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Newsletter - Tuesday 17 July 2001 beerbeer
This newsletter is published weekly with the generous assistance of the
Orange Grove Hotel - an excellent place for post-game refreshments.

Balmain Rovers fields teams in Premier League Division 4 (Firsts & Reserves) of the Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association competition.

UPCOMING: Fixtures STANDINGS: Medal, Boot NEWS: Website

Match Report 1

Double Figures

Balmain Rovers 4A Reserves v Strathfield Reserves
Strathfield Park, Strathfield
Sat 14 July 2001
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Donny Nicholas

My Friday night preparations were not going well. I was coming home late from a week away on the road and got in about ten o'clock only to find my flatmates not half cut at our local pub, but semi-comatose on the lounge, making noises about early mornings and being tired. What was the world coming to? Even my suggestions of "Just one beer!" FELL ON DEAF EARS. So believe it or not, I was in bed and asleep by 11.00pm. Strange, huh??

Anyway, Saturday started off with physio first thing, and after some tight negotiations and exchange of funds I was given the all clear to resume my flourishing football career. Browny rang at the appointed time and I arranged to pick him up outside the Toxteth Hotel (why do so many of my stories involve pubs?). What I neglected to tell him was that I was in a completely different car so would be a bit harder to spot! From there, I was somehow navigated by a Melbournian to the ground in Strathfield. We then proceeded to stand by the wrong pitch for about ten minutes, until finally being directed by a friendly local to the correct field.

A change of tactics was planned for today's game by our esteemed manager Onsman. It seems changing pooey nappies has given him some interesting new slants on how to approach things! In any case, it was decided to run a 3-3-4 formation to give us a little more firepower up front. It seemed to do the trick .....................

The game started well for Rovers, with our halves beating Strathfield to the ball consistently, led by Smithy, James and Supersam. This fed plenty of ball to D. and co and it wasn't long before we were peppering the Strathfield net. Some strong lead-up work in those first ten minutes led to Paul Millard getting onto a ball on the right hand side of the box and smacking it home for our first goal. Woo-Hoo!! The team's confidence was lifted and this was swiftly followed by a second from a flick on that was beautifully volleyed into the back of the net. Forward progress continued with Ally finishing a strong run down the left to give Millard his hat-trick for the day into the left of the net. From there, they just kept on coming. James was next with a header from a sweet Sammy cross. Then a penalty from the spot for a handball in the box saw a line up of wannabe goal scorers. James took the shot low and to the right for a 5-0 score.

The defence had a fairly easy game today made easier by Wrighty's probing runs and strong tackles, and Ricky's tidy cleaning up and good vision at the back. Browny made a guest appearance as goalie today, and whilst I can't say with any certainty that the blue and black long sleeved number is quite Browny's style for impressing the chicks at the Toxteth, he did manage to dirty the knees with several near misses!! Well done, Browny.

The second half kept on rolling with the first. Ammon scored two snappy goals in a row with some nice footwork and powerful shots. This was when we saw "Lachie" playing outside his usual game and having a lash up front!! The results were spectacular with Lachie/Ben latching on to a cross to make it 8-0. Ally then topped off a cracking game with the next goal into the left side of the net. There was some conjecture as to whether the shot deflected off Nik on the way through, but from where I was it looked like Ally's goal (a six-pack of Coopers will be fine, thanks, Ally). Ammon then put us into double figures with a left foot smash that left the keeper at a standstill.

Ten-blot. A great result.

3 points - Paul Millard for getting lots of goals straight away so I could stress less
1 point - Paul Smith
1 point - Sam Tekin
1 point - David Wright for neeeeearly scoring a goal for the backs


Our Sponsor

This newsletter is sponsored by the fabulous folks at

The Orange Grove Hotel
31 Balmain Rd, Leichhardt
Ph 9810 1435

Table football * pool table * pokies * TAB * cable sports TV

Regular live music * Friday night raffle

Drop in to Crocetti's, the Grove's new family restaurant


Match Report 2

Ally ----- Gee!!!

Balmain Rovers 4A v Strathfield
Strathfield Park, Strathfield
Sat 14 July 2001
Kick-off 3pm
Report by Craig Brown

After the goalfest that was the Reserves game, everyone must have fancied their chances in the Firsts team. Of course, only one man is captain, and Gary Van Heugten pulled rank to get a start up front, probably to the chagrin of top scorer Paul Edwards. The full line-up was: Rovers: A. Mackie; N. Hopkins, C. Brown, G. Bacic, K. Tsalikis; J. Nicotra, P. Edwards, A. Farmery, M. Clementson; S. Fiorenza, G. Van Heugten. Subs: A. Haining, M. Sommers.

Things began well though, with Strathfield being pegged in to their own half for most of the first 30 minutes. Sounds very familiar to last week, and after a couple of early efforts went wide you could have been forgiven for feeling a sense of deja vu. Luckily, the pressure paid off, with good work from Eddie and Serge resulting in a chance for Gary, who duly stuck it away.

We didn't have to wait too long for a second, as Joey sent Gary down the right wing, from where he cut into the box and pulled off a beautiful double somersault with a half twist to earn a penalty (of course it was all kosher. Wasn't it Gaz?). Gary dusted himself off to put the spot kick away and it was 2-0.

There was one passage of play just prior to the third goal where it actually felt like we were playing football, and not having a kick about in the park. Certainly the only time in my distinguished career. I'll cherish that thought - at least until the next time I play and get a reality check.

The third goal itself was the result of our sustained pressure and some good work by Gary and Andy Farmery. Eddie was prowling around to put it away and at 3-0 we were looking the goods, and while perhaps not thinking of 10-0, a la the Reserves, a few more weren't out of the question. Unfortunately, our best period for the game had passed, and things got a little tougher.

Just after the third goal, our defence rolled out the red carpet to the Strathfield number eleven. I even held the door open for him. Luckily, Ammon Mackie pulled off a great save to preserve our lead. Strathfield continued to take more of the game from us, and things weren't helped when I had to go off with a strained hamstring, being replaced, albeit briefly, by Ally Haining. A few other Rovers players began limping around, and anyone watching might have been fooled into believing that we aren't dedicated, super-fit athletes. Perish the thought.

Just before half-time, another welcoming committee greeted the Strathfield number eleven in our penalty area and he took full advantage of our hospitality by heading a loose ball into the net. Aamon was one of several Rovers players with a chance to clear, but contented himself with smacking the poor guy in the head, or something to that effect.

That made it 3-1 at half-time. Should have been better, but we always say that, don't we?

Not long into the second half and one of those incidents occurred that makes playing in this league what it is - sometimes absolutely bizarre. Ally, frustrated with a team mate(s), turned up the volume on an unsavoury remark. The F-word was involved, but it was all pretty commonplace; the sort of thing that's said every five minutes on a football pitch. Perhaps every two minutes if you're playing in Glasgow. But to his utter astonishment and, it's fair to say, to that of most people watching, the referee brandished the red card.

Obviously a new edict from FIFA - that Scots can't swear on the football pitch. Perhaps Ally should consider adopting a nice soft Home Counties accent, or use the Dutch curses endorsed by Gary and John later at the Annandale. Dorian uses "Merde", which is of course French for shit, but perhaps he has others up his sleeve that can help us get Ally through ninety minutes. Any suggestions should be forwarded to the Rovers e-mail list. Personally I like the Spanish word "Cabron", which equates to something like "bastard".

Back to the game, and the second half was a battle of attrition somewhat, and if anyone should have been sent off, Andy Farmery should have for an errant pass that spilled Sam's beer (Sam was shattered, but has apparently recovered). Andy, Glenn, Kon and Nik had to work a lot harder with only ten men, as Gary moved back into the midfield to help cover for Ally, and we lost our ability to hold the ball up front. It just kept coming back, despite the best efforts of Serge and Mikey, who I think came on for Clem.

The second half highlights were confined to Eddie having a good chance saved by the keeper (rueful miss); Andy trying a speculative free-kick from Donny Nicholas range (about 40 yards); two superb and vital saves by Joey Nicotra, who took over the goalkeeping duties from Ammon at half-time; and the Strathfield skipper, who looks remarkably like "Tony Montana"- Al Pacino in Scarface - doing his block with everyone (who would argue?).

The whistle blew for full-time, and a 3-1 win to Rovers, which I think guarantees us a spot in the Major Semi. This might require an explanation for all the Poms in our two teams. Ally ran onto the ground and some of us feared the worst, but from a distance it appeared as if he only wanted to dance with the Referee, who he approached, whispering sweet nothings into his ear. This seemed to make Gary jealous, as he threw his arms around Ally, obviously imploring him to think twice and dance with him instead. At least that's what it looked like from some 50 yards away. Perhaps I'm mistaken. You'd better ask Ally.

The Pele points go to:

Joey Nicotra - 1 - solid first half on the field, then two vital saves in goal
Gary Van Heugten - 1 - all over their back-line like a Rotterdam Rash in the first half
Andy Farmery - 1 - another promising performance from the youngster
Paul Edwards - 1 - good effort despite needing hip replacement surgery
Kon Tsalikis - 1 - Mr Konsistency (OK - pretty bad, but I'm running out of ideas here)
Glenn Bacic - 1 - very strong two weeks running

Also, sad to see Nik Hopkins heading back to the UK, and missing the Finals. Of course it'll be even sadder to see him back here in four weeks time, but I'm sure the immigration department have their reasons.


Upcoming Fixtures

Balmain Rovers v Canterbury (last game of the regular season)
Birchgrove Park, Birchgrove
Sat 21 July 2001
Kick-off 1.15pm, 3pm

Balmain Rovers v ?????? (first round of the Finals)
Venue TBA
Sat 28 July 2001
Kick-off TBA


Award Standings

Pele Medal

14 - Ammon Mackie
13 - Paul Edwards, Paul Millard
12 - Craig Brown
10 - Gary van Heugten
9 - Andy Farmery, Tim Hinds, Kon Tsalikis
8 - Nick Hopkins, Sam Tekin
6 - Emrys Hughes
5 - Glenn Bacic, Joey Nicotra, Ricky Onsman, Paul Smith
4 - John Barker, Pier D'Angelo, Ian Ladkin, Donny Nicholas, David Wright
3 - David Birds, Lachlan Mackie
2 - Sergio Fiorenza, Alister Haining, Denis Jozic
1 - Eddie Briggs, Matt Clementson, Sohail Dahdal, James Mackie, Carlos Morata

Golden Boot

15 - Ammon Mackie
12 - Paul Millard
11 - Paul Edwards
7 - Gary van Heugten
6 - Alister Haining
5 - Sam Tekin
3 - Craig Brown, Sergio Fiorenza, Tim Hinds, Dorian Nkono
2 - Andy Farmery, Nick Hopkins, James Mackie
1 - Eddie Briggs, Sohail Dahdal, Pier D'Angelo, Emrys Hughes, Ben Jones, Carlos Morata, Joey Nicotra


Other News


Yes, I'm afraid it's another website change. Balmain Rovers has gone independent and moved to - update your bookmarks. This will also involve changes to the mailing list - I'll summarise these in a separate email, but after this things should stay settled for a while.



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Newsletter content 2001 Balmain Rovers

Tuesday 17 July 2001