soccerball      BALMAIN ROVERS     soccerball
Newsletter - Wednesday 29 May 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 Strathfield
Easton Park, Rozelle
Sat 25 May 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Match washed out - to be rescheduled


The Annandale Hotel

17-19 Parramatta Rd, Annandale
Ph 9550 1078

The back bar at the Annandale has become the haunt of Balmain Rovers postmatch Saturday afternoons. All World Cup matches will be shown on the big screen, and we hope you'll join us in catching the greatest team sport competition in the world. Remember, support the Annnadale Hotel and you're supporting Balmain Rovers.

While the Opening Ceremony and first match (France v Senegal) will be shown this Friday 31 May, the noise of the live bands on Fridays and Saturdays may impede your full footballing pleasure, so we recommend you get into the World Cup swing at the Annandale on Sundays-Thursdays. This Sunday 2 June should be an absolute beauty, with Argentina v Nigeria at 3pm, Paraguay v South Africa at 5.30pm and the must-not-miss England v Sweden match from 7.30pm. If you've still not had enough, there's Spain v Slovenia at 9.30pm.

For a full rundown of weekly activities at the Annandale, including the great food Drew and the team at the Nosh Pit put on, click on the image below -


Match Report 2
Balmain Rovers 3B Reserves v Sydney University Reserves
Timbrell Park, Five Dock
Sat 25 May 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Ricky Onsman

I think we were all glad to see the end of the seemingly endless summer weather more conducive to sunbathing than football, but someone had perhaps pushed the weatherometer a little too far the other way. A blustery, showery day saw a cluster of early Rovers wandering around the flat expanse of Timbrell Park with umbrellas, testing the depth of the puddles and wondering why the pitch was marked out on the only part of the park that would qualify as a film set for I Can Jump Puddles.

Still, the opposition turned up, complete with nets and corner posts, so we set up and waited for the match officials to show. They didn't, of course, and we fell back on the time-honoured practice of "We'll ref the first half, you ref the second". In our case, "we" meant Sergio, taking time off from keeping the buses from running to schedule, and cajoled into the role with the promise of playing the second half at centre forward.

Using my Manager's discretion I put myself on the bench, foolishly thinking this would be more comfortable than running around in the rain. You'd think I would've learned by now that standing around in the rain is much more uncomfortable. Anyway, we had a good lineup, with Rob "I've not scored enough" Liney and Nick "I made a video for Triple J" Agafonoff up front, a midfield of Ally "No gardening today" Haining, Pier "I've sent the wife shopping" D'Angelo, James "Mine's in the car" Mackie and Ben "What, no pies?" Jones. A backline of Jon "No really, I'm fit" Drea, Bruce "Van Basten was a better striker than Pele" Fackerell, Mikee "What's with all these nicknames?" Sommers and Donny "I bet they mention my red card again" Nicholas was augmented by Ammon "Can we start at the dry end?" Mackie in goal.

Football in the wet is rarely pretty to watch, and this was no exception. However, Rovers knuckled down to the task at hand, with James and Pier doing some excellent work in the middle creating runs out wide for Ally and Ben as well as feeding Rob and Nick through the centre. The students resorted almost immediately to booting the ball forward for their handy strikers to run onto, and there were a few worrying moments as Balmain seemed to focus too much on looking for offside decisions. However, only ten minutes had passed before Pier took a corner and curled the ball into the box for James to rise authoritatively and head the ball powerfully into the net.

Ten minutes later, Rob was put through the centre and made no mistake to put Rovers 2-0 up and looking good. Sydney Uni kept up the long through balls and their striker did manage to latch onto one and push it through Ammon's legs to bring the score back to 2-1. The last 15 minutes of the first half gave each team chances to score without anyone taking full advantage. Ben and Ally continued to test the opposition defenders with strong runs, while Donny in particular made some excellent saving tackles in the backline. Referee Fiorenza had appointed me as timekeeper and I duly advised him that half-time had been reached, but he chose to interpret my signal as meaning "one more minute". Just as well, as the next passage of play saw Pier take the ball outside the Uni box and, given more room and time than he should have been, lined up and let go a superb drive that rose from the wet grass and gave the keeper no chance on its way into the top left corner of the goal. A definite contender for Reserves' goal of the season.

At the break, Rob was given the afternoon off to rest his ankle and give Sergio his promised run up front, while the midfield was given a bit of extra muscle with Bruce moving up, Pier moving across and Ben moving into the shelter to regroup before lining up for Firsts. I joined the fray in the usual centre back position.

I am undoubtedly biased, but I'm damned sure that Sergio was a much fairer ref than the Sydney Uni Firsts player who took the whistle for the second half. Foul throws went unpunished, crude tackles let go and offsides ignored, pretty much resulting directly in the students' second goal. This is not to take away from the commitment and skill shown by the handful of players who formed their core. In any case, Rovers continued to dominate the match. Jon fed Ally up the left, Donny fed Pier up the right, while Mikee and myself won the high balls coming from the opposition goalkeeper, who was under sustained pressure from Nick, Sergio and James. Bruce nullified the midfield control of Uni's playmaker.

Eventually, Balmain restored the two goal gap through the efforts of James Mackie, who collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and hammered it home with another unstoppable shot. Uni did manage to pot another, but their desperate efforts to find an equaliser went unrewarded and Rovers emerged worthy 4-3 winners.

The Pele points go to:

3 - James Mackie - control, commitment and confidence as an attacking midfielder
2 - Pier D'Angelo - scored a great goal, set up another and ran all day
1 - Donny Nicholas - stout defence, penetrating forward moves and a great mudslide


Match Report 3
Balmain Rovers 3B Firsts v Sydney University
Timbrell Park, Five Dock
Sat 25 May 2002
Kick-off 3pm
Report by Nick Vince

Well, this was it - the final game of the first half of the season. Undefeated, and the push was to remain undefeated, despite a long but shortening injury list. A damp Sydney heightened the tension. Would we play or would it be called off? Part of me wished to play another day, get all fit bodies back on the field and for once put out a stronger team. I say "stronger" because with the strength in depth Balmain Rovers have, we always seem to put out a strong team. Another part preferred to play the game and not have to play catch up at the end of the season, with less resources at our disposal.

So a rainsoaked Timbrell Park provided the setting for the end of the first half to the season. I wondered how many players would disappear down the potholes. Perhaps rope and lantern would be more useful than the cherished orange shirt and black shorts and socks. The team talk quite rightly made it clear that both teams have to deal with the elements and the pitch. We just needed to go out and get the result we knew we could get. A new formation took to the field, thanks to Playstation 2 Konami football which allowed me to develop a 4-5-1 line-up with a great deal of success (beat France 3-0 with Emile Heskey scoring two goals). A back four of Kon, Nick, Matt and Mark Bamford allowed Andy Farmery to move into the midfield anchoring role, operating behind Paul Edwards and Dave Hynd. Patrick and Ben started on the flanks with Ammon operating as the lone front man to use the extra men flooding (no pun intended) from midfield.

It worked first off with a Ben Jones header at the far post giving Balmain a 1-0 lead from an excellent midfield build up. However, over the last couple of weeks a tendency to let in early undeserved goals has put us under pressure and the same happened again allowing University to draw level. Thankfully, our belief pulls us through and a great effort from Paul Edwards took us back in front after some free flowing football built upon Andy Farmery spreading the play.

We reached half time in front and as I counted the players off the pitch it was evident that we needed a change so Woo Woo (also known as Dean Da Silva), despite a suspect hamstring, replaced David Hynd in midfield. We had work to do, but knew we should get the result we wanted. My fear is when we come up against the better sides in our division we slip into bad habits. Patrick Nolan again worked hard on the right but Mark Bamford was outstanding out of position at right back. Ben Jones again backed up from Reserves and Ammon Mackie had an excellent game up front. Suffice to say, it was his best all round game of the season.

The second half began and after a bright first 10 minutes it was not pretty to watch. More huff and puff by both sides but great goals from Paul Edwards and Ammon Mackie took us clear and Patrick Nolan made sure of a victory. A little scuffle involving a University player and Woo Woo lightened the afternoon and gave the University player the chance to have his first kick of the afternoon, as he had obviously stepped up from the third team to help out.

The second half was summed up by the disappointing turn out at the pub after the game where only six hardy souls turned up, giving our sponsors a cheap date behind the bar. We now look to the two week break to breathe some enthusiasm into our play. All players will be back to compete for first team places, which will create a nice headache and ensure more concentration throughout our play. It was a difficult build up on a difficult pitch but we have to enjoy our football more in order to play better

We have already made a small piece of history, being unbeaten to the mid season break, but we can go all the way. Have a great break, boys. It's been a great start to the season. Let's go even better in the second half and the playoffs.

The Pele points go to:

3 - Ammon Mackie
2 - Patrick Nolan
1 - Mark Bamford


Award Standings

Pele Medal

8 - Paul Edwards, Ben Jones, Fergal Murphy
7 - Rob Liney, James Mackie
6 - Alister Haining, Patrick Nolan, Ricky Onsman
5 - Kelly Baigent, Jared Carter, Phil Davis, Nik Hopkins, Darren Taylor
4 - Mark Bamford, Pier D'Angelo, Dean Da Silva, David Hynd, Ammon Mackie, Paul McDonnell, Michael Sommers
3 - Donny Nicholas, Neil O'Donnell
2 - Michael Arthur, Adam Brzozowski, Sohail Dahdal, Richard Lyne, Darren Lynn, Kon Tsalikis, Brian Yeung
1 - Nick Agafonoff, John Barker, Craig Brown, Matt Clementson, Bruce Fackerell, Matt Linton, Paul Millard, John Pereira

Golden Boot

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



Saturday 1 June:
Div 4 Reserves v Balmain C @ Easton Park, Rozelle - 1.15pm
Div 3 Reserves v Marrickville A @ Rudd Park, Belfield - 1.15pm
Div 3 Firsts - bye


To UNSUBSCRIBE from this newsletter, send a blank email with the

Email comments and suggestions for this newsletter to

Newsletter content 2002 Balmain Rovers

Wednesday 29 May 2002