Thursday, 12 October 2017

Sydney Olympic - Club Records

Over the last few weeks through my own information and thanks to the assistance of several others who have helped by providing additional material, I am close to completing what I think are the Records and Statistics of the Club ie. All-Time Appearances and Goals from our First season in 1958 till today.

I still require Appearances and Goals information from our First 3 Seasons in the NSW 2nd Division - 1958, 1959, 1960 - as well as the 1975, 1976, 1980 NSW 1st Division seasons to complete this task. So if anyone has that info or knows where to get it, that would be great.

Appearances and Goals include League and Cup matches. 

It will surprise no one that Gary Meier comes out on top in the Appearances list, despite not having information for 3 of his seasons and therefore it is incomplete, he has so far amassed 342 Games for the Club, between 1972-1994. Fair to say that if the missing information is added he will have played well over 400 Games for the Club over 20 years, remarkable.

The Top 10 in terms of Appearances at this current time is:
1- Gary Meier - 342 Games (1972-1994)
2- Gary Phillips - 312 Games (1982-1993)
3- David Barrett - 281 Games (1988-1997)
4- Peter Raskopoulos - 259 Games (1977-1979 & 1981-1989)
5- Tony Spyridakos - 251 Games (1982-1990/91 & 1992/93-1995)
6- Brian Smith - 212 Games (1962-1972)
7- Elias Augerinos - 210 Games (1991-2001/02 & 2003/04)
8- Ante Juric - 210 Games (1994/95 & 1997-2004)
9- *Paul Henderson - 198 Games (2010-)
10- Robert Ironside - 193 Games (1988-1994 & 1995/96)

In terms of Top Scorers the Top 10 is currently as follows:
1- Brian Smith - 72 Goals (1962-1972)
2- Pablo Cardozo - 68 Goals (1990-1993, 1998-2001 & 2003/04)
3- David Harding - 61 Goals (1969-1975)
4- Marshall Soper - 60 Goals (1983-1989)
5- Norman Tome - 60 Goals (1993-2000)
6- Abbas Saad - 56 Goals (1987-1992, 1993/94 & 1996/97)
7- Mark Koussas - 53 Goals (1979-1985)
8- Robert Ironside - 44 Goals (1988-1994 & 1995/96)
9- Peter Katholos - 42 Goals (1981-1986 & 1991-1993)
10- Chris Kalantzis - 40 Goals (1983-1987 & 1997-2000)

Obviously all this is subject to change should I come across more information, particularly from the missing seasons.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Sydney Olympic Off-Season – September

It’s been a month or so since the season for Sydney Olympic has ended, losing in Week 1 of the Finals to Manly United. A Manly United who then went on to win the Championship. Given that we probably should have beaten them that day, it makes for another frustrating off-season for the supporters.

Looking through the season as a whole, you would have to say that it was another “what might have been” season.

Blacktown although up their challenging near the top again and they did flog us during the season, were not as good as they have been in recent seasons, Sydney United had an off year, not to mention Bonnyrigg’s fall from the top in 2017. Rockdale once again threw a truck-load of money trying to win something, failing once again, APIA re-emerged and looked like the real deal for the first time in a while, Wollongong were a dangerous outfit, but couldn’t put it together consistently, while Manly basically came from nowhere to win it all.

No doubt the door was open for a challenge from Sydney Olympic this season, but things needed to click for us and they never did.

With a poor Parramatta Melita being relegated this season and being replaced by a rejuvenated Marconi Stallions, season 2018 automatically looks like it will be much more tougher and closer competition.

Blacktown, Sydney United, Rockdale, APIA will for sure be throwing everything at it once again, Bonnyrigg will want to put a poor 2017 behind them, Marconi you would imagine, will spend even more than they did in NPL2  in a bid for Glory in NPL1. Manly United, the Champions, will be looking to defend their Crown, while murmurs abound that Wollongong, Sutherland and Hakoah have also recruited well in preparation for a tilt in 2018, while the Sydney FC NPL team will once again be competitive in all 3 grades.

The man charged with piloting Sydney Olympic’s 2018 campaign will be Gorka Etxeberria as we are hearing he will be staying on. Hopefully he has learned and seen enough of the League and Teams to know what is needed to be challenging on all fronts next season.

News is scarce on who we have signed for 2018, if you believe what was written in the Greek Herald last week, William Angel and Niko Tsattalios will be staying on. What is for sure is that the usual suspects will be looking to raid our squad and sign our players in a bid to weaken us.

What we do know is that Paul Henderson, fresh from another “Goalkeeper of the Year” season, will go around for another season, while the futures of most of our squad from this year are up in the air.

Like every year I plead for the Club to sign a Striker who consistently scores goals and rakes in 15-20 goals a season. We haven’t had one of those for a long time. We also need to sign a RB and LB and a No.10 type player to help out with our impotent attack.

The ground situation remains unchanged as we are still at the mercy of the Canterbury Bulldogs at Belmore, this situation has been one of the huge blights on this Club for 60 years. As for the alleged Tempe Project, it would be nothing short of a miracle if that proceeds, it will probably go the way of the other “Grand Plans” the Club has had, failure.

There is no news forthcoming from the Club in regards to this year’s AGM.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Season Over – Manly United 2-1 Sydney Olympic

Well another disappointing season for Sydney Olympic comes to an abrupt end, a season that started with so much optimism and promise, only to see it flounder like most of our seasons have since being back in the NSW State League.

Our chances in this game, an important Elimination Final, were severely hampered even before a ball was kicked, as Mitchell Stamatellis was ruled out before the game through injury and we certainly missed his leadership out there. This was coupled with the fact our best player William Angel, picked up an injury just before half-time and had to come off, it was always going to be an up-hill battle from there without 2 of our most influential players.

To the players credit though, they did put up a good fight, gave a good account of themselves and gave it their all, but it was never going to be enough unless we had a bit of luck on our side and we didn’t have any of that either. As it turned out, it was Manly United who progressed to Week 2 of the Finals and for our Sydney Olympic it is now season over.

It brings to an end a season where the description “up and down” wouldn’t do it justice. We had a great start, had our customary mid-season slump, had 3 coaches, had players coming and going on a weekly basis, had an embarrassing failure in the FFA Cup and finally barely managed to scrape into the Finals. What a way to commemorate the Club’s 60th anniversary hey.

As has been rumoured and given what I know and what has been written and said already, we will in all likelihood lose half of our squad from this season and as is becoming a bit of a custom for Sydney Olympic, we will in all likelihood have to build a side from scratch once again in the off-season. It is no way to operate in this League, we need continuity.

In a sane and ideal World, the Club and the Board should be doing whatever is necessary to re-sign and keep; Mitchell Stamatellis, William Angel, Yianni Spyrakis, Jason Madonis, Hagi Gligor, Niko Tsattalios, Darcy Burgess, George Timotheou, Paul Katsetis, Paul Henderson and Jake de Marigny who although didn’t play a game for us in 2017 due to a long-term injury, he showed us in 2016 how good he is and it is worth keeping faith in him.

- Max Burgess was by far our best player, but it was all too brief as he was gone less than 1/3 of the way into the season and we could never replace him.
- Tass Mourdoukoutas was impressive whenever he was available to be in the side, but from what we have been told he has already left and gone to the West Sydney a-league Franchise.
- Peter Makrillos was mooted as a great signing at the time, but he barely took the field for us this season and in hindsight, the essential swap we had with Rockdale for Harris Gaitatzis was a mistake.
- I don’t watch a-league so I don’t know what kind of striker or scoring record Radovan Pavicevic had, but what is for certain, is he couldn’t hit the side of a barn for us this season.
- Tom Whiteside was a bit hit and miss, some good games and some poor ones.
- The 2 Asian boys Jinya and Yu gave their all and were decent for us at times this season, but drifted in and out of too many games and I am unsure on their visa status or what their plans are for next season.

- Liam Youlley who came in as a new signing was gone 2 weeks later, I never understood that signing.

After the Club and Board ideally re-sign the players that I mentioned, they should not be resting on their laurels and they should be going out and looking to add quality players that will complement the re-signed players. First and foremost we need to sign a quality Centre-Forward, this has been a major Achilles heel for the team for many seasons. Also find a Left-Back from somewhere, another problem position.

It is a big ask to expect something different, but the Club and the Board should not make the same mistakes we have been making for the past 5 years. We should already be preparing for next season.

In terms of the Club Championship, anybody who has followed that closely this year, knows it has been an abysmal year, both the U18’s and U20’s were shockingly bad for the vast majority of both their seasons.

Of course this is what determines who is relegated at the end of each season, thanks to First Grade and a truly tragic Melita side, we stayed well clear of any relegation danger in 2017. But with a rejuvenated Marconi coming back up next season and with the expected improvements in the rest of the teams, next season will be a much harder task to stay up. We must be prepared accordingly.

Tempe ah Tempe, remember when there were optimistic announcements and even plans drawn up? In fairness we’ve heard this type of thing before, we’ve been hearing about various plans for several decades if truth be told, so maybe we should never have gotten our hopes up in the first place?

Depending on who you talk to, Tempe is off and has been off for a while – or – the Club is waiting for the outcome of the Inner West council elections which take place on Saturday September 9. Either way we shall wait and see, it is likely we will know fairly soon enough.

Last year we had an AGM for the first time in some 4 years, hopefully there is an announcement soon about the 2017 AGM and maybe we can get some answers to a lot of questions.

With the season now over, this blog will be checking in once a month for a monthly update, but you can always leave a comment or send a message via Sydney Olympic Supporters on Facebook or @SOFC_Supporters on Twitter.

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.