Any contributions should be given or faxed to Ricky Onsman (fx 9375 1446) by Thursday midday.

The Local Derby

MATCH REPORT: by Dave Arblaster

Match: Balmain B v Balmain A
Venue: Callan Park
Date: Saturday 11 July 1998
Time: 1.15pm kick-off

Recent games have seen our teamwork, communication, attitude and concentration improve to the point where a win seemed imminent.

A local derby against Balmain A looked set to provide a good contest, and the first half was exactly that. Balmain Bs scored first, after some fine build-up play. Serge Fiorenza provided a World Cup quality cross from the right and Michael ‘Zidane’ Sommers headed the ball confidently to the back of the net.

The rest of the half saw Balmain Bs have the better of the game, with our midfield in control. The defence was strong, with Ricky Onsman doing a good job on the Balmain A striker and Rocco Nuzzo making a couple of good saves. Then, late in the first half, the As snatched a goal via a speculative but well-placed long ball chipped just out of reach of Rocco. 1-1 at half time.

Our second half performance was, sadly, not of the same quality as the first. There were a number of reasons for this. The lack of fitness of some of us (myself included) meant that the opposition, particularly their very quick substitute, began to outrun us. Once Balmain A scored again, we fell apart. Our confidence waned, communication stopped, we started making mistakes, and the As ended up with four second half goals to give a final score of 5-1.

Despite the apparent drubbing, there were still some positives. There were some fine chances - one particularly good long balls from Ronan Walsh put Serge through, but his first goal for the club still eludes him (next week, Serge!). The backline was, for the most part, solid, and the midfield had some good periods.

All the ingredients are there for some precious end-of-season victories. Let’s take some encouragement from the World Cup final where France, the underdogs, wiped the floor with the World Number 1 team. We can make this the month of the underdogs.

The Pele Medal points go to:

Michael Sommers 3 points
Serge Fiorenza, Ricky Onsman 2 points
Ronan Walsh 1 point


Match: Balmain AA6B v Canterbury
Venue: Easton Park
Date: Saturday 18 July 1998
Time: 1.15pm

Pele medal count:

9 Borman, Flintoff
7 Onsman, Newcombe
6 Bacic, Walsh (Richard), Sommers
4 Smith (Bruce), Fiorenza
3 Austin, Rosenthal
2 Walsh (Ronan)
1 Nuzzo, La Spina

There really is going to be a Pele medal, commemorating Balmain AA6B’s best & fairest player for its inaugural 1998 season, as judged by the players who have compiled match reports during the year. In time, this honour is expected to rank with the Golden Boot as an expression of admiration for outstanding sportsmanship. The Medal will be presented at a function at the end of the season, which will also see the presentation of other important awards to club members. Suggestions for the function are welcome now.

Option a) general carousing at someone’s house straight after the last match.
Option b) general carousing at a pub straight after the last match.
Option c) gather at pub on evening after last match
Option d) gather at eating place (pub, bistro, restaurant) on evening after last match.
Option e) something else entirely.

Suggestions for other options, comments, threats and bribes to Manager Norman Kang (ph 9934 8599 wk, 9361 0451 hm, 0411 367 078 mbl, email

After last Saturday’s game, Norman, Ricky and Richard joined the Balmain A team at their regular haunt for a beer. Dick’s Hotel is at 89 Beattie St, Balmain (not far from the Town Hall in Darling St) and has a convenient back bar which was where our vanquishers settled. With food available, covered outdoor seating and a warm welcome from the Balmain A guys, it struck the intrepid trio that we could do a lot worse than gather here for after game post mortems, celebrations and commiserations.

The Nike ad currently on TV featuring the Brazilian team mucking about at an airport turned out to be prophetic. Just like in the ad, Ronaldo’s fantastic ball skills couldn’t stop him from stuffing up when Brazil needed him most. What’s more, only one other nationality was shown in the ad, represented by a ball glancing off the shaven head of Eric (Eric Cantona) Cantona. Vive le France.

Still on telly, the current adidas ad focuses on four stars of the 1998 World Cup: Nederland’s Patrick Kluivert, Zinedine Zidane of France, Italian Alessandro Del Piero and English bad boy/spice mill David Beckham. Zidane is, of course, the only one who made it to the final, but Del Piero is odd man out for two other World Cup reasons. Any ideas?