Victoria’s Bayside Pirates summary of their fortunes at the recent NSW interstate tournament
The women played the Dural Warriors first and lost 6-2. Home court advantage played a big part in the win, as the Warriors were used to playing on the 42m length court! Playing under AFC rules for the first time, with Stop Clocks and four Referees per match was certainly an experience for everybody concerned. The score was very close in the first half, but the Warriors extended their lead with two quick goals mid way through the second half, which proved difficult to claw back. It was a very physical and energy sapping game, which left 4 players hobbling back onto the bus for the trip back to Valentine Park.
On Monday the women played ACT Boomerangs with a re-jigged line up, which included young Bronte James on the bench and Number 2 Goalkeeper, Kim Sercia, playing supporting Pivot to Azize Erenly. A much better performannce by the Pirates, as they were starting to get used to the court size. Again, another physical encounter, with numerous body checks and slide tackles occuring. More bruised arms and legs! However this game was much more even and despite going into half time 2-1 down, there was nothing between the two teams. In the second half, our fitness and limited options from the bench, due to injury, began to tell. The Boomerangs started to grind us down and finally ended up winning 5-2. Not before we scored two magnicant far post goals!
St Albans Strikers had been playing alternately to the Women. They also lost to the Warriors by two goals but beat the ACT Boomerangs, which sent a wave of euphoria throughout the Victorian teams. The NSW teams thought they were going to steam roll both Victorian teams, but they soon realised that both the Mens and Womens teams were there to play Futsal. Both teams never gave up and only stopped when the Referee blew the final whistle.
Next up was the highly fancied Quake. The Strikers were playing against a team which included five Futsalroo players! Although they lost 5-3 the Strikers never gave up and kept coming back at them. It was a close game and it certainly took the NSW crowd by surprise. Strikers Coach, Robert Lakovski, was so proud of his team after the tournament. He acknowledged there is a gap between the overall standard of Victorian and NSW Mens Futsal.
“However, the individual skill levels of our best players is comparable to theirs. The fundamental difference is that they play quality Futsal on full sized courts all the time. This is something that by playing in our MFL will rectify. Some people thought we were going to get steamrolled 12-0…scores like that, but, hey, we proved our detractors wrong and we put up a good show for Victorian Club Futsal. We will be back!” he said.
Highlights of their performance was Damir Salcin’s (Goalkeeper) goal, scored from inside his “D” which took the Warriors Goalkeeper by surprise (their Coach was not happy!) Irzad Spijodic constant forward runs and goals, likewise with Tomislav’s Grgic’s work rate and last but not least Mark Borchert’s (the Little Emperor) rap dance / jig after he scored a tap in! Their squad: Jusuf Avdic, Mark Borchert, Irzad Spijodic, Damir Salcin, Liam Digby, Tomislav Grgic, Husmir Ikanovic, Admir Kolakovic, Dion Portelli, Alja Redzepovic, Alex Vasilevski and the Coach, Robert Lakovski. Well done guys!
Next up was the womens final game against the mighty Quake. By this time the women were getting used to playing on the full sized court, but their arch enemy, fatigue and fitness, were starting to take affect. Led by their gallant and everescent Captain, Rosey Mortellaro, the women stunned the Quake by taking a quick 2-0 lead. By half time it was all square at 2-2, as the Quake started to find their rhythm. It stayed 2-2 for most of the half before the Quake scored with a few minutes left on the clock. No matter how hard they tried, the Pirates could noy equalise. The killer blow came with 2 seconds remaining. A long pass came to their Pivot who chested the ball into the goal to make it 4-2, a scoreline which did not reflect the closeness of the game, but did reflect the game that is Futsal.
The Pirates would like to thank the Support Crew of Sonja James and Dino Batticciotto, (Driver Extraordinaire) Edgard Vatcky, FFV Futsal Head Coach (and lingustic impersonator) and the two Cobra girls in the team, Elaina Vatcky and Maria OMG Patrikis. Elaina played with a broken toe in the last match to give the others a much needed break during the game. Many thanks to the Cobras!
Highlights of the games included Azize’s skills on the ball and her slide tackling, Captain Rosey’s work ethic of never say die and letting the Referees know she is there!, Maria’s goals! Liesl’s work rate and flank play and Emily’s brilliant saves in goal, which certainly kept the team in it on many occassions! Well done ladies! Training starts for the 2011 MFL season in early February and we have started planning our next trip, so get ready!
The squad was: Rosey Mortellaro, Captain, Liesl Woods (Vice Captain), Annie Tulloch, Stephanie Stevens, Christina Leland (from Norway!) Azize Erenly, Emily Southwell, Kim Sercia, Maria Patrikis, Elaina Vatcky, Bronte James, Alyssa Batticciotto, Sam Mlynarz, Assistant Coach (and team prankster!) and Mark Georgeson, Head Coach.
Special mention also goes to Shamsuddin (Shms) Shahabbi, who represented Victorian referees at the tournament. Shms gained valuable experience officiating some of the games with the senior NSW Referees. In attendance, at each game, there was the FFA’s Senior Referee Assessor, monitoring the standard of the referees. From these assessments, referees are appointed senior positions at the FFA Nationals and AFC tournaments. In NSW they have a policy of developing junior referees, so there were a couple of 14 year olds maning the stop clocks and the computer scoring systems during the tournament.
“The NSW Referees don’t play the soft fouls. They allow more than what we do in Victoria. They believe that a Referee should only call a foul as if it were the “sixth” foul, that is, they really want you to think about the the foul before calling it” he said. “They also don’t take any lip or back chat from players. They can easily yellow card a player out of a tournament and red card a player out of a game, so you have to be disciplined, which is better for the player and for the team”.
Mark Georgeson reiterated Robert Lakovski’s comments about the gaps between the two States Futsal leagues. After watching the other teams at Dural over the weekend and also the NSW Leagues Junior, Youth and Senior matches at Menai on Saturday night, he said
“We have the talent, we have the skills, we have the juniors coming through, we have the coaches, we have a professional dedicated Futsal department at the FFV; we just need more committed Futsal players, both men and women, playing the game in a well organised league on a regular basis. I spoke to various NSW Futsal people whilst on tour and yes, they are in front of us, but that is why we wanted to come up and play against them. To test ourselves, to see where we are at. And we are not far behind. The 2011 MFL will be a watershed year for Victorian Club Futsal. With a National Club Championship and access to the AFC Club Championships on the horizon, the skys the limit for clubs in Victoria. All they have to do is get on board with the FFV’s MFL and start playing. It’s that simple!
For further details,read “Trap, Pass, Move“.