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Northern Spirit Official site match reports

Match Reports:

Last game - Rnd 03 of the 99/00 NL Season - Friday 15th Oct, 1999l
NORTHERN SPIRIT 0 lost to NEWCASTLE BREAKERS 2 (Owens 15mins, Juchniewicz 90)

at North Sydney Oval
(H/T 0-1)
Cards: NB - YC - tba NS - YC - tba ; Referee: Matthew Breeze 9/10, Game: 7/10, Crowd: 12,733 Best: Bingley, Langdon, Slater Lee Sterrey's Breakers showed Spirit how to snatch victory. Basically Catlin's brilliance, putting chances away - and Sterrey's tactics over Arnold! More work to do!

South Mebourne 2 (Curcija 16min, 48min) defeated Northern Spirit 0 (H/T 1-0)
Crowd: 8,000 approx. Referee: Wayne Dade 6/10. Game Rating 7/10. Yellow Cards to Crook, Rudan, Bingley, Langdon.
South Melbourne are "back" although they sat in their own half and attacked on the break - at home! Spirit dominated scoring chances but put none away. There were however encouraging signs. Best: Langdon, Bilokapic, Casserly.

Round 1 - National Football League - 4th Oct, 1999, Edensor Park
Sydney United 0 lost to Northern Spirit 2 (Slater, Seal)
Crowd: 5,000 approx. Referee: Mark Shields 5/10 Game Rating 5/10
Spirit went home with the points but it was a pretty ordinary display from both teams

. Promotional Game - Friday 28th May, 1999 - Lionel Watts Oval, Belrose -
v. Wakehurst Soccer (sic) Club Premier League team - SPIRIT 10 v. WAKEHURST 0 (6-0). There were many trial games.

2nd leg Preliminary Finals game - 5pm Sunday 9th May, 1999
MARCONI FAIRFIELD 2 (M Smith 48, S Babic 51) defeated NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Arnold 83) at Marconi Stadium

Referee: Mark Shields 5/10; Yellow Cards: Smith MF; Crowd: 12,000 est. Best NS: Slater, Arnold, Marusic. Marconi went through to next Finals games.

1st leg Preliminary Finals game - 7.30pm Friday 30th April, 1999

Referee: Eugene Brazzale; Yellow Cards: Crook NS, Kim MF; Crowd: 17,264

Latest and final league game - Round 30 of the 98/99 EC Season - 5pm Sunday 25th April, 1999
MARCONI FAIRFIELD 1 (Awaritife 30min) defeated NORTHERN SPIRIT 0 at Marconi Stadium

Referee: G Connolly 8/10; Yellow Cards: Bilokapic NS, Gibson MF; Crowd: 10,117. Game rating 7/10 Best: NS - Graham Arnold, Antonio Faria, Luke Casserly. Opinion: Both teams 'rested' key players but although Spirit had possession and more chances, the one goal, a glancing header by Francis, showed up the poor Spirit finishing. Perhaps up to 3,000 Spirit fans there.

Latest and final league game - Round 30 of the 98/99 EC Season - 5pm Sunday 25th April, 1999
MARCONI FAIRFIELD 1 (Awaritife) defeated NORTHERN SPIRIT 0 at Marconi Stadium

Referee: G Connolly 7/10; Yellow Cards: Bilokapic, ? ; Crowd: 10,207. Game rating 6/10 Best: NS - Graham Arnold, Antonio Faria, Luke Casserly. Opinion: Both teams 'rested' key players but although Spirit had possession and more chances the one goal, a glancing header by Francis, showed up the poor Spirit finishing.

Round 29 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.30pm Friday 16th April, 1999
NEWCASTLE BREAKERS 1 (Haythornthwaite 67 min) drew with NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Bilokapic 59 min pen.) at Breakers Stadium

Referee: M Breeze 8/10; Yellow Cards: ?? ; Crowd: 5,015. Game rating 6/10 Best: NS - Langdon, Bilokapic, Arnold. Opinion: Fortunate draw in the mud, but enough to cement that top 6 spot. Loved the large Spirit crowd - perhaps 500 out of 5000.

Last home game - Round 28 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.30pm Friday 9th April, 1999
NORTHERN SPIRIT 2 (Crook 1min, Casserly 35min) defeated ADELAIDE SHARKS 1 (Artone 28mins) at NSO

Referee: M Shield; Yellow Cards: I Crook (NS) 73'; K Marusic (NS) 80' ; Crowd: 15,246; Game rating 7/10 Best: NS - Bilokapic, Henderson, Casserly. Opinion: Currently 5th and at 45 pts a top 6 spot very likely but depends on this weeekend's results and the next 2 rounds!

Round 27 of the 98/99 EC Season - 6pm Saturday 3rd April, 1999
GIPPSLAND FALCONS 1 (Hastie 60 min) drew with NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Arnold 42 min) at Mobil Park, Morwell.

Referee: J Blaney ; Yellow Cards: ? ; Crowd: 2,100 ; Game rating ? Best: ??? Opinion: Currently 5th and a top 6 spot still likely but depends on next 3 rounds!

Round 26 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.30pm Friday 26th March, 1999
NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Marusic 11) defeated SOUTH MELBOURNE 0 at NSO

Referee: M Sheild 5/10; Yellow Cards: ? ; Crowd: 15,543 ; Game rating 7/10. Best: NS - Slater, Henderson, Zane. Opinion: A great win, but after a dominating 1st half they had to hold Sth M in the 2nd. Refereeing left much to be desired.

Round 25 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.30pm Friday 5th March, 1999
NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Zane 18) lost to CANBERRA COSMOS 2 (Magnacca 30, De Jesus 73) at NSO

Referee: E Lennie 5/10; Yellow Cards: Nil ; Crowd: 10,482 ; Game rating 6/10. Best: NS - Henderson, Langdon, Zane. Opinion: A shocker! Canberra were hungrier, better organised, and deserved winners. Refereeing and esp. Asst Refereeing left much to be desired. Round 24 - BYE

Round 23 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.30pm Friday 5th March, 1999
NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Zane 28min) defeated ADELAIDE CITY 0 at NSO

Referee: E Lennie 5/10; Yellow Cards: Nil ; Crowd: 15,107 ; Game rating 8/10. Best: NS - Slater, Henderson, Zane. AC - Petkovic, Terminello, Tobin; Opinion: A close battle with either team threatening to dominate but neither did - however the end to end stuff was quite exciting anyway. A '6 point' win with the bye next week. Round 24 - BYE

Round 22 of the 98/99 EC Season - 6.30pm Sunday 28th February, 1999
WOLLONGONG WOLVES 3 (A Surjan 9, 11, 51) defeated NORTHERN SPIRIT 2 (R Slater 22, M Bingley 66) at Brandon Park

Referee: B Hugo 7/10; Yellow Cards: N Spencer WW; Crowd: 5,679 Game rating 6/10. Best: Slater, Casserly, Bingley. Opinion: Played well in patches, but Wolves were "faster, higher, stronger". A big hole in the defence that needs patching.

Round 21 of the 98/99 EC Season - 8.00pm Saturday 20th February, 1999
MELBOURNE KNIGHTS 2 (Kelic 42, Kutlesovski 81) lost to NORTHERN SPIRIT 3 (Watkins 34, Arnold 46, Slater 78) (1-1) at Knights Park

Referee: L Pospero ?/10 Yellow Cards: Bingley (13), Zane (70), Enes (90). Crowd: 3,500 est. Game rating ?/10. Best: ? Opinion: ?! Quote Geoff Coy: "An entertaining and end to end game by all accounts. Slater missed a penalty".

Round 20 of the 98/99 EC Season - 5.00pm Sunday 14th January, 1999
NORTHERN SPIRIT 3 (Arnold, Slater, Marusic) defeated CARLTON 1 (Lapsansky) at NSO

Referee: Simon Micallef 7/10 Crowd: 8,362 Game rating 6/10. Best: Bilokapic, Zane, Henderson. Opinion: Carlton were dangerous and a hard nut, but in the end the humidity and Clayton Zane's layoffs knocked them off. A good win, and much needed! Here we go, here we go, here we go!!

Friendly Game: Wed February 17 1999; Northern Spirit S.C. 5 ( trialist P. Foster 2, Mendez, Zane, Griffiths) d. Sutherland Sharks 0 at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda, Attendance : Approx 1,000

Sutherland Sharks : Denis Olla (Flavio Novaro 46'), Matthew Richardson (Keegan Pillay), Adam Daley, Archileas Markopoulos, Jeff Summers (Jeff Podesta), Malcolm Bideau (Tom Alexaris), Jeff Podesta (Cord Tolson 46'), Levi Stephen, Craig Hobbs (Aaron Harris), Jimmy Corbo, Keegan Pillay (Eddie Giraldo 46'). Note - Some players that were subbed at half-time returned for the second half.

Northern Spirit F.C. : John Perosh, Paul Wearne, Gabriel Mendez (Adam Griffiths), Eddie Bosnar, James Stubbs-Mills, Clayton Zane (Tyrone Lara 46'), Mathew Bingley, Daniel Watkins (Adam Snyder), Phil Moss, Paul Foster, Tony Faria.

Referee : Matthew Breeze, Assistant Referees : Denis Williams, Craig Pearce. Yellow Cards : Zane, Stubbs-Mills (Northern Spirit S.C.), Markopoulos (Sutherland Sharks).

Previous game - Round 19 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.00pm Saturday 6th January, 1999
BRISBANE STRIKERS 5 (Tollenaere 34, Zorichich 60, Laybutt 61, Meredith 63, Hughes 69) defeated NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Arnold 85) at Suncorp Stadium

Referee: E Lennie ?/10 Crowd: 5, Game rating ?/10. Best: ? Opinion: The little is said the better!

Round 18 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.30pm Friday 29th January, 1999
NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Marusic 69) lost to SYDNEY UNITED 2 (Burns 48, Griffiths 86) at NSO

Referee: G Connolly 4/10 Crowd: 17,024. Game rating 8/10. Best: Slater, Watkins, Moss. Opinion: Here's a game which Spirit almost dominated, should have scored 6, and lost. Sydney United under David Mitchell kept their cool and their direct approach - and it paid off. Some screeming shots from Spirit - but all missed. Why did we have to lose like that to the flare throwers! Sobzyk's debut was promising. Crowd avg. now 15,461

Round 17 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.30pm Tuesday 26th January, 1999
NORTHERN SPIRIT 1 (Cunico 74) defeated PERTH GLORY 0 at NSO

Referee: M Shield 6/10 Crowd: 17,722!. Game rating 7/10. Best: Slater, Cunico, Bilokapic. Opinion: Naven (PG) red carded 25min so we expected Spirit to dominate but it was along haul, with Perth playing well - Spirit overcame the player losses for a win to place us 4th! "There's only one team in Sydney!"

Round 16 of the 98/99 EC Season - 6.30pm Sunday 24th January, 1999
SYDNEY OLYMPIC 2 (Cardozo 40, 88 pen) lost to NORTHERN SPIRIT 3 (Slater 10, 31, Enes 55) at

Referee: S Micaleff 3/10 Crowd: 9,151. Game rating 9/10. Best: All really - Henderson, Slater, Watkins perhaps) Opinion: Superb win, with skill, courage and determination. Rudan red carded 35min with Spirit 1-0 up, then scored again. The end was nail-biting. Referee was inconsistent with his whistle and cards. A great win! Another thank you to the Spirit players!! "There's only one team in Sydney!"

Round 15 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.30pm Frid 15th January, 1999
NORTHERN SPIRIT 4 (Bilokapic 24, Slater28, Marusic 41, Watkins 88) defeated MARCONI-FAIRFIELD 0 at NSO

Referee: E Brazzale 8/10 Crowd: 17,507. Game rating 9/10. Best: All but Marusic, Bilokapic, Slater stood out. Opinion: Superb win, with skill, variety, and confidence. Could have been 7. Marconi were very flat. A thank you to the Spirit players!! "There's only one team in Sydney!"

Round 14 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7.40pm Frid 8th January, 1999

Referee: M Breeze 6/10 Crowd: 13,206. Game rating 7/10. Best: Catlin, Pryce, Shannon. Opinion: A hot night, a tired and nervous Breakers - 40 mins total domination by Spirit but no goal. 2nd half Breakers find their legs and could have snatched it

Round 13 of the 98/99 EC Season - 7pm Sun 3rd January, 1999
ADELAIDE SHARKS 2 (D Poimer 33m J Gibson 90m) lost to NORTHERN SPIRIT 3 (I Crook 63m C Zane 86m K Marusic 90m) at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Referee: S Hesic. Crowd: (approx) 3,500. Game rating ?/10. Best: ?. Opinion: Not available

Round 12 - 5pm Sun 27th December, 1998
Northern Spirit 1 (Marusic 82 mins) v. Gippsland Falcons 0 ; at North Sydney Oval

Referee: David Dwight 6/10, Game rating 6/10. Best: Arnold, Bilokapic, Marusic. Crowd: 10,374
Opinion: Spirit were again frustrating to watch in front of goal, but the Anold / Mendez / Marusic combination for the goal was worth the wait! The massed defence of the Falcons was hard to break down, and the late breakaway chance to Thompson well saved by Hendo.

Round 11 - Sun 20th December, 1998
South Melbourne 2 (Curcija 2) v. Northern Spirit 0 (loss) ; at Bob Jane Stadium, Melbourne

Referee: Eddie Lennie 8/10, Game rating 7/10. Best: Langdon, Marusic, Moss. Crowd: 6,500(!?)
Opinion: Spirit were again ineffectual in front of goal but the team worked better together and reportedly put in a fine first 20 Unfortunately it takes more to beat Sth. Melbourne!

Round 10 - Mon. 14th December, 1998
Canberra Cosmos 0 v. Northern Spirit 1 (Bilokapic pen.) ; at Bruce Stadium, Canberra.

Referee: Greg Leverton Rating 6/10, Game rating 5/10. Best: Langdon, Marusic, Arnold. Crowd: 1,704
Opinion: Spirit were again ineffectual in front of goal and it was a fear of the watching fans that we would leave a point in Canberra. The penalty saved that problem. Some of the younger brigade did well, and Arnold did well at sweeper. 100 Spirit fans there and some good singing group by the supporters bus group. Bring on Sth. Melbourne?

Round 9 - 6th December, 1998
Sydney United 1 (Sterjovski) v. Northern Spirit 0 ; at Edensor Park

Referee: S Micaleff Rating 5/10, Game rating 6/10. Best: Henderson, Marusic, Slater,
Spirit were ineffectual in front of goal and it was inevitable that if United scored we wouldn't pull it back. Hendo displayed some incredible keeping yet again although some have criticised him. A fair result. Perhaps 800 - 1000 Spirit fans there and a good singing group. Bilokapic lucky to stay on the park. The time of 3pm in the heat was stupid, but we must ask why full-time professionals like Spirit didn't last better that United?

Sunday 6th December, 1998 "Spirit Park" - North Sydney Oval
Ericsson Cup Round 9 - Sydney United v. Northern Spirit 1 (1-0)
Scorer: Mile Sterjovski ; Referee: Simon Micaleff Game: 6/10 Crowd: 6,200.

Round 8 of the 98/99 EC Season - 27/11/98
Northern Spirit 1 (Marusic 15min) v. Brisbane Strikers 1 (Hews 67mins) ; at NSO

Referee: G Connolly Rating 7/10, Crowd: 15,862 Game rating 6/10. Best: Henderson, Slater, Casserly
Spirit were on fire for the first half hour with Slater going close twice and the superb worked goal from Marusic, in an otherwise scrappy game. In the second half Brisbane lifted, lead by Harper in his home district again, and Spirit just pumped long balls around. A fair result.

Friday 6th November, 1998 "Spirit Park" - North Sydney Oval
Ericsson Cup Round 5 - Northern Spirit 1 v. Wollongong Wolves 0 (0-0)

Scorer: Robbie Slater 50mins; Referee: Brett Hugo 8/10, Game: 7/10 Crowd: 14,818. (avg 3 games - 15,819).

Detailed report:
NS team/rating: Henderson (9), Enes (9), Rudan (6) (Bosnar), Bilokapic (5), Moss (8), Slater (8), Marusic (7) (Stubbs-Mills), Cunico (6), Casserley (7), Arnold (5) (Watkins) , Zane(7).

After weeks of frustration I was at last making my first Spirit game live. My son & I set out through the usual nightmare Friday night Sydney traffic and fluked a parking spot only 3 blocks from the ground. There were spots of rain on the way but it mainly held off for the evening. Entered the ground at 6.45 and moved around to the Bob Stand, which was already filling fast. Spying a portable Merchandise stand on the way we bought a denim Spirit cap ($20) and oh joy a Spirit scarfe newly available and a very distinctive red & gold. (Eat your heart out Julian Farrell!). They were selling quite well. Geoff Coy hailed us and we squeezed into the Bob Stand. No sooner than in my son went off to try to find his teammates on the hill and the Spirit Media Liasion Officer Dave Mason brought over a journalist from the Mosman Daily, who stayed with us among "the northern noise" for the game taking copious notes.

The first half was mostly played at our end with the Spirit pushing up onto the Wolves defence who were obviously playing a counter attacking game. Slater was coming in for some attention, with Scott Chipperfield picking himk up zonally obviously to use his pace to nullify Slaters. The NS defence for a time were fazed by the pace of the Wolves counterattacks with Masi and Chipperfield looking dangerous each time. By half time Spirit were looking more confident in defence with Casserley particularly getting more involved and Moss nullifying Horsley, and Enes oozing class (you'd think he always played sweeper!).

The secong half started with some more fire in the Spirit attack and a little variation from the long balls. It was from fine lead up work by Zane, a flick-on by Marusic and Slater was there to poke it it in! This stirred the Wolves and they attacked with some fury but the makeshift Spirit defence just soaked it up, with Enes and Henderson particularly outstanding. A critic could say Spirit should have done better at home, but each week an area of the team lifts and by the second half of the season we may see a team with much more flair and confidence. For now a grafted win, is a win, is a win! As for the Wolves, it won't be too many weeks before they tear a defence apart.

The Bob Stand again contributed huge noise (if not great variety of support) spread over 2 full bays with 3 main focal points, and lots of colour.

Chris Dunkerley


Trial Games:

-vs- Southern Highlands XI at Bowral WON 16-2
-vs- Sutherland Shire Sharks at Seymour Shaw Oval WON 5-1
-vs- Bathurst '75 at Alec Lamberton (Bathurst) WON 3-0
-vs- Brookvale PL at Brookvale Oval WON 4-0
-vs- Canberra Cosmos at Greenwood Oval (Canberra)WON 3-1
-vs- Mosman PL at Allan Border Oval (Mosman) WON 10-2
-vs- Western Australia at Macedonia Park (Perth) WON 2-1
-vs- Eastern Suburbs Wanderers at Wentworth Park ?
-vs- Newcastle Breakers at Macquarie Field, Speers Point?
-vs- Wollongong City Wolves at Brandon Park ?

Sutherland Sharks v. Northern Spirit at Seymour Shaw, Miranda - 14/8/98 Result: 1 - 5 (1 - 1) Friday 14th August, 1998 (Zane 2, Bilokapic, Watkins, Perinich) Sutherland 1 (1-1) - first tough trial

1. Well the trial game last night (NS 5 v. Sutho 1) didn't shed a lot of light on the team despite it being a fairly serious workout. As Tancred said they played 3-4-3 and pushed Casserly (r) and Cranney (l) a long way forward. It didn't work that well as Sutho countered with 4 at the back. The midfield was a bit of a worry for a while with Marusic not getting into the game until the second half. Ian Crook looked usefull as sweeper and directed traffic well. Slater showed the experience but obviously isn't fit yet. Zane played quite a different role to the one he played at Breakers and wasn't quite as lazy either! Needs to prove himself I am sure. I'm not a fan of either Bilokapic or Rudan and they didn't change my mind. The new keeper, Paul Henderson, from Sutherland looked pretty useful. Cranney actually played better when he took over Slater's midfield role. The subs of Watkins and Langdon looked like the goods. All in all a good workout but a long way to go yet. (Chris Dunkerley 15/8/98)

2. The crowd was quite good, just about all Sutherland fans but the Stadium was nearly full, with maybe about 400 in attendance. The atmosphere was quite poor though. No singing and the Sutherland crowd really only clapped a few times. Frank Arok, former Australian coach, now at Sydney Olympic was sitting a few seats away sizing us up. Should make for an interesting opening round clash. I won’t bore you with all the game details. Sprit played 3-4-3 and Sutherland 4-4-2. For the first 20 minutes we really did not look that good but as the game progressed we improved a lot. Final score was 5-1 and their second goal was disallowed for offside. Sutherland played the high long ball a lot and our defence was often lacking but both sides had trouble with finishing. Our attacking style looked promising but we need to strengthen our defence. One big impression was that our lads had not been together long enough to “mesh” yet but with time this should improve. Half time brought the rain and Maris revealed she had lots of choc-chip biscuits, YUM. We played a lot better in the second half and this should be a sign of things to come. Troy Cranney’s new shaved head also led to call of “there’s only two Robbie Slaters” Clayton Zane scored two of the goals and Paul Bilokapic scored one. Not sure who got the other two. (Tancred 14/8/98)

Trial game: Wed 2nd September, 1998. Brookvale 0 v. Northern Spirit 4 (0-3) Goals: Marusic, Arnold, Rudan, Watkins. At Brookvale Oval tonight the Brookvale Premier League side made a good account of themselves despite running out 0-4 losers to Northern Spirit in from of an excellent crowd of over 1,700 fans. Spirit looked to be coasting and it was hard to tell much about the condition of the team's preparation. Robbie Slater went off after 25 mins injured. AAP: "The Spirit flew out of the blocks to take a 3-0 lead at half time thanks to goals from Marusic, Arnold and defender Mark Rudan in a slick first half display at Brookvale Oval in front of 2,000 fans. As the match wore on the Brookvale players settled into the quicker pace of the match and worked their way into the game. The introduction of two locally produced State and National League players, Matthew Lowe (Newcastle) and David Guzzo (Leichhardt) also helped their cause in the second half. With Arnold giving his entire reserve bench a run in the second half, the Spirit came down a gear, but scored a late goal through impressive striker Daniel Watkins to complete the scoring".

Trial game: Sunday 6th Sept. Greenway Park in Canberra. Canberra Cosmos 1 v. Northern Spirit 3 (0-0) Scorers: Zane, Perinich, Burth (og), Buljan (CC). The Northern Spirit made it through their first real test when they played the Canberra Cosmos in the very first game for the new team against another Ericsson Cup team. The score was 3-1 and this was probably a fair result if you only look at the second half. The first stanza saw the home team dominate but unable to score and then after the break through a number of changes the home team lost its shape and the Spirit were able to penetrate and finish their chances well. Michael Musitano caused numerous problems for the Spirit defence and had no less than three chances to put the locals in front, but it was his long throws that really worried the static Spirit defence and through one of these saw Lindsay Wilson's header bounce back off the cross-bar.
An injury at half-time to Canberra sweeper Andrew Clarke meant that the home side had to make some important changes in defence. They were unable to cope when the Spirit used the wings to very good effect. In the 51st minute a Kresimir Marusic cross was met by Clayton Zane who's header from close range found the target and put the visitors one up. Fifteen minutes later Zane nearly doubled the score with another header only to see Danny Burt clear off the line. In the 71st minute the locals were caught in a three on two and when the ball went out to Tony Perinich his finish was superb. Ten minutes later a low cross into the box was intercepted by Burt but unfortunately the ball went straight into his own net. One of Cosmos' best players on the field Peter Buljan was rewarded for his consistent effort when in the 90th minute substitute Matthew Valeri put him through. Buljan rounded the keeper and guided the ball into the empty net to give the home fans something to cheer about. Spirit coach Graham Arnold, who limped off the field in the first half through a calf injury, believed that this was a worthwhile good workout. He was happy with the second half performance of his players and the way that they used a slow build up to generate their chances. For the Comsos, Rale Rasic was extremely pleased with the first stanza especially as most of his top team were missing. He said that the team dominated the midfield during this period especially with Ivan Zelic playing well. Rasic stated that at the moment he believed that there were just too many inexperienced players and further trials will bring them to the standard expected. Nick Guoth 7th September, 1998

I travelled down to Canberra with the team for their match with the Canberra Cosmos. To be honest I think the first half was a little scrappy until they started to pick up their act in the last 15 or so minutes. They continued their form in the second half where Crook, Rudan and Zane looked very impressive. Ben Coonan 15/9/98

Trial Game: Saturday 12th September, 1998 at Macedonia Park, Stirling WA. WA 1 v Spirit 2
Half-time 1-1 Scorers: Cranney 32min, Zane 54min , Westerberger 35min (WA). Report: "Spirit only dominated the match in the second half when WA began to tire. Overall not the most impressive performance. Robbie Slater definitely the main man for Spirit. Spirit were very poor on the flanks, with both Casserly and Purdue failing to impose themselves. Spirit's defence of Crook-Rudan-Bosnar was a bit shakey. Perosh is a dodgy keeper, especially compared to Zabica at the other end. Pray that Blazincic stays fit", Searlais Mullin 12th September, 1998.

Trial Game: Sunday 20th September, 1998 at Wentworth Park. Eastern Suburbs 'Wanderers' 0 v Spirit 1
Half-time 0-0 Scorer: Ian Crook (89 min).
Report: "Spirit : (Squad) John Perosh, Ian Crook, Mark Rudan, Troy Cranney, Daniel Watkins, Phil Moss, Clayton Zane, Luke Casserly, Paul Wearne, Micheal Cunico, Nicholas Purdue, Paul Henderson, James Stubbs-Mills, Michael Langdon.
Eastern Suburbs : (Squad) Les Bihari, Steve Hickman, Michael Reda, Rudi Jerkovic, Nick Mandic, Patrick Darvill, Vadim Mikoutski, Max Sevares, Scott Mutton, Steve McCombe, Yavos Ekinci, Scott Henderson, Adam Mark, Matt Lowe, David Konh, Moni Matakis.
A lacklustre encounter with the only bright light being the Ian Crook 'screaner' in the 89th. Reda and Mikoutski looked godd for Easts and both should be good 'pickups' to any potential NSL club while for the Spirit it was hard to pick a best as they seemed totally disinterested in the match although Ian Crook was good on occassions.
Easts produced an expensive 8 page colour programme which included lineups for both teams. Unfortunately both teams played players in the wrong numbered jumpers again which made identifiying them impossible from distance. If it weren't for the hardworking Paul Goodwin who approached both clubs officials to get the squads we would have known even less.
Considering the cold weather and the fact 40,000 people were at the Football Stadium to watch the thugby league semi-final (which was also live on tele) it was still a disappointing crowd. Many of the Olympic faithful were there to watch including Frank Arok, Branko Culina, 'Stormin' Norman Tome and Peter Tsekenis. There was no promotion by any of the Spirit staff to sign people to memberships or sell caps, etc. A little disappointing. - 21/9/98 Wolfman (Greg Stock)

See the fixtures for the season at: 98/99 Season Fixtures List

For more match details: Tancred's SpiritRealm Calender


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Copyright © C.Dunkerley Epping NSW 1998

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