Well it has been a month since our season ended and that time has been needed to get over the general disappointment of the 2016 season and the circumstances in which we missed the Finals.
Some good news has been the resurgence of our 20’s team which had been wallowing down near the bottom of the ladder, made a late season resurgence to sneak into the Top 5 and managed to go all the way and win their Grand Final against Manly United last Sunday, to be crowned Champions.
There is a good chance we will see a few of these players regularly in First Grade next season, hopefully for Sydney Olympic, with quite a few having had a taste of First Grade already.
Speaking of First Grade, a substantial amount of the squad which appeared this season should be re-signed by the Club for 2017, obviously the current situation and plans of these players are unknown at this time and as usual, the teams with the bigger budgets will be looking to swoop.
The Club as a priority should do everything possible to swiftly re-sign our main group of players, the likes of; Paul Henderson, Will Angel, Mitch Stamatellis, Harris Gaitatzis, Brayden Sorge, Jason Madonis. The ridiculous situation of last season of losing 10 First Grade players and not replacing them, must never be repeated again.
The re-signing of these core players should be only a start, obviously there have been other good performers this season, they should be seriously looked at, added with the growth and improvement of some of the 20s players and we should have a decent looking squad for 2017. Of course there are also some fine players at other clubs who are worth looking at.
There were some obvious problem areas in the team during season 2016, there are certain positions on the field that we must surely fix;
- The troublesome Left-Back position caused us issues all season, this must be resolved in the off-season, we must bring in a competent Left-Back.
- Another area which needs strengthening is the Centre-Back position, there were far too many defensive errors during pivotal moments of some very important matches. We need to bring in another quality Centre-Back.
- And what I believe to be the most glaring problem was the lack of a quality Centre-Forward. Not only was it evident in the statistics (the 3rd worst attack in the league). But also we went into several matches without a recognised No.9, something that is a necessity if you want to have any chance of having a successful season.
At this point of the year there are plenty of rumours floating around, but there is no concrete news on the signings front for Sydney Olympic.
One position which we’ve been well served in for many years now is that of goalkeeper, with Paul Henderson again having another outstanding season and again being awarded NPL Goalkeeper of the Year at the FNSW end-of-season awards. At 40 he’s still one of the best goalkeepers in Australia.
As you may or may not have heard already, Sunday September 25, will be a big day for the Club.
Starting at 2pm at Belmore Sports Ground there will be a Legends Match between the Sydney Olympic Legends and the NSL All-Stars. Many of the Greats of the Club and of Australian Football will be on hand, so make sure you come down and check it out.
Following this at 3pm, the Club will hold its end of season function next door under a marquee at Peter Moore Field. There will be plenty of Food and Drinks and plenty of entertainment and activities for everybody.
The Club will also unveil its new Emblem for 2017 and onwards, as it heads into its 60th anniversary next season.
Hopefully there is also some sort of an announcement and a date set for the long overdue AGM.
Until next time…