After being bundled out of the Ola sports cover night series by Perth in the Semi Finals through a Golden Goal Penalty, all focus is on the Premiership season start against the Dianella White Eagles at the Velodrome this Saturday. With nearly all players available to all teams it should be an interesting start to the season. The only doubts are over Troy Bernard ( Personal commitments) and Terry Georganis (Work Commitments), other than that all players are available including new signings Paul Lincoln and Dario De Cesare. In other news the Championship has been reverted to the top five final system in accordance with the National League top 6 system. At the moment the teams that are looking good for the top 5 are Perth S.C. , Fremantle City , Floreat Athena , Joondalup , and either the Western Knights or Sorrento. My tip in the season opener is Floreat to have a Comfortable home Win.
Floreat Athena all but secured a place in the Ola sports cover night
series with a great 2-1 come from behind win over the Western Knights.
The Western Knights opened the scoring through a penalty, but late in the
first half Athena was awarded a penalty when Terry Georganis was tripped
in the penalty area. Former Perth Glory defender Doug Ithier converted
low to the right to equalize.
The second half was a tense battle with some good through balls for Peter Coci and Terry Georganis set up by the midfield, but their finishing failed to impress. Mid way in the second half, Knights striker Trim Morgan took out Athena defender Craig Ruthven in an off the ball incident that the linesman witnessed. After some discussion with the referee, Morgan saw red and the Knights reduced to 10 men.
A few minutes later John Carbone came off for Alex Novatsis who picked up from his game the previous night for the reserves and caused problems for the Knights down the left flank.
In the end Doug Ithier got his second of the night with an easy header and secured the 3 points for Floreat in the process.
Both the reserves and the under 18's played 2 games in 4 days this week
as pre-season scratch matches.
On Thursday the 12th of March both teams faced Kingsway Olympic, the Under 18's lost 3-2, while in an incident packed match the reserves also went down 2-1. With fights and a few on field melee developing the first regular match against olympic is sure to be one high of tension.
The highlight of the night was Floreat's goal with was an "unbelieve it" pearler by Alex Novatsis late in the game. After escaping a couple of players, Novatsis looked up and curled the ball away from the keeper across the goals and into the top left corner. This goal sparked Athena into life and a draw could of be possible had the ball rolled generously with Yianni Nikitas going one on one with the keeper.
Today both teams played the Fremantle United amateur team, with the 18's going down 6-2 while the reserves held onto a 0-0 draw after some good saves by keeper James Alviani.
A hard fought 2-0 win over the Bayswater Panthers last Night gave Athena a slim chance of retaining the night series trophy. A second half goal by Terry Georganis and a half way shot by Troy Bernard that bounced over the keeper, were the highlights of the 2-0 win. With a game to go against the Western Knights a win would probably see us get 2nd spot whilst a draw or loss would eliminate us from the pre-season competition.
Earlier in the day the reserves had a good come from behind win against the Panthers winning 3-2 after trailing at the break 2-0. All three goals were scored by Chris Georganis.
The Under 18's started the days unbeaten streak with a 2-2 draw. Both Games were played out on 40 degree plus heat in uncomfortable conditions for all players.
In off-season News Athena has retained the services of coach Jim Prygolios by signing him for 3 more years. Stepping in the Reserve position is former reserves coach Taki Lambetsos, While Bruno Marocchi retains the under 18's.
In Player movements Alan Armstrong has left the club after not seeing eye to eye with the coach on his positioning. It is alleged that Armstrong wanted to play in a more attacking role (possibly up front), but Prygolios said he will stay centre back, a conflict arrised and Armstrong has now gone to northern club Joondalup City. Here is a run down on the ins and outs.
OUT: Alan Armstrong
( to Joondalup City)
Vincent Tana ( to Perth S.C.)
Michael Roki ( Out for the Season - Knee injury)
Danny Lombardi (Retirement)
Daniel Biancotti ( to another club)
Alex Lackovic ( Out for the Season - Knee ligament damage)
James Afkos ( Perth Glory)
Doug Ithier (Malaysia)