From: Ricky Onsman []
Sent: Friday, 19 July 2002 9:58
To: Balmain Rovers Players (E-mail); Balmain Rovers Newsletter (E-mail)
Subject: Newsletter 2002-14 - Balmain Rovers

soccerball      BALMAIN ROVERS     soccerball
Newsletter - Friday 19 July 2002 beerbeer

This newsletter is published by Balmain Rovers,
part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
The Annandale Hotel is the major sponsor of Balmain Rovers.

Match Report 1
Balmain Rovers 4A Reserves v Five Dock Reserves
Nield Park, Rodd Point
Sat 13 July 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Adam Freeman

Following last week’s great result against interclub rivals Balmain B, it was important that against the lower placed Five Dock that we backed that result up with another win to keep us in the finals running.

While Nield Park, with its sweeping harbour views, has one of the prettiest aspects of any ground that we play on, I have to say that it is by the far the worst ground this season. It is small, steeply sloped and very hard, and is far from flat. Not the sort of pitch that suits the Rovers Total Football style of play.

Squad rotation and an absence due to a wedding meant a reshuffle to the line-up that did so well last week. John Pereira’s absence caused Neil to shift into a more central role in the backline and Adam Freeman came into the side wide on the right. Following his World Cup trip, Darren Taylor was welcomed back into the side on the left side of midfield.

Rovers started the game brightly, playing some neat passing football. The training exercises in short passing were paying off well. All Rovers players were looking to play the ball to feet, sometimes even passing the ball back or across even when under pressure, rather than always looking to play the ball forward as we have been guilty of in the past. This controlled play was rewarded early when Darren Taylor opened the scoring; Darren (a keen student of the game) had obviously been taking notes in Japan - his strike was something special. Rovers 1-0 up in the first few minutes.

While Balmain continued to dominate the play, with Five Dock offering little in attack, a bizarre long-range effort allowed Five Dock to equalise. From well out near the half-way line, one of the Five Dock players took advantage of the strong wind in his favour and decided to try his luck with a long shot. As the ball headed goalwards, Spoz put into words the thoughts of the whole team as he exclaimed "Oh, shit!" whilst trying to the save the ball which snuck in under the crossbar. There was much celebration from the Five Dock side, which is fair enough - if I had scored a goal like that I would have been celebrating big style. Then again, if I ever score any sort of goal I will be celebrating big style. Enough of me though.

The Rovers would not let the Dockers back into the game, putting the goal behind them as a fluke and they continued to play good passing football. One movement, in which I think just about every Rover touched the ball, led to another Darren Taylor goal. Only back playing 10 minutes and he already had 2 goals. If Mick McCarthy had called this lad into the side, perhaps the World Cup would be heading to Ireland. Rovers back in front 2-1.

Rovers continued playing some great attacking football at this point. Notable were Kelly’s charges forward from the back and Jared dribbling the ball through the moguls on the left hand wing. Michael B and Phil Davis were using the ball intelligently in the middle of the field. It was only a matter of time before the Rovers scored again. It was Sohail who showed us that scoring a goal is very much like making love to a beautiful woman: it requires skilful approach play, when you see a opening you must be patient and you must be careful not to shoot too early, before gently but firmly slotting in. Sohail has been in great form of late - while also still finding time to play some good football.

Half-time score: Rovers 3, Five Dock 1.

For the second half Rovers came out with a reshuffled line up, Adam B coming on in the unfamiliar role of defender with Kelly B taking a break. Darren Lynn showed why he is the striker goalkeepers fear. Not only did he beat the ‘keeper twice to score two more goals (keeping the pressure on in the Golden Boot award) but he once again clashed heavily taking the ‘keeper out - although he probably came off second best this time and had a goal disallowed for his troubles.

With the Rovers well in the lead late in the second half, the side decided to experiment with some unusual formations. Not that it was planned, more a case of everybody wanting to get on the score sheet. The crowd was treated to 2-6-2, 1-2-7 and 1-1-8. This really proved counter productive, with Rovers losing their shape and composure, giving Five Dock some space with which to attack.

Richard Lyne and Neil O’Donnell coped well, though at some point, Five Dock pulled a goal back due to a mix-up in the Rovers defence.

Mention should be made of the spirit in which the game was played. Both sides played hard but enjoyed the game and a laugh afterwards. It was good to see, given the troubles at other Canterbury District games. If any Five Dock players read this, good luck for rest of season. And if the referee reads this, thanks for a good game.

Whilst not a vintage Rovers performance, we got the job done, keeping us in the title race. Next week sees a confident Rovers go up against the top of the table Enfield. If we can go out and play the sort of football of which we are capable of, it should be a great game.

The Pele points were once again a hard task as all played well, but go to:

2 - Darren Taylor - 1 point for each goal
2 - Darren Lynn - same as the other Darren
1 - Jared Carter - for being able to dribble the ball on that ground
1 - Michael Badman - used the ball intelligently


The Annandale Hotel

17-19 Parramatta Rd, Annandale
Ph 9550 1078

The Annandale Hotel continues to showcase some of the best live music in town. Keep an eye out next week for Drag (with members of Powderfinger) and The Persian Rug (with members of Hoodoo Gurus). There's also top tucker at the Nosh Pit, the Locals Club is going bananas with giveaways, Tuesday's trivia comp is hotting up, there are classic tacky movies from The Sounds of Sinema and, all in all, it's the best pub atmosphere to be found in Sydney. For a full rundown of weekly activities at the Annandale, click on the image below -


Match Report 2
Balmain Rovers 3B Reserves v Balmain A Reserves
Birchgrove Park, Birchgrove
Sat 13 July 2002
Kickoff 1.15pm
Report by Joey Nicotra

Gloves in hand, this was my initiation to the Reserves team. Although I haven’t seen the team in action lately, I knew that we’d only taken one point in the last two games, and we definitely needed a win to get back on track. It was an experimental formation of a five man backline as proposed by Browny after he kept last week. Ricky would play just in front of Mikee and Donny at the back with Glenn at right and Ally at left back.

The idea was to have the outside backs push up when appropriate, with the four man midfield supporting Rob as the lone striker. This would supposedly address some of the defensive and midfield issues that had cropped up in recent weeks without diminishing the goalscoring capabilities.

After last week's unfortunate incidents, I don’t blame any refs for not turning up to any games in this league, and so once again we had two unofficial refs with our own Paul McDonnell reffing the second half - thanks, Paul. A colourful and informative prep talk by Ricky got us hungry but not eager enough, for within minutes our guard was down. While still stretching and waiting for the effects of my Berocca to kick in, I was rudely awakened with their striker penetrating our defence well into our box. Fortunately, he skied it over the bar.

Midway through the half, Ben made the most of the opposition’s weak link, their stand-in keeper. From my distant view it looked like Ben must have yelled "Boo!", scared the keeper, stolen the ball and put it in the back of the net. Minutes later a cross from the left heading towards the keepers gloves, was once again stolen by Ben, and we were up 2-0. Soon after, some great work in midfield from Pier put Rob through, from where he clinically finished.

Half-time, and we were quite fortunate that we were winning, let alone with a scoreline at 3 zip. Donny had taken a big knock and had to come off at half-time with Nick Agafonoff coming on up front and the lineup reverting to the old familiar 4-4-2. With Serge and Emrys missing, Browny was asked to put his boots on, and off, and on and then off again, as the injury sub.

We cruised into the second half holding our midfield well with solid play from James, and anything in the air from the midfield to the back was dealt with proficiently from lofty Ricky. Unfortunately, with all the great defending work by Mikee, Donny was still badly missed at centre back, with huge gaps appearing in front of our goal. With 15 minutes to go, our opponents made the most of it. Mikee and Ally were outnumbered and the opponents slotted one in just inside the post. Minutes later, deja vu and it was 3-2.

With around 10 minutes to go the Tigers were all fired up, realising that they could actually win the game, and again pushed forward in attack. Some desperate and professional play by Glenn gave them a shot from the spot which they gladly accepted and the pressure mounted.

Disappointed, we looked as if we were simply trying to hold off any more attacks to salvage a draw until Ben worked some magic to score the best goal of the day for his hat-trick. I can’t remember how it went because there were plenty of goals that day, especially the countless goals Italy scored against the Poms on the PS2 at Eddie’s BBQ later on.

Overall, it was a hard fought battle and we were somewhat lucky to get away with the three points. The formation of five at the back worked well in the first half. The team has plenty of venom in attacking play from midfield as well as at the front, from which the goals will always come. So the 5-4-1 formation should be considered from here on in.

The Pele points go to:

3 - Ben - saved the day
1 - Ally - skilful play in defence, and initiated many counterattacks from the back
1 - Glenn - solid defending
1 - Mark - attacked and defended well at left half


Match Report 3
Balmain Rovers 3B v Balmain A
Birchgrove Park, Birchgrove
Sat 13 July 2002
Kickoff 3pm
No match report

Balmain Rovers recorded a 2-0 win in a match once again marred by some spiteful play. The goals took the form of two penalties, one each taken by Kon Tsalikis and Dean Da Silva. Thanks to James Mackie for refereeing the match.

The Pele points go to:

3 - Andy Farmery
1 - Paul McDonnell
1 - Kon Tsalikis
1 - Ammon Mackie


Award Standings

Pele Medal

16 - Ben Jones
13 - Paul Edwards
12 - David Hynd
9.5 - Jared Carter
9 - Pier D'Angelo, James Mackie, Fergal Murphy
8.5 - Darren Lynn, John Pereira
8 - Mark Bamford, Michael Sommers
7.5 - Kelly Baigent, Adam Brzozowski, Phil Davis
7 - Alister Haining, Rob Liney, Ammon Mackie, Ricky Onsman, Darren Taylor
6 - Paul McDonnell, Patrick Nolan, Kon Tsalikis
5.5 - Neil O'Donnell
5 - Andy Farmery, Nik Hopkins
4 - Dean Da Silva
3.5 - Richard Lyne
3 - Nick Agafonoff, Craig Brown, Jon Drea, Donny Nicholas, Michael Ward, Brian Yeung
2.5 - Michael Arthur, Sohail Dahdal
2 - Matt Clementson, Bruce Fackerell, Paul Millard
1.5 - Michael Badman
1 - Glenn Bacic, John Barker, Martin Hofman, Matt Linton, Joey Nicotra
.5 - Adam Freeman

Golden Boot

21 - Rob Liney
20 - Darren Lynn
16 - Ben Jones
14 - Fergal Murphy
12 - James Mackie
9 - Paul Edwards
8 - Dean Da Silva
7 - Jared Carter, Alister Haining, Ammon Mackie
6 - Paul Millard, Darren Taylor
5 - Sohail Dahdal, Patrick Nolan
4 - Nick Agafonoff
3 - Pier D'Angelo, Kon Tsalikis
2 - Adam Brzozowski, David Hynd, Martin Hofman
1 - Michael Badman, Mark Bamford, Phil Davis, Nik Hopkins, Michael Sommers, Brian Yeung



Saturday 13 July:

Div 4 Reserves v Five Dock @ Nield Park, Rodd Point - 1.15pm
Div 3 Reserves v Balmain A @ Birchgrove Park, Birchgrove - 1.15pm
Div 3 Firsts - v Balmain A @ Birchgrove Park, Birchgrove - 3pm


To UNSUBSCRIBE from this newsletter, send a blank email with the
subject line "BALMAIN ROVERS - UNSUBSCRIBE" to Balmain Rovers

Email comments and suggestions for this newsletter to Balmain Rovers

Newsletter content © 2002 Balmain Rovers

Friday 19 July 2002