balmain rovers
Newsletter - Tuesday 5 April 2005
Published by Balmain Rovers, part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
New Season

Welcome to the first issue of the Balmain Rovers newsletter for 2005. It's been a busy off-season: our summer six-a-side team missed out on the finals on goal difference (a great result in a comp featuring state league players), we lost two futsal grand finals and we recruited so many new players that we have expanded - again - into four active Balmain Rovers teams.

The First Grade and Reserve Grade teams in the Sydney Amateur League will be managed by Rob Liney and Steve Adams respectively, Sergio Fiorenza is manager of a new team in Division 7 of the Canterbury District competition and Allan Frydman leads a new team in Division 8 of the same comp. Our futsal team is already two rounds into the autumn competition. Let's get into it!

Sydney Amateur League Rd 1

Balmain Rovers v Abbotsford: Wentworth Park, Glebe: Sat 2 April 2005

Reserves match report by Huw Morgan

Warm, sunny conditions attended the first match of the season, played at our home ground opposite the famous Sydney Fish Markets. Lifting team-mates to install the nets before the match, it became clear that some of us were still carrying significant summer condition. Warming up at the other end of the pitch, our opponents - the yellow and blue Abbotsford Bombers - appeared both sleeker and younger. From the beginning, we interpreted this match as a contest of youthful speed and fitness against our experience, cunning, and dogged unwillingness to accept anything but victory.

We won the toss and elected to run from the city end. Settling into play, peculiarites of the pitch were highlighted: it was short, narrow, and quite uneven. A number of good scoring opportunities to both teams went begging, perhaps due to the quality of the pitch. However, a well-angled shot from Tony Unsworth sailed neatly past the Abbotsford goalie to secure the first goal of the match to us. Not too much later, from his left back position Jeff See collected the ball 10 yards into the opposition half and tried his luck with a run at goal. It was one of those runs you expect to finish any second courtesy of some decent defence, but there wasn't any. A half-hearted tackle, a deflection off an opponent's boot and last year's Best New Player found himself still with the ball well inside the penalty area. He shoots, he scores! 2-0.

Early in the second half, Kristian Wiles was given an innocuous nudge in the opposition penalty area but this ref had already shown himself to be very strict on players keeping their hands off each other and awarded a penalty. For a moment it seemed the fresh-to-the-field Rob Liney would decline the opportunity to open his 2005 account, but Manager Steve Adams saw no reason to take any chances and the Golden Boot winner for the last three seasons stepped up to clobber the ball into the net for our third goal. With the score mounting against them and following repeated stern words from the ref reflecting their increasingly desperate play, the Abbotsford youngsters showed signs of losing their composure. To their credit however, they made the most of a long ball with a good cross delivering a simple tap-in to score their only goal.

Apart from this lapse, one of the better qualities of this Rovers match was solid defence. As time elapsed, we strengthened some attacking patterns, building a number of successful plays from the backs through the midfield. Stew's training was paying off and ten minutes from time, a head-on assault from Rob secured our fourth goal of the match, and a resounding victory. A solid first-game win, some strong, controlled play and a good set-up for the season. 4-1.

Goals: Rob Liney (2), Tony Unsworth, Jeff See
Pele Points: 2 - Rob Liney, 1 - Erin Owens, Jeff See, Nick Vince, Kristian Wiles

Firsts match report by Ricky Onsman

Abbotsford Firsts at first seemed a tougher prospect than their Reserves, but as Rovers got into their stride they began to dominate, despite missing some key players. Balmain's defence, with two-time Pele Medal winner Ben Jones sweeping, was very sound and maintained a strategy of short, controlled passing that allowed the midfield to press forward and attack the Abbotsford goal. Andy McLeod's flicked header opened the scoring, followed soon after by an own goal from a deflected Rob Liney shot. It wasn't long before Rob added his name to the scoresheet however, followed by Martyn Farnsworth's first goal. Brendan Coutts was feeling the early autumn heat and was replaced by the seemingly boundless energy of Jeff See. Abbotsford couldn't crack the Rovers defence - even when Stewart Shaw was caught well out of his ground Matt Linton was there to clear off the line with his head. Rovers went to the break 4-0 up.

Abbotsford started the second half with a lot more passion and looked the more likely to score as they pressed forward in numbers. Matt came off and Nick Vince came on, but the resultant backline reshuffle did little to stop Abbotsford's forward surges. They were rewarded when a cracking long range shot gave Stew no chance. When Jeff scored our fifth goal, however, the life went out of the visitors. As Rob, Martyn and Andy each collected a second goal, two Abbotsford players left the field injured with no subs on hand. All in all, a handy way to start the season, but no real indicator of either our ability or the quality of most of the opposition we'll face. 8-1.

Goals: Rob Liney (2), Martyn Farnsworth (2), Andy McLeod (2), Jeff See, own goal
Pele Points: 2 - Ben Jones, Rob Liney, 1 - Jeff See, Matt Linton

Canterbury District Rd 1

Balmain Rovers v Burwood: Centenary Park, Croydon: Sat 2 April 2005

Match report by Sergio Fiorenza

It was a lovely sunny autumn afternoon at Centenary Park in Croydon, probably more suited to going to the beach than playing a season opener, but at least the playing surface was good and the boys seemed pumped up for the game. This team is a new addition to the ever expanding Rovers portfolio, with a good blend of youth and experience, all in all a very balanced squad. Just before kick off the Burwood Manager approached us to tell us that they only had 10 players which was probably a masterstroke on his part, as would be painfully obvious to us after 20 minutes and the game still deadlocked at 0-0. A Burwood player then went off injured, leaving them with 9 players, and this is when Simon capitalised and scored his first. The game lazily wound its way to half time with the same score.

The second half kicked off, and the Burwood keeper had come out on to the pitch, swapping with their centre forward. This move paid off within the first 5 minutes, as he was very quick and caught Cormac out, leaving the Burwood man one on one with Morgan. However Cormac reacted by grabbing the Burwood player’s shirt and he went down like a sack of spuds. Result: Cormac received a red card! We had a short spell where we were under pressure but eventually wore them down, scoring 2 more in the last minute, although we did concede a sloppy goal to them. All in all a good win, with better performances to come. 3-1.

Goals: Simon (2), Sergio
Pele Points: 3 - Gabe Cataldo, 2 - Simon Goodman, 1 - Tony Madau

Balmain Rovers v Enfield: Henley Park, Enfield: Sat 2 April 2005

Match report by Allan Frydman

It was the first Saturday of April and we were all primed for the first match of the season. The sun was shining, the temperature was scorching and in true CDSFA fashion the referee was nowhere to be seen. Luckily the home team was able to track down a fairly unbiased local walking his dog around the park - game on.

From the kick-off Enfield came at us strong and tested out our defence. For the enitre first half their striker was constantly holding Gavin's shirt (and playing a bit rough) at left back, which confused me as I thought the striker was the one usually trying to break free. Although we were under the pump, we held them off and knew it was only a matter of time before there their obvious love of food would start slowing them down. Half Time: nil-all.

A few strategic subs over the interval worked wonders for us. We started to dominate the game and noticed we had the measure of their fitness levels (very scary considering our fitness levels). Unfortunately, a momentary lapse of reason cost us a goal with a lob shot just dropping into the net. From then on we came at them hard and played the rest of the half deep in attack. Ere (in his first game of organised soccer) carved them up on the left wing, and Dean made sure the ball was locked deep in attack for the half. We had many opportunities but our finishing let us down. With 5 mintues to go, a corner ball found Paddy's head and the ball found the back of the net. Finally our pressure had been converted. We played it safe to finish the game, happy with a draw in our first competitive outing as a team. 1-1.

Goals: Paddy Denvir
Pele Points: 3 - Jacob Cavallaro, 2 - Paddy Denvir, 1 - Ere Sihalath

Futsal Update

Balmain Rovers cruised through the last comp without a loss - until the final, where their hands were cruelly wrested from the silverware courtesy of 0-1 defeat. This time around, Rovers started with a 6-1 win and then confronted their tormentors from the previous comp. Suffice to say Rovers extracted some revenge and now sit on the top of the table with two wins from two. Next match: Rovers v Euro Trash, 6.40pm, Thursday 7 April, Sydney University. NSW Futsal site

Social Events

To celebrate the start of the biggest season in Balmain Rovers history the first of a series of social events is planned for this Saturday 9th April. We've booked 4 tables of 10 at Dick's Hotel (89 Beattie St, Balmain) where you will have a chance to meet the rest of the Balmain Rovers squads and to swap "war stories" of all those past and future glories. The night starts at 8pm (earlier if you want to have a few refreshing beverages) and during the night we will be running a Raffle with great prizes donated by Rovers Associates (including a website and fine wine). All funds raised go towards ongoing social events including the end of season celebration! To book, email Stewart by Thursday 7th April. Please advise if you want a group table. As always, partners and families are always welcome!!!

Salmonella Dub are back but this time they have organised a festival under the name Dub Conspiracy with 10 bands and 7 DJs playing at 2 venues simultaneously at Luna Park on Friday 22 April. Those that were at Luna Park at New Year will remember the downstairs and upstairs venues fondly. Details of all the acts are on the poster at the website. Tickets are $55 pre-booked or $60 on the door and include a CD of tracks from the artists. They are selling well so get A into G and get your cash out. The first act is 5.30pm and it runs through to 1.30am.

Award Standings
Pele Medal (all teams)

4 --- Rob Liney
3 --- Gabe Cataldo, Jacob Cavallaro
2 --- Paddy Denvir, Simon Goodman, Ben Jones, Jeff See
1 --- Matt Linton, Tony Madau, Erin Owen, Ere Sihalath, Nick Vince, Kristian Wiles

Golden Boot (all teams)

4 ---- Rob Liney
2 ---- Martyn Farnsworth, Simon Goodman, Andrew McLeod, Jeff See
1 ---- Paddy Denvir, Sergio Fiorenza, Tony Unsworth,

Next ...

SASL First & Reserves bye (to be confirmed)
CDFSA Div 7 v Hurlstone Park - Easton Park, Rozelle, 3pm Sat 9 April
CDSFA Div 8 v Burwood A, Edwards Park, Concord, 1.15pm Sat 9 April

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Tuesday 5 April 2005
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