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News: NSL Season 2002/03 - "The 26-round competition commenced on Friday September 20 and concludes on Sunday 16 March, with the 'top six' commencing the week after, concluding on 25 May. The Grand Final is scheduled for 1 June, 2003" ....... end ...
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NSL - 2002/2003
Round 15

Northern Spirit 2 - 3 Brisbane Strikers
Wollongong Wolves 2 - 4 Marconi Stallions
Olympic Sharks 3 - 1 Melbourne Knights
Perth Glory 2 - 1 Parramatta Power
South Melbourne 1 - 1 Newcastle United
Sydney United 1 - 0 Kingz FC
Bye - Adelaide City

Back of the Net
News: Season 2002/03 - "The 26-round
competition commenced on Friday September 20
and concludes on Sunday 16 March, with
the 'top six' commencing the week after,
concluding on 25 May. The Grand Final is
scheduled for 1 June, 2003"


2002 Grand Final : Parramatta Eagles 3 v.
Blacktown City Demons 1

Click for : Latest 2002/03 Fixtures & Results

R22 - AC United 0 v.
Ryde City 0

Grand Final
Rockdale City Suns 1 v.
Hajduk Wanderers 0
2002 Fixtures & Results



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NSW Premoer League - Round 6 - Saturday 4th January 2003 at Pluim Park
Central Coast Coasties 2 (Josh Maguire 33', James Monie 41') vs. Belconnen Blue Devils 1 (Clinton Larfield 62') HT 2-0 Referee: Nick Asargiotis

Match Report :

Central Coast Squad: 20. Ben Xerri (gk), 2. Josh Maguire, 3. David Brewer, 6. Aron Binskin, 8. Daniel Surridge (10. Marc Falzon 65'), 11. Tom Quilty (9. Peter Haynes 85'), 13. James Monie, 14. Chris Fleming, 17. Pat Bradley, 18. Nathan Byrne 5. Liam Cameron 70'), 19. Sean Matthews; Subs: not used - Andrew Goldman, Peter Preston. YC - Maquire, Fleming

Belconnen Squad: Tony Giannasca (gk), Andrew Dowling, Lee Pietrokowski, Jamie Munro, Michael Katz, Elliot Zwangobani, Clinton Larfield (Matthew Valeri), Daniel Macor, Valerio Galeotti (Stewart Camara), Marko Perinovoc (Daniel Camara), Andy Rakic. YC - Dowling, Perinovic, D Camara.

The Coast started very brightly, running Belconnen ragged with their speed and aggression, scoring 2 goals in the first half, while the Blue Devils missed their opportunites. In the 2nd half it was backs to the wall stuff for the young Coasties as the ACT team came at them, however Belconnen could only grab one goal back.

NSL Trials for season 2002/03 - In two trial games in Sydney today (Sun 15/09/02): Northern Spirit 0 drew with Wollongong Wolves 0 at Christie Park, Marsfield; and Parramatta Power 0 lost to Newcastle United 1 (Dodd 40') at White Oval, The Kings School, North Parramatta in The Kings Cup - Commemorating 122 years of Australian football. In other news ... I nearly drove off the road when 2WS broadcast an advertisement for this Saturday's R1 Power v. Glory game! Truly amazing!

NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 (Esala Masi 15', 42') v. PERTH GLORY 0

Game: 8/10; Ground: 7/10; Referee - Simon Micallef 7/10; Crowd 17,503; Squads: Newcastle- 1. D Beltrame, 2. M Prentice (4. C Zoricich 79'), 3. A Roberts, 6. M Bingley, 7. T Dodd, 9. J Griffiths, 11. P Tsekenis, 12. S Baillie, 13. M Balgojevic, 17. E Masi, 25. A Moreira (10. D McBreen 71')- nit used B Swancott, M Wilson, A Hughes; Perth Glory - 1. J Petkovic, 18. S Pryce, 3. J Harnwell, 23. D Tarka, 7. S Miller, 2. M Horsley, 8. B Maloney (17. G Faria 22'), 15. Aldrighi Edgar (Jnr), 12. B Hassell (9. A Edwards 70'), 16. D Mori, 10. B Despotovski (5. C Deans 91') - not used: V Mattassa, N Mrdja; Yellow Cards: A Roberts (NU) 46', J Petkovic (PG) 42', S Miller (PG) 35'

An exciting game was hoped for after the 1st leg win by Perth 3-1 at home. It was worth the long drive up as Newcastle came at them and instead of stretching themselves this time played smartly to contain the Glory counterattacks. The goals by Masi were great, especially the 2nd when he burst through 3 defenders with a turn of speed and slammed it past Petkovic. Baillie and Prentice did a fine job in defence, taking turns to hold Mori and Despotovski, and Roberts man-marked Horsley as soon as he entered his half. Griffiths did well in the 2nd half keeping pressure on the Perth defence but Glory did what was required of them to keep the score to 2. Perhaps Travis Dodd was the star in the absence of Middleby with his sensible variation of play on the right side. After a headed miss by Moriera and then a misskick by his replacement McBreen it looked harder and harder to see the 3rd coming. So it was to be! Perth through to the GF in Perth, and Newcastle live to fight again next Sunday.

NSW PREMIER LEAGUE - R9 - Lambert Park - Sun 6th January, 2002
LEICHHARDT TIGERS 4 (S Karavatakis 34', 92', S La Rocca 46', D Poimer 82') v. CENTRAL COAST COASTIES 0

Referee - Nick Arsagiotis; Crowd est. 400; Squads: Leichhardt - 1. A Crews, 4. R Kethel, 5. S Livingstone, 6. M Galluzzo (J Moric 80'), 10. S Karavatakis, 11. S La Rocca, 12. J Brown, 13. A Falas (17. J Lal 89'), 15. R Jones, 16. A Tesoro, 18. D Poimer (10. A Picken 83'); Coasties - 1. M Collits, 2. S Matthews, 3. M Steele (A Binskin 45'), 6. D Hokin, 7. P Preston, 8. A Peatey, 9. D Smith, 10. M Williams (5. M Daley 80'), 11. K Freeman (15. P Becklar), 13. P Ritchie, 14. A Clark; Yellow Card: D Hokin (CC).

The first half was dominated by the Tigers with Coast not getting much of a sniff despite the solid work by captain Andrew Clark and a 34' goal by poacher Steve Karavatakis was fair reward. The goal to the Tigers almost from the kick off in the 46th min knocked Coast about, however through a wide playing Peter Preston they made lots of chances but luck and quality of shots and lead up work let them down, and eventually they were hit on the break, first by Derek Poimer and then at the last gasp by Karavatakis again. Central Coast basically do not have any forwards and are getting behind despite half chances and are then getting spamked as they push up.

TRIAL GAME - BUDGEWOI SOCCER CLUB - Sat 15th September, 2001

On a great spring day I headed north on the very familiar Newcastle Freeway, but this time turned east on the Budgewoi turnoff. Coming in to Budgewoi from the north you find a nice little enclosed ground belonging to Budgewoi Soccer Club. Main fenced ground with good surface and 2 other fields. A licenced club, with restaurant. A small crowd approx 200, mostly Coasties supporters, locals, and a few Newcastle fans. It was a typical trial game with lots of subs by Newcastle, and Coasties trying out some U19's and other triallists, such as Danny Burt (ex SU and Cosmos) and local Andrew Clarke (ex Power). Coasties are only 2 weeks into their pre-season and had many key players out, but Newcastle had the first squad on the park, except perhaps Jobe Wheelhouse and ex Spirit Michael Prentice. Newcastle dominated with Coasties playing their usual counter attacking game, dropping behind the ball and struggling with fitness and speed (pace and thought). Coasties coach Dale Eggleton said this was their first hit out and tested his young players. He thought his team were a bit rusty for the first 20min and didn't react quickly enough to the higher pace of the game. Newcastle had a lot of chances but in the first half Coasties keeper Darren Moore (a Newcastle lad) kept everything at bay, and after the break despite a good effort by English triallist Eric Talbot Coasties conceded two goals, before snapping out of it and giving Newcastle a couple of later frights. Newcastle's defence looked solid with Prentice doing well, and McManus after the break. They got the ball out wide to Middleby who swapped sides during the game. His crosses however were not always capitalised on. Both sets of Newcastle midfields looked busy but lacked teamwork at this stage, and it was only when McBreen came on that the attack sparked. Youth (U19) NU 2 v. CC 0

NSW 1st Division Final - Sunday 26th August, 2001 at Hajduk Stadium
Sydney University 0 v. Ryde City Gunners 1 (Josh Sama 87') - HT 0-0
Ryde City into the Grand Final v. Sydney Uni!
St George Stadium 3pm Sat 8th Sept.

Match Report from the Ryde City Club:
Inflicting only the third defeat of the season on premiers Sydney University, the Ryde City Gunners tasted Major Semi final victory on Sunday and gained a place in this year's Division One Grand Final. As the storm clouds gathered, both sides took the field pumped up by their respective coaches - Stewart Porter for Uni and Tony Dunn for the Gunners. It was a cause for celebration also for long serving Ryde custodian Andrew Prentice who was honoured before the match for playing both his 500th League match and his 150th as the Gunners goalie. Prentice, overcome by the occasion was clearly not overawed. He had to bolster a young defence brought into play early, as Uni used their pace to press on the Ryde goal from the opening whistle. The first stanza was absorbing as the Ryde team tried to move the ball out of their own half, time and again - Uni's Umlil, Williamson and Smithies providing danger with probing runs at a Gunners central defence missing an injured Andy Stratford, by far their best player in recent weeks. However, on an unsteady surface, moistened by the downpour, the Gunners held on until half time, clearly frustrating the highly fancied premiers. The second half saw a more determined Ryde take it to the Uni side and, growing in confidence, punished a lethargic Uni midfield showing the effects of not having played for two weeks ("reward" for coming first?). Danger man Smithies was calmed by the ever present Ryde captain Paul Watkins while young defender Daniel Cunningham took care of a by now bewildered Fred Umlil. But, as the game appeared headed for extra time, enigmatic striker Josh Sama pounced on a loose ball to stab a goal at the death, somewhat defying the odds. 1-0 to the Gunners in the 87th minute was enough to send raptures through the Gunners supporters and stun a small but vocal Uni fan quarter. Cheers, beer and a glorious club song filled the Gunners Dressing Room after the match whilst the Uni room was more sombre; realising that another team next week was eager to cut a 'tall poppy'. For Ryde, a week off but plenty of work as coach Dunn hones his charges for the Grand Final to be played at St. George Stadium on Sunday, September 9th.

Ryde City Squad: 1. Andrew Prentice (gk), 2. Andy Stratford, 3. Paul Watkins, 4. Russell Hall, 5. Joe Ciano, 6. Simon Turner, 7. Will Mailer, 9. Michael O'Riley, 12. Rob Portelli, 13. Josh Sama, 14. Oliver Lazarevic, 16. Jon McCulloch, 17. Brett Murray, 18. Paul Nicolau, 19. Daniel Cunningham, 20. Adam Frost.

NSW 1st Division R14 - Monday 11th June, 2001 at Magdala Reserve, E Ryde
Ryde City Gunners 1 (Brett Murray 7') drew with Greystanes 1 (Kain Rastall 49') - HT 1-0

Ryde had been hit with 3 key injuries from R13 on the Sat. and one more in the 1st half. With Kain Rastall and Mark Racker on fire for Greystanes and with Ryde wasting precious chances a draw was a welcome result for both teams.

NSW PL R14 - Saturday 17th February, 2001 at Gabbie Stadium
Blacktown City Demons 5 (Jimmy Aschner 18, 86, Steve Riches 44, Ben Willard 73, Darren Iocca 88) defeated Penrith Panthers 1 (Jason Sciberras 22m)

Cards: BCD - Paul Yates 49, Josh Maguire 85; PP - Osvaldo El Ali 42, Ryan Jones 86

The first half was a fairly lacklustre affair but Penrith started well, even striking back within 3 mins of the opening Aschner goal. Scibberas struck a superb freekick which lobbed the defence and bent over the keeper and into the top left of the net. Penrith did much better than the scoreline suggested but ran out of legs as they pushed forward seeking recompense in the latter part of the 2nd half. They also missed Scibberas who along with Tim O'Connell was a thorn in the Demons side. Over vigorous tackling by both sides, but especially Blacktown went mostly unpenalised by the referee. The scything of Scibberas being a good example - which could have been interpreted as a red but got nothing. The Demons were just too methodical, especially in defence, and just eventually overpowered the young Penrith team.

Trial Match - Friday 19th January, 2001
NSW Soccer Federation U20 Team 2 (Falas 2, 83) Drew with RANGERS FC U21 2 (Carson 50, Ferriera 62)
at North Sydney Oval (H/T 1-0) Referee: Sutton

NSW youth dominated the first half after Falas from Leichhardt Tigers made himself space and scored after only 2 minutes. The less vaunted players played an aggressive game which unsettled their Scots opponents and could have had 4 goals before half time with better shooting. It was only after Rangers brought on their international star Carson and Brasilian Ferriera in the 2nd half that they matched NSW and went ahead until Falas took another opportunity late in the half. An excellent result which shows the depth of young talent in all streams of Oz football.

NSL - Round 11 - Saturday 23rd December, 2000
EASTERN PRIDE 3 (Roach 33, 43, A Griffiths 70) defeated CANBERRA COSMOS 1 (Castro 93) at Mobil Park. (H/T 2-0)


EASTERN PRIDE - Jevdjevic (gk), Fak, Gotis, Katz, Bell ( c ), Puca (A Griffiths 50), Deak 90), Wearne, Stergiopoulos, Hutchinson, Roach, Watkins (Watkins 90); Subs not used - nil
Cards: Yellow - Fak (39), Stergiopoulos (49), Roach (80)

CANBERRA COSMOS - Konstantinou (gk), Popovich, Hooker ( c ) (Scott 56) , Miyazawa, Ravanello, Purdue, Imaya, Castro, Arrantz, Cortes (Phillips 45), Lyons (Hagger 79); Subs not used - Kosanovic. Cards: Yellow - Arranz (33), Purdue (36), Phillips (76), Castro (94)

Referee: Con Diomis 6/10; Game: 7/10; Pitch: 6/10; Best Player points: 3. Hutchinson (Pride), 2. Miyazawa (Cosmos), 1. Roach (Pride)

"There was once a lovely valley, with lovely people, and all they wanted for Christmas was three points in the NSL&.." Like many fairy stories these folk got just what they wished for! For Santa's helper Tom Sermani, replete with red reindeer antlers (for charity), brought his black garbed Canberra Cosmos elves to Crinigan Road and gifted Eastern Pride three goals for the Gippsland club's first win of the season. Sermanni's charges were looking good early in the season but his strikers have lost their touch and his defence found paper thin so with some trepidation they came over the ranges without top scorer Angelucci and with key players carrying injury (including skipper Robbie Hooker and Uruguayan maestro Milton Cortes). Quietly spoken Pride coach Jeff Hopkins was also without a key player in Kim Dong Ki but revved up by the top of the table Youth League's 3-1 win his team came out and did just the same.

Tentatively at first the home team tested Canberra's defences and for the first period it was a midfield joust, with one-on-ones, not helped by the blustery westerly wind and the dry hard surface. Each keeper got the 'regulation' touch of the ball and away we went. Even with little progress being made the tussles of Hooker and Miyazawa on Watkins and Roach were entertaining in themselves. Canberra won a free kick outside the area and Cortes found Alex Castro with a flick but Castro's strike cannoned off the Pride defence and just passed the left upright. Pride used the wind to hold up some long balls and one from Robbie Puca almost found found a charging Neville Roach but Angelo Kostantinou was quick to grasp the orb away and with sending the ball up the right, Canberra player Cortes took a shot but it was again just wide. Canberra had their best spell of the game and a delightful low hit banana ball from a free-kick by Shane Lyons worried the Pride keeper who only just smothered it. This was followed by another 'free' on the right for Cosmos but Arranz wasted the opportunity. One of Pride's valued Northern Spirit loan players, Daniel Watkins, who was being held very tightly by Hooker, broke free and went down just outside the penalty area on the left. His good work was wasted but a few minutes later at the 33rd minute mark a similar aggressive move by Eastern Pride led to a free kick which was placed seemingly aimlessly across the park. Roach made it look easy however from 20m with a side-footed shot wide of the Canberra keeper who had come out expecting a high cross. Stranded in no-man's land he could only watch as the ball bobbled over the line. That was to be a turning point in the game for up to then Canberra looked more likely to get into scoring positions and the elegant Miyazawa and rugged Hooker had blunted all Pride attempts. After the game Sermanni admitted that "we didn't look in it after they scored". In rare consensus Hopkins also stated "After we scored we didn't look back". Marcus Stergiopoulos made a good run down the right side and cut inside but failed to keep his shot down and it sailed well over boosted by the 1st half wind. Watkins did better shortly after with a run down the left side but with Hooker racing out to cover Watkins also blasted over. Canberra was struggling to contain Pride now as the home-team by-passed Cosmos's midfield and stretched the defence wide. In the 44th Pride's engine-house John Hutchison grafted down the right side, cut the ball in to Roach just inside the area who held the ball, turned, and struck it past the keeper. Pride's increasingly vocal and knowledgeable fans had to pinch themselves as their team went to oranges 2-0 up. Indeed Santa's appearance with lollies for the kids was almost an anti-climax after the earlier gifts.

After the break Canberra tried to come back and Miyazawa pushing up was involved in a number of plays which should have had better results. Once Hooker went off in the 56th min they were always going to be exposed as Miyazawa had to carry the defence in which Toplica Popovich was lost without trace. Young Brad Scott, who came on when Hooker went off, looked lively and caused some concern in the Pride defence but it was no surprise after 70 mins when replacement Adam Griffiths, another Spirit loan player with his loan extended, hit a long strike which rocketed into the net. Alex Castro tried to right things once again but alas skyed one from distance. The injection of striker and NSW Premier League top scorer Mark Hagger made a difference for Canberra and their best chance until then occurred in the 82nd min when Scott hit a nice ball across to Hagger's feet and his usual snap shot was well saved by the Pride keeper. Pride was not done and Roach and Watkins combined in the 87th min only to see Bojo Jevdjevic punch clear. Against the run of play Castro received the ball in the area onside and scored a consolation goal for Canberra.

After the match Tom Sermanni stated that "we were beaten by a better team on the night". "We were flat and it was our poorest performance of the season but I don't want to take anything from Eastern Pride who were better on the night! Jeff Hopkins added, "it was a mental test for us tonight". "We have that off our backs now just when we have a tough few weeks coming up!" Certainly celebrations in the club afterward by the Pride fans and players have been a long time coming. It was great to see a great little regional club with a 'boutique ground' of their own still in the league and with a will to put them-selves forward - I enjoyed their warm hospitality.

Match Report by Chris Dunkerley for In The Back Of The Net - Merry Christmas to all!

NSW Premier League - Round 1 - Saturday 4th November, 2000
CENTRAL COAST COASTIES 2 (Adam Peatey 39, Nathan Byrne 68) defeated BONNYRIGG WHITE EAGLES 1 (Reid 47) (H/T 1-0)
Referee: Boyd McGregor 5/10, Crowd: est. 1,200 Game: 7/10 - at NorthPower Stadium, Gosford.

Squads: Central Coast: Moore, Hokin, Matthews, Steele, Williams (Northam 88') Ritchie (Daley 83') Peatey, Cutler, Leary (Roper 66') Byrn, Knight; sub not used - Collits. Cautions: Leary
Bonnyrigg: Greco, Utjesenovic, Devrimol, Harding, Gomez, Van Bentum, Hawrysiuk, Mandic (Moring 75') Reid, Huseyin, Luff; subs not used - Allen, De Andre, McCann. Cautions: - Nil

A little slow to start but the tempo picked up with Coast scoring two well worked goals seperated by Bonnyrigg's reply just after the break. On a patchy but level and true pitch these two State League teams served up fayre deserving of a bigger audience and Central Coast football fans should have a look at the next home game at 7pm on Saturday 18th Nov v. Leichhardt Tigers.
National Soccer League - Round 1 - Friday 13th October, 2000 PARRAMATTA POWER 0 lost to MARCONI 2 (C Gibson 2) (H/T 0-0)
Referee: M Breeze 7/10, Crowd: 5,299 Game: 5/10 - at Parramatta Stadium.
Squads - Power: Pogliacomi (gk), Barrett, Elrich, Orlic, Tobin ( c ), Bennett, Blagojevic (Miller 71), M Thompson, Thorpe, Clark (Berry 71), Griffiths (Eagleton 82), ; subs not used - Crews; Stallions: Aceski (gk), Farah, C Gibson, Costanzo, Tome (H Karl 92)), Maisano, Bove (Care 83, J Gibson, Renaud, Longo, McDonald ( c ); subs not used - Zoric, M Babic, M Turnbull; Yellow Cards: Marconi: Buddy Farah 22, Norman Tome 41; Red Card: Power - Peter Bennett 45. Best Players: 1. John Maisano (Marconi), 2. Chad Gibson (Marconi), 3. Alex Tobin (Parramatta)

Synopsis: Power started well with their tall men causing havoc up front and blunting Marconi's attack but with the Red Card to Peter Bennett in the 45min Marconi had room to change their pattern and were rewarded with a well taken goal by Chad Gibson in the 62min and a banana free kick over the wall in the 90th.

Detail Report:

At last another NSL football season had arrived - a normally savoured event. Despite Soccer Australia Chairman Basil Scarsella's usual upbeat NSL launch speech during the week it seemed that the fans of football at this 1st game of the season were finding it hard to lift to match the rhetoric. Perhaps it was post-Olympic malaise or perhaps the malaise is within the game itself. Only time will tell but, on a dampish evening in Sydney's second centre of Parramatta, Power's coach wily David Mitchell had assembled a squad that could have joined Andrew Gaze at the Dome. Would this size and, forgive the pun, power-show do the trick or would urbane Eddie Krnzevic work magic with a squad which seemed somewhat short on firepower. Points of interest for fans were the move of Alex Tobin from stopper and captain at Adelaide City to the same role at Power, the appearance of Bove and Maisano, and the poor condition of the ground.

Power came out attacking and it was in the 3rd minute that a shot on target came from striker Joel Griffiths, however it was saved by Marconi's keeper Aceski who started ahead of Turnbull. In the 10th minute a chance fell to Marconi's signing Tome but as the ball rolled menacingly close to the goal line Pogliacomi in the Parramatta goal snatched it away. A period of end-to end football lead to a long range on the ground attempt by Power debutant Matt Thompson that sneaked its way between a sea of legs but not Acevski. A 22nd min card to Farah for a crude hack at Griffiths as he sped down the left signalled Parramatta's dominance but a lack of width and sterile balls made conversion into goals seem unlikely. As the half wore on there were spells of action such as when a Griffiths free kick ricocheted around the box like a pinball but went clear followed by a good chance to Maisano that was hit hard but wide to the left of the Power goal. Marconi was struggling to break the Orlic - Barrett - Tobin wall. There were chances to Griffiths and Bennett for Power and Maisano for Marconi. As the half wound down however there was little excitement. Then for his first dive Tome got a 9.2 from the judges and a yellow card from the referee in the 42nd min for his spectacular attempt in the area. It seemed that Greco-Roman had touched the psyche of at least one player as Power's forceful close down tactics backfired when Power defender Peter Bennett reacted to a tackle from Marconi winger Chad Gibson with what appeared to be an elbow to the head and after referee Matthew Breeze consulted his assistant a red card was shown with just stoppage time remaining in the first half.

Coming out a man short it was surprising to see Parramatta pursuing their seemingly aimless long balls which Marconi defended by using the extra man to pressure Power in the midfield. A very sterile patch interrupted by Marconi's left wide man Renaud whose long range shot, wide on the left, signalled Marconi were out for the win but before they could press home the advantage Costanzo did very well to clear Griffiths shot off the goal line. In the 62nd minute Marconi avoided the 'wall' by stringing passes across field where Chad Gibson found he had Bennett marking him (unfortunately for Power from the grandstand) and placed a shot wide of Pogliacomi for the first goal of the season. Marconi kicked into gear and using speed Maisano had two fine chances, one just smothered by the keeper and the other a pile driver hitting the underside of the cross-bar, bouncing down, and staying out. Marconi had thrown the shackles however and McDonald and Tome both took shots on goal. Parramatta threw caution to the wind and pushing forward for an equaliser was disappointed when a header from Barrett went wide. Their hopes were unfounded as Tome was bundled down as he neared the penalty area from the left and in the 90th min Chad Gibson taking the free waited while his players parted and knocked a banana shot over the main wall and curled the ball into the top left of the goal and that was the show stopper.

Marconi 2-0 and that was a very handy win despite the numerical advantage so the very pleased Stallions fans unloaded the guns they always have trained on their coach as they got on the club bus. For Parramatta, much touted for an easy top six spot, some soul searching and re-casting needed before they face the away trip nightmare at Sunshine.

Match Report by Chris Dunkerley
Footnote: Coach's comments unable to be brought to you due to Soccer Australia policy change banning freelance media accreditation and access.


October 7, 2000 - A Wake for the Newcastle Breakers FC 8 NSL years is to held at Breakers Stadium at 3pm on Sunday 8th October. Rowdies v. Media match. Beer and soft drinks for sale. Mini Olympics. Family welcome! All proceeds to charity! Bring meat for a BBQ, boots to play a pick up game, and a sense of fun!

October 10 - The Breakers Wake attracted a good turnout of Rowdies and other loyal club supporters. The main game was great fun even in the heat. Thanks to Steve & Louise Bradbury and other organisers. Alas no players came. David Hall was very talkative but it remains to be seen what his plans for legal action against SA Executive members will come to!

October 12 - Soccer Australia Chairman Basil "Fawlty" Scarsella launched the new NSL season at Circular Quay and saw it explode in mid-air under fans and media yawns and plummet smoking into the harbour. Yellow Card before the game starts! "Must try harder Basil"! His promise of a re-launched league in 2001/02 is hard to believe. Some promising sponsors such as Qantas however have been signed. An Administrator has been appointed for Newcastle Breakers FC- will this be to trade out or wind it up?

October 18 - Charles Perkins had died aged 64 - Charles as we all know was a prominent Aboriginal activist and football player. Charlie played for Pan Hellenic in Sydney (now Olympic) in his youth and even had trials in England. He writes about this in his autobiography called "A Bastard Like Me". From the net - "Did anybody else notice the condition of the pitches over the weekend? they were ALL crap. Congratulations Soccer Australia." Noticed by most comentators. They aren't going to get much better with Marathon being used too!

October 20 - A large crowd on 15,000+ (if you believe the RL turnsiles) at Marathon on Friday night for Newcastle United's debut. A new consortium is rumoured in the west putting together a bid, Sydney United rumoured to be broke again, and Adelaide City joining them. A record crowd for a single NSL round of approx 56,000 in Rnd 2 due to high pulling clubs being at home rather than a general rise in NSL support as Carlton drew 1,400.

October 29 - After 3 rounds a rejuvenated Sydney United are sitting on top of the table. The standard of pitches and poor crowds in many areas are the main complaints.

November 6 - NSW Premier League kicked off at the weekend with the pacesetters being new boys Belconnen Blue Devils (1-4 over Penrith) and Central Coast (1-0 over Bonnyrigg). Rumours that Sydney United have not paid their affiliations fees and may lose competition points until they do - however another source says they paid last week (many weeks late). Newcastle Breakers FC in liquidation

November 13 - Soccer Australia's criteria for the 2001/02 NSL season have been released. On these only Perth Glory would qualify! It remains to be seen what actually transpires!

November 25 - The interim Australian Women's National Team ( The Matildas ) for the Pacific Cup to be held in January, 20001 is: D Alagich, T Bartlett, L Bisby, S Black, J Butland, M Carney, S Cooper, B Duus, A Ferguson, A Foreman, K Gobliowski, C Kell, J Maza, J McLaughlin, K McShea, J Murray, C Nichols, K Revell, T Rockall, C Salisbury, A Tann-Darby, A Taylor, L Trimboli, S Wainright.

December 15 - NSW Saphires 5 v. NNSW Pride 1 are in the final of the WNSL - NSW now play QLD in the GF next week! Carlton is struggling to survive in the NSL due to financial problems. Basil Scarsella has been elected to the Presidency of the Oceania Confederation - he will leave the Soccer Australia Chairmanship in February - A replacement is uncertain - let's hope it isn't Tony Labbozetta!

December 29 - Qld won the Women's National league. The rumours of alternative 2nd Divisions and 'breakaway' leagues surfaced before Christmas and the pressure is on Soccer Australia to get things right before someone takes it out of their hands - FIFA or no FIFA! As for fans - well at least get out and support a game this weekend!

January 5, 2001 - Rumours continue of a breakaway League, outside of the USLA or 2nd division proposals. Whether this is pressure on for the Soccer Australia Chairman election in February or not remains to be seen. Key votes come form the state Federations whose agenda is not only the NSL. Front runner Tony Labozetta of Marconi is unacceptable to many stakeholders. There is certain to be a volatile year or two ahead. Let's hope it doesn't disrupt the WC campaign.

January 12 - The Matildas have defeated France in front of an impressive crowd of 5,118 in Coffs Harbour overnight. The final score Matildas 2 v. France 1. The Matildas scored in the 43rd and 62nd minute mark with goals to K Revell and C Salisbury respectively. The sole goal for France was scored in the 62nd minute by H Lattaf. The Young Socceroos (U20) defeated Rangers FC U20's 3-0 in Canberra.

Week ending January 19 - What a week! - In women's football Australia's Matildas and France had a bruising 1-1 draw at Oakes Oval, Lismore on Sunday in front of a crowd of 2,350. After a 2-1 win to the Matildas in Coffs Harbour on Thursday, the three Test Australia Cup was decided in Wednesday's final 1-0 win on the Gold Coast. Wollongong completed their 1st round in the WCC Oceania qualifiers in PNG - 16-0 , 5-0, 10-0, 6-0, 1-0 (yes 38-0!)- then through 4-2 to the Final. Pelister of Macedonia caused their game v. Olympic to be abandoned. Red Star Belgrade tour. Oz U20 beat Rangers U21 1-0 at NSO. NSW U20 drew with Rangers U21 at NSO.
Stop Press: In a farcical move this week Robbie Slater has been charged by Soccer Australia with bringing the game into disrepute for his media comments! The 90MAWBH view on this is here :

Photo at NSO 19/01/01 by Jeremy Piper.

Week ending January 26 - The decision to play the Spirit home game v. Sydney United at 5pm must be questioned. The heat is a health hazard for players and a turn off for spectators (who dropped to 3,731!) Experienced Sydney Olympic (and UK / Japan assistant coach) has been appointed Arnie's 'Assistant' coach. Arnie directed from the bench from Friday. The Newcastle Breakers 'Rowdies' played Nottingham Forest supporters in a trial game in Newcastle - come to the Tournament at Breakers Stadium Sat 10th.

Month of February - The SBS On The Ball interview of Tony Labozzetta last weekend went down like a dead fish! Brondolino was not a lot better but perhaps less a worry. Alas on Black Saturday 24th of Feb. Labozzetta got up!!!! Where to from here? NSW PL side Blacktown City lost - to end an amazing 33 game undefeated streak.

Month of March - Australia U20 Young Socceroos beat NZ in Coffs Harbour through a 101th min 'golden goal' to go to the Finals in Argentina in June.
Australian U17 Joeys squad announced. ASF official Socceroo Supporters Group launched. Coffs Harbour confirmed for WCQ in April. Soccer Australia is reported to have "sold out" the Socceroos with a secret deal with FIFA to use only local players in the OFC WCQ in Coffs. Sack the lot of them I say! The month ended with final dates and the team for Coffs Harbor!

Month of April - Australia U17 win 3-0 and 0-6 over the NZ U17 team. They go to the U17 WC in Trinidad & Tobago. Australia defeated Tonga 22-0 in the 1st Oceania WC Qualifier in Coffs Harbour to set a new world senior record. By defeating Fiji 2-0 and Samoa 8-0 we are through the the Oceania WCQ final in June.

Month of May - Wollongong Wolves carry off the Grand Final against South Melbourne to give well deserved back-to-back silverware. The playing of the game at Parramatta rather than in Wollongong is not popular at all! Shame Soccer Australia! More shame when the long gestated 2001/2002 NSL league was stillborn. The somehow magic 12 teams means that Brisbane Strikers and Canberra Cosmos are out based on the Soccer Australia bean counters criteria. Unprecedented opposition from clubs, fans, and politicians.

Month of June - Australia take 3rd place in the Confederations Cup with wins over Mexico, France and Brasil but losses to South Korea and Japan. The Oceania WCQ Finals were won 0-2 by Australia in Wellington and then 4-1 by Australia in Sydney. We now play the 5th placed Sth American team in November for a place in the 2002 World Cup finals. Of course the Soccer Australia saga continues...........!!!

Month of July - Australia's U20 Young Socceroos defeated by Angola in second round.

Month of August - Sat 3rd ... Soccer Australia has a new board today with Tony Labbozzetta being defeated as Chairman by Ian Knop. The Board is now Knop (Chair), Woods (Vice Chair), Brondolino, Avory, and Walker, plus for now Bart. Time for fans to keep the pressure on for real reform. Rumours that Kennett or Greiner may become President and Kennett or Lowy an independent member. Tony Labbozzetta your time is up!

Month of September - Joeys lose to Brasil 0-1, but beat Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 and Croatia 4-0 to enter Qtr Finals v. Nigeria. Trial games for NSL and NSWPL teams ocurring during the month. Canberra Cosmos teeters on the brink and crashes out as Soccer Australia withdraw their licence. Remember the date '23/09/01' - ie. 1 year since the Newcastle Breakers were murdered! 5 teams out in just over 2 years!

Month of October - Season commenced Frid 5th.

Month of November, 2001 - WCQ - Australia 1 (Muscat Pen 78') defeated Uruguay 0 on Tuesday 20th Nov - return leg in Montevideo 6am Monday 26th Nov. Well 90MAWBH was down at the 'G' for the big one! What an experience - the weeks of anticipation, walking the streets with Socceroo and football shirts everywhere, the MCG atmosphere, Andre Krueger 'that mad cherman', the game (tense and nail biting), after match celebration, and the flight home full of football fans! The boys played really well in the 2nd half, Moore man of the match, but we still aren't lethal in front of goal! As for the Montevideo leg - Go you Socceroos!
AEST 7.55am Monday 26th 2nd leg WCQ Uruguay 3 defeated Australia 0 (Uruguay 3-1 on aggregate qualify for the 32nd and final spot at Korea/Japan 2002! So ends our dream for a further 4 years!)

Months of December, 2001 to May, 2002 - I lost interest!

The Months of June, 2002 - NSL Season 2002/03 - "The 26-round competition will commence on Friday September 20 and concludes on Sunday 16 March, with the 'top six' commencing the week after, concluding on 25 May. The Grand Final is scheduled for 1 June, 2003". FARINA ANNOUNCES 18-MAN ONC SQUAD - Thursday 27 June 2002 Senior National Coach Frank Farina has announced the 18-man squad that will travel to New Zealand for the 2002 OFC Nations Cup early next week. The Australian squad consists mainly of locally based players from clubs that particpated in the Finals Series of the National Soccer League. Scott Chipperfield is the only player in the side currently plying his trade overseas, with Swiss-based FC Basel. Farina has also selected a mixture of experience and youth, which should ensure a highly competitive team at the OFC Nations Cup. The full squad is as follows:
Dean Anastasiadis - South Melbourne, Jason Petkovic - Perth Glory
Angelo Costanzo - Marconi Stallions, Steve Horvat - Melbourne Knights, Patrick Kisnorbo - South Melbourne, Fausto De Amicis - South Melbourne, Mehmet Durakovic - South Melbourne, Jade North - Olympic Sharks, Ante Juric - Olympic Sharks
Tom Pondeljak - Olympic Sharks, Rob Middleby - Newcastle United, Milan Blagojevic - Newcastle United, Scott Chipperfield - FC Basel, Switzerland, Joel Porter - Melbourne Knights, Paul Trimboli - South Melbourne
Damian Mori - Perth Glory, Bobby Despotovski - Perth Glory, Ante Milicic - Olympic Sharks


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Editor's Comment:

90 Minutes And We'll Be Home! is a fanzine - that is it is designed for fans to support, and to constructively criticise, their team. The name alludes to those victories at the end of 90 minutes of course, but also to those long trips by far fans to home games, and away trips of home fans!

The aims of 90MAWBH are:

To promote Australian football, all fans taking away trips, fans e-mailing lists, web sites, fanzines, and the Newcastle Rowdies.

Click here for Newcastle in the NSL

The Editor is a football fan (and player) of approx 44 years, a Sydney based Newcastle Breakers FC fan of their last 4 seasons and proud to be accepted as a Rowdie, whose 1st team is Northern Spirit due to the demise of Breakers and the start in the NSL of the new Newcastle club. I still have an interest in the the Newcastle team but cannot transfer my love for the Breakers easily to this new club which has links to the RL Knights! That is not to say I do not have problems with Spirit in recent seasons! Who would want to be a (multi-ethnic) football fan in Australia in this decade!? Bring back the Breakers! Otherwise I also support the Central Coast Coasties in the NSWPL and Ryde City in the NSWSF Winter Super League. My son's Epping Eastwood Tigers U18/1 and my daughter's Epping YMCA U16/2 are a prime target for my support, as they are as two referees. My other (oldest) daughter supports Marconi - ah well at least it's football!
Chris Dunkerley, Webzine Editor, 2002

Memories - On right - Faithful fans at Mobil Park, Morwell.

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This 90MAWBH Web site was created using on 02 January, 1999 - and 1st Loaded up for launch on 16 January, 1999.
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