The third year of the men’s hummel F-League has been successfully run, and won, and the young Boomerangs men’s team once again doing the club proud with a creditable fourth place and a semi final appearance.
Eight wins, a draw and five losses – at first glance appears not to be much of an improvement on the 2012 season (eight wins – six losses), however these results were achieved with a young team (with an average age of around 20), and without ‘imports’ (2012 saw both Mark Symington and Daniel Fogarty – both international players – play with the Boomerangs).
The losses in the 2013 season, were also close affairs, 1-4 to Dural in the first game of the season being the biggest losing margin. Indeed, the young Boomerangs team performed very well against eventual top three teams by defeating Premiers (and Grand Final winners) Vic Vipers 5-2 in Series 1, drawing with Dural 2-2 in Series Three and smashing Sydney Scorpions 8-2 also in Series Three.
Goal scoring was well spread across the team with young Tom Zeitlhofer leading all scorers with 10 goals for the season, closely followed by Daniel Fulton, Michael Reeves and Jake Wilsener on 9 each and Cal Smith and Sean Byrne on 7 each). Boomerangs ‘veterans’ Cal Smith and Jason O’Dwyer formed the backbone of the team, along with Fulton, Kristian Collins, Glenn Smith and Pat Ross-Magee from the 2012 squad. They were well supported by the upcoming ‘teenage squad’ including Senatore, O’Neill, Ciminelli, Popovich, Rathjjen and of course goal scoring machines, Zeitlhofer and Wilsener. Sean Byrne, a recent Queensland import, balanced out the team nicely. The young players all received good court time – with faith being shown in them by Coach Simon Aitchison; they will be stronger contributors in 2014.
The young Boomerangs team also had one of the better defensive records of the season, and were well served at the back by goal keepers Angelo Konstantinou and Keiran Stroh – indeed even rookie teenage goal keeper, Nick van Aalst played a full game against the Jaguars and a half game against Melbourne Heart in Series 5.
So, a fourth place it ended up being – but with two losses against lowly teams (St Albans and Melbourne Heart) and several close losses to the top four teams, the Boomerangs could easily be a top two team, and indeed challenge for the title in 2014. The young squad will be more experienced and a more complete ‘team’ in 12 months time, and they will no doubt be in the running to seriously challenge for top spot.
Another mark of success of the season was the inclusion of a number of Boomerangs players in the Australian Futsalroos train-on squad. Aside from current Futsalroo representatives Konstantinou and Fulton, Australian Coach Steve Knight has invited three further Boomerangs players to train with the Futsalroo squad. We congratulate Jake Wilsener, Michael Reeve and Cal Smith on this fantastic and well-deserved recognition. Our hopes are that they will be selected to play in upcoming tournaments in Asia.
So as we wind down the F-League for 2013, we head into the NSW Premier League competition, full of confidence knowing that the majority of the F-League men’s team will be available to play NSW Premier League across the Youth and Men’s teams.
The inaugural year of the Women’s F-League is done and dusted and the Boomerangs women have performed magnificently; finishing second on the regular season table and topping it off with a convincing Semi-Final win and a Grand Final appearance.
Nine wins, two draws and only three losses saw the team finish second on the regular season table, behind the strong Parramatta Blues unit (12-1-1), and ahead of Melbourne Heart (on goal difference) with Sydney Scorpions (6-4-4) rounding out the top four.
The Boomer women played a solid game against the Melbourne Heart in the Semi-Final defeating them 2-1 in a closely fought tussle. The other semi though, produced somewhat of an upset with the dogged and determined Scorpions outplaying the table topping Parramatta team. The upset continued as fourth placed Scorpions continued their strong finals performance with a convincing win over the Boomerangs in the inaugural F-League Women’s Grand Final. In the earlier round games, the Boomerangs and Scorpions played out two enthralling draws (0-0 and 1-1). The Boomerangs three losses in the regular rounds were to Parramatta (twice) and Melbourne Heart (once).
The Women’s F-League featured only three Series in 2013 – at the AIS in Canberra, and in Melbourne and Sydney – with the teams playing four-five games each Series. This was a big ask for the players and favoured the teams with the largest – and fittest squads. Indeed before the Semi-Final and Grand Final on the final Sunday of competition, the Boomerangs (and most other teams) had already played four games on the Saturday.
Scoring quality goals was a feature of the 2013 Boomerangs Women with Nikola Orgill leading the way with 12 goals, followed by Ashleigh Palombi on 10. Brittany Palombi six, while Hayley Buckingham netted five. Youngster, Maddy Whittall also beat the goalkeeper on four occasions with a memorable goal in the semi-final against Melbourne Heart. Indeed all but one (non goalkeeper) Boomerangs players scored during the season, and much like the men’s team, it was terrific to see such great contributions from the young teenagers in the squad including Whittall, Brittany Palombi, Phoebe Worth and Ruth Kravis.
An excellent pairing of goal keepers in Gill Raymond and Tahlia Davidson also saw the team concede on average less than 2 goals per game — a testament also to the strong defensive efforts by the team.
So an excellent first season in the top flight for the Boomerangs Women, and an ‘almost’ perfect start to the F-League for the Canberrans. Next season, coach Kristian Collins will no doubt give his charges two clear goals – to go one better in both the regular season – and finish table toppers – and to finish off the season with a Grand Final victory.