After six rounds of play the Open Men’s Melbourne Futsal League ladder has begun to take shape, with the Inner City Lions & Inner City Tigers first and second respectively. They are closely followed by the St Albans Strikers (Whom along with Inner City have been taking place in the F-League, an inaugural national league started by Football NSW). Vic Vipers are not far behind in fourth spot, with the Cobras & Warriors lying at the foot of the table.
Last year’s champions the Inner City Lions, coached by Paul Vidic and led by Captain Andre Caro have been the early pace setters, with a comprehensive 9-3 victory against the Inner City tigers in round 2 and a 9-1 demolition of the warriors. Narrow wins against Vic Vipers (4-3) and St Albans (3-1) have been vital to the Lions collection of points at the top of the table. Unsung hero Joao Da Silva is the one to watch, the experienced target often goes unnoticed and props up to punish lacklustre defending. The Lions were depleted on Friday losing their first game to the Tigers and will need to get back to winning ways against the Cobras next week.
The other half of Inner City have had a solid start to this years MFL, the tigers roaring to a 10-5 Victory against St Albans in their opening game. Coach, Peter Parthimos in full voice ensured the Tigers moved on to punish the Cobras 12-1 and the Warriors 14-1 with astute man on man marking. Target James Blackburn has spearheaded the offensive unit with Maxim Avram his chief accomplice, and at the other end of the court Victorian goalkeeper Dianoosh Rasoulzadeh has been impenetrable in goals for the Tigers. The Tigers also beat their bogey side, the Inner City Lions at the fourth attempt after drawing and losing to the Lions in the previous edition of the MFL. Upcoming games against St Albans & the Vic Vipers will test the mettle of this adventurous side.
The MFL 2010 Runners Up, St Albans strikers have had mixed results in this year’s competition. At full strength the red outfit copped a 10-5 pasting in from the Inner City Tigers. They bounced back to trounce the Warriors 14-0 and the Cobras 7-1. Coach Rob Lakovski has done a terrific job managing the largely unorthodox futsal side. The Strikers dropped three vital points against bitter rivals the Inner City lions in a tense encounter that could have gone either way. It wasn’t long until the strikers were back to winning ways, beating the Vic Vipers in a goal for goal shootout that sees them move up to third on the table at the half way mark. Unsung hero Jusuf Avdic has scored multiple contenders for goal of the year, and is lethal shooting from distance for the Strikers, he and Jose Portillo are the ones to watch in the second half of the season.
The Vic Vipers have been unlucky to not be higher up the table in their debut MFL season! Coached by ever-present Milton Sakkos, the Vipers find themself fourth on the table with contrasting results. Losing two vital games by a goal hasn’t helped the Vipers cause, a narrow 4-3 loss to the Inner City Lions stands out as it was one of the matches of the season, the other game a 7-6 loss to the St Albans Strikers who have the wood on the Vipers. Gary Stone will need to rekindle his unbeatable goalkeeping best if the Vipers are to topple the Inner City & St Albans sides. Vipers stars Cooper & Barrientos will need to maintain the high standard they have set in the opening five rounds too.
Last but not least are two clubs that are both slightly out of their depth. The Cobras & Warriors are both struggling to meet the demands of the MFL with young & lean squads being battered each week. The only game both sides were competitive in was against each other. The Cobras have Victorian Youth Representatives in Adrian Fruscalzo & Shayan Rashidi but both will need to lift their game significantly to lift the Cobras out of the doldrums. The Warriors have Victorian Men’s trialist Adam Fridman on the roster but he hasn’t played not nearly enough to give the Warriors any chance of pinching points of any of the other clubs. Both will need to pick up the pace if they want to compete with Victoria’s best futsal clubs.
The MFL Men’s Competition continues this Friday at Cheltenham Secondary College:
7:15pm – Inner City Tigers vs Warriors
8:15pm – Inner City Lions vs Cobras
9:15pm – St Albans Strikers vs Vic Vipers