Monday, 27 March 2017

3 On The Trot – SFC NPL 0-1 Sydney Olympic

Our good start to the 2017 NSW NPL season has continued, as we recorded our third win in a row to start the season, in a match that was certainly our toughest so far this season. The team showed great composure and resilience to come away with a much deserved victory.

Once again, right from the outset we took control of the match and started the brighter. Yu Kuboki had a good chance to open the scoring early on, but failed to really trouble the opposition goalkeeper. Throughout that first-half, the Burgess brothers and Hagi Gligor were controlling things in midfield, Niko Tsattalios and Yu Kuboki were creating havoc up front and Jason Madonis and William Angel were chiming in and making deep runs from the back. As the first-half progressed we continued to have most of the ball and in doing so created quite a few chances to take the lead, but we just could not capitalise on our good build up work. In not being able to trouble the scoreboard, it gave the opposition the impetus to try and open the scoring themselves, and while they did huff and puff a little late in the first-half, they never really looked like scoring, but as it turned out neither team could and so we had to settle for a 0-0 score-line at the half-time break.

With the score being 0-0 to begin the second-half, this of course gave the opposition underdogs a bit of a boost to start off the second-half. During the first 10 minutes of the half they had a couple of chances to open the scoring, but lucky for us they scuffed their chances. After this initially worrying period to start the second-half we regained control of the match. We stepped it up a notch and pushed hard to get the all-important opening goal, but again through some poor finishing along with a combination of desperate defending and solid goalkeeping, we were thwarted time and again, we even had an effort hit the woodwork, the longer the game went on the more it felt that we were destined to finish scoreless. But with 5 minutes remaining, a nice run from Max Burgess saw him make his way into the box, where he delivered a shot which was just too good for the opposition goalkeeper to do anything about, sending the Sydney Olympic Supporters into raptures. The last 5 minutes of the match involved us sitting back and trying to hold onto the lead, which we successfully did to give us a well-deserved victory and continue our winning streak to start the season.
It was another solid display, although not as comfortable as it had been in the opening 2 matches of the season. Everybody once again worked hard and as a solid unit, it was also a good first display from Thomas Whiteside who was making his first start for the club in place of Mitch Stamatellis and did the job which was required.

In terms of the Club Championship, the U20’s had a 2-1 win whilst the U18’s lost 4-0.

The team is in fine form and the boys are putting together some excellent performances week in and week out, so all Sydney Olympic Supporters should make an effort to come down and support the team.

Our next match is this Sunday Afternoon, April 2, against Parramatta FC, at Melita Stadium, Kick-Off is at 3pm. 

Monday, 20 March 2017

2 from 2 – Sydney Olympic 3-1 Wollongong Wolves

Sydney Olympic have carried the good pre-season form over into the season proper, notching up our second win in a row to start the 2017 NPL season. We defeated the Wollongong Wolves 3-1 at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday Afternoon, in what was another clinical performance, where we controlled the match from start to finish.

From the first whistle we dominated proceedings, having all the ball and creating almost all of the chances. With this being the case, it did not take long for us to open the scoring. A nice run down the left from William Angel saw him glide passed a couple of defenders before making his way into the box, cutting onto his right and finishing expertly passed the Wollongong goalkeeper to give us a well-deserved 1-0 lead. It was total domination by Sydney Olympic, as Wollongong looked like a shadow of the side that had looked so good in Round 1. Our general play, passing and movement were top notch and we continued to create goal-scoring opportunities throughout that first-half, but the final shot always seemed to be lacking the power to really trouble the Wollongong goal. Nevertheless we continued to create openings during the first-half, all with little reward as we could not double our lead and had to settle for a 1-0 lead going into the half-time break.

The second-half continued from where the first left off, as we continued to dominate the game, having the lions-share of possession and had the vast majority of the chances. But it was not until midway through the second half that we were finally able to put away that second goal. A lovely ball found a free William Angel down the left flank, he delivered a delightful low cross into the box, inviting someone to smash it home, Niko Tsattalios accepted that invitation finishing from close range to make it 2-0. We continued to boss the game and 10 minutes from time we grabbed our third, effectively killing the game off as a contest. William Angel once again found himself free down the left, he delivered another pin-point cross into the box, this time it was met by Jason Madonis, who tapped in from close range to give us an unassailable 3-0 lead. A lapse in concentration right at the death allowed Wollongong to sneak in and grab a consolation goal, making the score 3-1. Which put a slight dampener on the victory and the day as a whole.

Once again it was another solid display with everyone working extremely hard on the park and everybody played really well. But a specific mention must go to both William Angel who terrorised Wollongong all game down that left flank and Max Burgess who dominated, controlling and orchestrating play from midfield, they were the 2 stand-outs.

In terms of the Club Championship, the U20’s had a 4-0 win and the U18’s finished 1-1, giving us a nice haul of points for the weekend.

On a sour note it was disappointing to see so many unhappy faces rocking up to the canteen only to find out that they had already run out of souvlaki before first grade had even started (lol). Hopefully (and seriously) this can be all sorted out by the time of the next home game.

We now have a stretch of 4 away matches in a row, so hopefully, we can get as many Sydney Olympic Supporters to come out and support the boys as we are playing some good football this year.

Our next match is this Saturday Night, March 25, against the Sydney FC NPL team, at Lambert Park, Kick-Off is at 7.45pm.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Solid Start – Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0-2 Sydney Olympic

I must say, usually when we make the trip out to Bonnyrigg its smack bang in the middle of Winter and it is freezing, so it was a nice change to be drawn against them in a match out there in mid-March. Anyway enough of that, we have started the season off well with a 2-0 victory over Bonnyrigg, a great start to the season and a nice base from which to build from for the rest of the year.

The first 10 or so minutes of the first-half, was as expected right at the start of the season, fairly cagey as both sides were feeling each other out. After this initial settling-in period, we took complete control of the game, dominating possession and creating a plethora of chances. Eventually we capitalised on a chance, as new signing Yu Kuboki was set free on goal, he lobbed the on-rushing Bonnyrigg goalkeeper with the ball nestling in the back of the net to give us a well-deserved 1-0 lead. Just before halftime we doubled our lead and Yu Kuboki got his second of the half, this one a much more easier finish as he was presented with a tap-in, he made no mistake giving us a 2-0 lead at half-time. Truth be told we realistically should have been at least 3 or 4 nil up, but as it was we had to settle for 2-0 and hope we went on with the job in the second-half.

As the saying goes “2-0 is the most dangerous score-line in football” so early in the second-half we started off a bit more cautiously, not wanting to concede a goal and give Bonnyrigg some type of sniff of a come-back. In doing so we seemed to sit back too much and invited pressure. Bonnyrigg had a couple of half chances but luckily they never took full advantage. Midway through the second-half we seemed to switch on again as we got back on the attack and looking for the goal that would kill off the game. We created plenty of openings, but not many clear-cut goal scoring opportunities. The longer it remained 2-0, the belief would remain for Bonnyrigg that they could get something out of the match. In the final stages, Bonnyrigg made one last stand and in doing so gave us an opening to extend our lead, we did have a couple of chances, but neither side would trouble the scoreboard as the score remained 2-0 at the full-time whistle.

It is a good start and as already mentioned a good base from which to build on for the rest of the season. Hendo along with Spyrakis and Stamatellis as CB’s were very solid and rarely troubled. It was a little weird to see Madonis and Angel playing at RB and LB respectively but they did well. The Burgess brothers in the middle with Paul Katsetis were very good. Jinya An and Radovan Pavicevic were busy up front and worked hard as was Yu Kuboki who was rewarded with 2 goals for his efforts.

The boys who came on during the match also did their job and helped bring home the 3 points. Considering Jake de Marigny, Hagi Gligor and Peter Makrillos were all unavailable for the match, that is a lot of quality still to come back into the side. Things are looking promising for 2017.

Kudos to the Club and the lady brought in to do the social media, nothing extraordinary is needed, the line-ups, scores, updates etc. So it was good to see the engagement is there and the pre-game and post-game interviews are much appreciated.

Last week at the Club’s season launch, 3 more Sydney Olympic Legends were added into the Club’s Hall of Fame. They were Abbas Saad, Ante Juric and Grant Lee. Congratulations to all 3 as they all served the Club with distinction, over many years.

Given that the Club is celebrating 60 years in 2017, one of the things I will be bringing up every now and again on this blog, is the idea of a “Sydney Olympic 60 Years Team”. I’m not sure if the Club is aware or has anything planned for this come the end of the season but you would hope they would, as it is a great way to show off the Club’s Great History and it may be something to engage the fans with, even giving them a say on who would make this unbelievable side.

Next week is our first home game of the season and I encourage all Sydney Olympic Supporters to make a little time and come down and support the Club. It will be this Sunday March 19, at Belmore Sports Ground against an improved Wollongong Wolves. Kick-Off is at 3pm.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Sydney Olympic Off-Season Blog #6 – February

We are now under a month away from the start of the 2017 NSW NPL season and our important season opener away against the Bonnyrigg White Eagles on Saturday, March 11 - 7pm.

Hopefully the players and everybody associated with the Club will be ready to put 2016 behind them, be ready for Match 1 and be ready to give the competition a real shake this season.

Over the last couple of months we have played a series of Pre-Season matches, with plenty of players getting a run in these matches to test themselves and to put their best foot forward into earning a spot in First Grade.

Stanmore Hawks 0-3 SYDNEY OLYMPIC
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0-0 SYDNEY OLYMPIC
Mounties Wanderers 1-2 SYDNEY OLYMPIC
Blacktown Spartans 1-4 SYDNEY OLYMPIC

The squad is starting to take shape and given we are only working with what we have seen and heard so far, as well as on word of mouth, this is the current list we have of our current squad:

Paul Henderson
Will Angel
Yianni Spyrakis
Mitch Stamatellis
Jason Madonis
Niko Tsattalios
Jake de Marigny
Hagi Gligor
Peter Makrillos
Max Burgess
Darcy Burgess
Paul Katsetis
Steven Drewery
Costa Andricopoulos

Plus recent arrivals: Radovan Pavicevic, Yu Kuboki, Jinya An, Goran Subara

Not sure on the status of Howard Fondyke and Eoin Montford at this stage and whether they are still with us. I may have also missed a couple of players, if I have apologies.

Plenty of interest has also surrounded our new coach Jamie Monroy and how he has settled into the role. From everybody I have spoken to everybody is very impressed with him and how he is going about it, crucially and most importantly, the players seem to be enjoying having him as coach.

Our next Pre-Season match is this Sunday, February 19, at Cromer Park against Manly United, Kick-Off is set for 7pm.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Sydney Olympic Off-Season Blog #5 – January

Well we are now into 2017 (can you believe it) and hopefully everybody has had a nice and relaxing Christmas/New Year period and are ready for what hopefully will be a big season for Sydney Olympic, as we are now only a couple of months away from the 2017 season starting.

Firstly, onto one of the great bugbears of Sydney Olympic Supporters, the lack of communication from the club, whether it be the website or on outlets like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, there simply is not enough engagement with the supporters, who want to know what the latest is with the team and want to know what is going on generally.

I understand the need for a break over the recent Christmas/New Year period, especially since the Club does not operate in a full time capacity, but even still, the lack of presence by the Club during the last month and more generally over the past 12 months is disappointing.

Holidays or not, there should have been some form of news or message put out by the Club over these past 3 weeks. Also get someone to fill the job who firstly knows at least the basic history of the Club and what we’re all about. It is not that complicated surely.

The word around the traps is that the squad is taking shape and the players have taken to the new ideas of new coach Jaime Monroy, the environment in and around training seems to be a good one.

The squad at this stage to my knowledge seems to be:

- Paul Henderson, Eoin Montford, Mitch Stamatellis, Jake de Marigny, Niko Tsattalios

- Will Angel, Howard Fondyke, Jason Madonis, Yianni Spyrakis, Peter Makrillos, Darcy Burgess, Hagi Gligor, Paul Katsetis, Nikita Andricopoulos

- Michael Gaitatzis, Evan Patramanis, Max Burgess

I am also lead to believe that there is room for a couple more players and they are on their way.

After last year’s debacle and farcical end to the season, all the Supporters are hoping for a big year for the team and the Club as a whole.

Sad news for the Club and for Australian Football in general was the recent death of former; Supporter, Player, Administrator and President of Sydney Olympic, John Constantine, a Giant figure for our Great Club.

John Constantine also held the position of President at the NSW Soccer Federation and at the Australian Soccer Federation.

Once again condolences to Mr. Constantine’s family and friends.

Finally some news of our first pre-season match of 2017, which will be on Saturday Night, January 21, at Valentine Sports Park against the Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Kick-Off is set for 6pm.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Sydney Olympic Off-Season Blog #4 – December

After a few years of not having one and as promised by the new board, Sydney Olympic has had its Annual General Meeting, which took place on November 30.

Several outcomes and assurances were given by the Board during the AGM, concerning several issues.

1) There was a thorough examination of the Club’s finances, which was undertaken by an accounting firm. It was discovered that the Club was left with a significant amount of debt by previous Boards. The current Board, has been working extremely hard to manage this situation.

2) The current Board assured us and is confident, that the Tempe-Redevelopment will be going ahead as planned and it will become the new base and home of Sydney Olympic, with talk that it will be ready by 2018. Now with all of these things and given how many “projects” and “new homes” we have been promised and have had fall through for the Club throughout the years, I personally will remain pessimistic about the whole thing until I see it has become a reality, with my own eyes. I’m sure many others feel the same way.

3) The Club is also pushing through with trying to get a synthetic surface installed for Peter Moore Field.

4) The Club is aware of the lack of communications, via the Website and via Facebook, Twitter etc. and will be taking steps to resolve this problem.

5) The Board has also made assurances that First Grade will not suffer or be neglected as a result of the many other issues the Club is currently dealing with, they also re-iterated that Sydney Olympic will be more than competitive for season 2017.

Continuing with the playing side of things, with some team news. There hasn’t been much more to add to the previous blogs in this regard. What is for certain though is Jacob Boutoubia, who was decent for us during season 2016, before he was seriously injured towards the back end of last season, has left the club to play on the Gold Coast.

So at this stage without being able to confirm it 100%, as more players may have come and gone over the last few weeks, this is roughly what our current squad looks like:

Paul Henderson, Eoin Montford, Mitch Stamatellis, Jake de Marigny, Niko Tsattalios

Will Angel, Howard Fondyke, Yianni Spyrakis, Peter Makrillos, Jason Madonis, Hagi Gligor, Paul Katsetis, Nikita Andricopoulos

Michael Gaitatzis, Evan Patramanis

Looking at this list alone, we need a couple more defenders and at least 1 quality striker if we are to seriously challenge on multiple fronts next season.

Finally, we also have some pre-season hit-out news, we will be having a match this Sunday Night, December 11, at Arlington Oval in Dulwich Hill against Stanmore Hawks, Kick-Off is set for 7pm.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Sydney Olympic Off-Season Blog #3 – November

Well we are deep, smack bang in the middle of the off-season, with the First Grade squad only recently beginning pre-season training in the hope of a better campaign for Sydney Olympic in 2017.

First order of business is news on our coach. After 3 and a half seasons Grant Lee is no longer the coach of Sydney Olympic and from what I understand he will be fulfilling a different position for the Club.

His tenure as coach you’d have to say was a mixed bag. 2013 was a write-off when he arrived in difficult circumstances and he came in and steadied the ship. The next 2 seasons, both 2014 and 2015 we genuinely had good football teams, but unfortunately we were not capable of capitalising on the great opportunities and we came away empty-handed on the trophy front in both seasons. 2016 was a disaster which was not of his own doing, a late season surge was unfortunately not enough for us to seriously make a challenge.

Unfortunately and sadly, zero trophies is the main legacy during the last 3 and a half seasons.

Our new coach is an unknown quantity, Jaime Monroy Zamith, a Portuguese who allegedly has experience coaching in Barcelona’s youth programs. All Sydney Olympic Supporters are hoping he can deliver us to the top and of course we wish him well.

Onto the Sydney Olympic communications front, it has been virtually impossible to find out much about what is happening given there are no announcements anywhere, minimal Facebook activity, not much on Instagram and zero updates on the Club’s Twitter account for the past 4 months, (as I write this, they have made a Twitter post, a very significant one at that). Again I will say this needs to be rectified and soon.

As for news on the squad, to the best of my knowledge the following list of players is what I believe to be our current squad at this current moment. Obviously it is impossible to know for sure if it is 100% accurate. But here it goes:

Paul Henderson, Eoin Montford, Mitch Stamatellis, Jake de Marigny, Niko Tsattalios

Will Angel, Howard Fondyke, Yianni Spyrakis, Peter Makrillos, Jason Madonis, Hagi Gligor, Paul Katsetis, Nikita Andricopoulos

Jacob Boutoubia, Michael Gaitatzis, Evan Patramanis

From what I understand a few players from the 20s will be moving up. The club is also looking to sign 2 to 3 more players over the next bit of time, hearing a couple of Defenders and a Striker.

Onto the ground situation, according to everything I have been told, the Tempe Re-Development Project is the Club’s No.1 priority, as it should be. It is vital for the future of the Club and would be great if we can pull it off.

As for the present situation with Belmore, the Club is endeavouring to improve the relationship with the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Council which will see us be treated better and more fairly than we have in the past few years.

Finally on the AGM front, the new Board has followed through with its promise to sort through the clubs records and hold one this year.

The AGM will be on November 30 at 6:30pm at the Cyprus Club in Stanmore. All Life Members and Club Members are encouraged to be there.

Details here: