, the U20’s grabbed a 1-0 win, whilst in the U18’s we recorded a 1-0 loss.

A re-cap of last Wednesday’s Round 6 FFA Cup Qualifier against Parramatta FC.

We started off poorly conceding a goal within the first 10 minutes. In general we were quite poor throughout that whole first-half and it looked like we were heading out of the competition.

We looked better in the second-half and 10 minutes into it, we received a penalty and thought here we go, this is our way back into the match, unfortunately it was missed and a sense of impending doom came over the Sydney Olympic Supporters. Our persistence paid off though as 2 late goals from Radovan Pavicevic and Yu Kuboki saw us overcome the deficit and Qualify for the next Round of FFA Cup Qualifying.

In Round 7 FFA Cup Qualifying we will play the winner of Dulwich Hill and Bankstown Berries.

Our next match is in the League and it is a Huge Must Win game at home against a resurgent Sutherland Sharks, on Sunday Afternoon, May 21, at Belmore Sports Ground, Kick-Off is at 3pm.

Get out there this Sunday and support Sydney Olympic.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Jekyll and Hyde – Sydney Olympic 0-2 Sydney United

After an impressive display last Sunday at APIA, expectations were there that we would now kick on from there and keep that same intensity for the rest of the season. Unfortunately it has not worked out that way, as we didn’t perform anywhere near like we did last Sunday, instead we brought out a performance which mirrored our effort from 2 Sunday’s ago. Where we laid down at home against Blacktown City, meaning we have now dished up 2 poor home performances in a row, not good enough in front of the Sydney Olympic Supporters.

The first-half mirrored the effort of our first-half from our last home game, no spark, poor play and constantly inviting the opposition into our own half and to do whatever they wanted in our defensive third, while also giving up several chances. Within the first 5 minutes one of those chances was turned into a goal as a deflected effort from the opposition beat Paul Henderson, we were down 1-0 and looking in all sorts of trouble. We had no real response to what the opposition was throwing at us and we couldn’t muster a decent chance of our own. If not for a shocking penalty miss from the opposition we would have been 2-0 down and deservedly so. Only minutes before half-time, we had one great chance to equalise and put that miserable first-half performance behind us with a great headed chance, unfortunately it was headed over the bar, to the dismay of the Sydney Olympic Supporters. We went to the break 1-0 down.

The second-half saw much of the same although we did start to play a little bit better, there were not many highlights from either side as the match turned into a real midfield battle. Around 20 minutes from the end we had a great chance to level the scores as the ball was flung into the penalty area, the ball subsequently fell onto the chest of one our players (Gligor I think) who had a quick snap volley but it was blocked by the opposition defence. We tried hard to push and get that all-important equaliser, but in doing so we left too much room at the back and the opposition broke away on the counter to score, meaning we were now 2-0 down with around 10 minutes to go. Late on we did manage to find the back of the net but it was controversially ruled out for offside. We tried hard near the end but it was just too little too late, as we went down at home again.

It was a display lacking any real energy and intensity, a match where we created very few chances. Even more worryingly, we are starting to resemble a Jekyll and Hyde team, one week showing up and looking good and committed and the next week looking lethargic and dis-interested in the game altogether, which is something you never want to see from your team.

Also playing long balls to a relatively short and isolated striker when he is up against 2 tall centre-backs was poor and it happened time and time again on Sunday, as he never had anyone anywhere near him to help out.

If that isn’t concerning enough, Max Burgess who has been one of our best players this season did not play, as he has left for Portugal to have some trials over there, once again not great timing but Sydney Olympic’s current status means the Club cannot hold him back. Peter Makrillos saw his first action for 2017 after a long injury lay-off playing around 20 minutes, no news is forth-coming on what the situation is for Jake de Marigny.

It doesn’t matter which board or whichever coach comes in, one thing is for certain with Sydney Olympic over the last few years, that is, no depth and relying on the same 12-13 players to get us through the season and every year we never learn. You don’t do shit in this League without 17-18 players you can rely on and trust every single week. And when the games are coming thick and fast this problem is only magnified.

In terms of the Club Championship, the U20’s got up winning 2-0, thanks to 2 goals from Jinya An, who is making his way back from injury and boy don’t we need him back in first grade quick smart, in the U18’s the score ended in a 2-2 draw.

Our next match is this Wednesday Night, May 10, a Round 6 FFA Cup Qualifier against Parramatta FC at Belmore Sports Ground, Kick-Off is 7.30pm.

Our next match in the League is next Sunday Afternoon, May 14, against Hakoah Sydney City-East at Hensley Athletic Field (Eastgardens), Kick-Off is at 3pm.