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The 2013/14 Premier League season kicks off this coming Saturday with Quake taking on newly promoted Mountain Majik at Windsor. With the new season only days away a quick preview of our teams follows:
With only Connor Hewit returning from last year this is an inexperienced squad that will undertake the development journey this year. The boys acquitted themselves very well at the State Championships scoring more goals than their opponents in 4 of their 5 games. The lads are a little bigger than last year’s squad and appear to be more advanced too. We take this opportunity to remind everyone that Academy games are non-competitive i.e. the scores are not kept and there is no ladder. That’s not to say the boys won’t be giving everything they’ve got and will be taking every opportunity to showcase their talent. This squad, and the 12 Boys, will be coached by former Futsalroo Captain Brett Hewit again this year.
With 7 of the 9 players returning from last year’s Academy and 12s squads Brett has a head start compared to last year when the boys lost their first 5 games, and then stormed home into the finals, only to be beaten in the Semi by eventual Champions Enfield Rovers. The lads raised the bar further over the weekend winning every game on their way to being crowned Champions in the annual Football NSW State Championships. We know that Brett’s philosophy is development first which will see the results come but early indications are that the boys can look forward to a very good year.
Only 3 girls return from playing in the 12s competition last year which means that the group will have to learn how to play at Premier League level very quickly. The talent that has been assembled is very good with the only possible drawback being size against clubs that have older, bigger players. Having said that, they can all play and the girls did reasonably well at States losing only 1 game before bowing out at the Group stage on goal difference. If the group develop as expected we should see some very good futsal from them and the results will flow from that. The girls will be coached by Tom Howell who took NSW 12 Girls Thunder to a National title at the 2013 FFA Nationals.
An interesting mix of the old and new with 5 boys returning from last year being joined by 7 new players. Their effort in the only trial game didn’t bode well but then the lads went on an unbeaten run over the weekend to make the Final of the State Championships. The boys showed enough over the weekend to suggest they will be competitive in the Premier League and if they continue with their rate of improvement, who knows? If they show the guts and determination they showed at States on the weekend then anything is possible. The one thing we do know is that they are in good hands with Jimmy Gilligan coaching them. Jimmy also coaches our 16 Boys and Women’s teams and took the NSW 14 Boys Thunder to a National title at the 2013 FFA Nationals. Jimmy will be assisted by Andrew Haim, our Youth ‘keeper who was called into the Futsalroo training squad earlier this year.
This is a young squad with only 2 girls turning 14 this year. But the squad is loaded with talent. We have 6 girls who played 12 Girls Premier League last year and 1 who played in the 14s. Of these girls, 6 played for NSW at the 2013 FFA Nationals. And the 2 new girls both played for Metro South at the recent outdoor State Titles. The girls were impressive at the State Championships on the weekend just missing out on progressing from their pool on goal difference. Considering they had only trained and played once together before then, and their coaches couldn’t make the games because of their own team commitments, the effort was really something special. Our tip – keep an eye this group. The girls will be coached by Anson Gilligan and Chris Howell from our Youth team. Both boys have played for NSW since they were 10 and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job.
On paper, an exceptionally gifted squad with talent to burn with half the team having played for NSW and the rest of the lads playing at elite level in the outdoor game. The bulk of the squad were in the 14 Boys who made the Preliminary Final last year so they know what the Premier League is all about. But looking good on paper doesn’t always translate to results and it will be up to the boys to play to the best of their ability to be successful this year. Jimmy has had quite a few of these lads since the 12s and they know what he expects from them and we know he will make sure the boys knuckle down and do the work required to be successful. Nathan Clissold from our Youth team, and Dural Warriors F-League squad, will assist Jimmy again this year.
16 Girls – Sponsored by Macarthur Marble & Granite
After winning the 14 Girls title the year before last we had high hopes for this squad last season but they never really played to their potential. Will this year be different? There is no doubting the ability of the girls and they all have plenty of experience and have tasted success before. It will be interesting to watch these girls each week to see if they can fulfil their potential. We think that if they put their hearts and minds into it that they will be very competitive this year. Put simply, it’s up to them how well they’ll do. Claire Walsh from our Women’s team returns to coaching the girls this year. Our Women’s ‘keeper Mel McCauley will share the coaching duties. Both Mel and Claire were selected to the inaugural Australian Women’s All Star team at this year’s FFA Nationals and were part of the Sydney Scorpions squad that won this year’s F-League.
All the old faces are back. Apart from new signing Enver Kerem these lads have played for Quake for years with the bulk starting their futsal careers with the club as 11 year olds. Nearly all of them have played for NSW and 2 have played in the F-League and, as mentioned before, Andrew Haim has trained with the Futsalroos. All of them have won at least 1 Premier League Championship at some stage in their careers. So, if ability and experience count for anything they should do well in the competition. Mark Symington, current Futsalroo and last year’s Men’s Team Players’ Player of the Year returns to coaching the lads after a year off. Danny Martinez from our Men’s team will re-join forces with Symo.
The bulk of this squad have been flying the Quake flag for many years, appearing in Premier League Grand Finals and State Championship Finals regularly over the past 5 years. The team is loaded with talent with 5 Australian All Stars in their ranks as well as plenty of NSW representatives. You could argue that this group has been the most successful team in the club’s history. Having lost last year’s Grand Final in a heartbreaker the girls will be as determined as ever to win this year’s title. New signings Kathryn Mladineo, Sarah Semaan and Elisha Williams add the depth required to go one step further this year. And with Jimmy thinking he has unfinished business to attend to the girls will get the best of his coaching.
Simon Keith, former Futsalroo and Quake Captain, has put together a talented squad with a good mix of experience and flair. Futsalroo ‘keeper Gavin O’Brien returns to the club intent on making an impact this season. Fellow Futsalroos Dean Lockhart and Mark Symington will be keen to take the team to the title that has just eluded them the past 2 seasons and former Futsalroo Miles Downie joins the team to assist in that goal. Club stalwarts Danny Martinez and Ian McAndrew return and Shayne Ardle is back in the mix after a year away from the club. The squad is rounded out by the ever improving Scott Madden and excitement machine Harley Da Silva. And with exciting youngsters such as Andrew Haim, Nathan Clissold, Shaun Irwin and Shannon Fielding having already had a taste of playing in the Men’s team the prospects are looking good. Could this be the Men’s year? Only time will tell. One thing we do know is that it will be fun to watch.
Quake is proud to continue its tradition of providing the futsal players of the Macarthur district a means of playing Premier League futsal. As you will see from the makeup of the teams, and their coaches, our philosophy of identifying talent and nurturing the players progress through the ranks reaps rewards for both the players and the club. We are especially pleased that so many current and former players willingly give back to the club by developing our players through their expert coaching.
So, with just days to go before the season kicks off you can feel the excitement in the air. Good luck to all our teams and don’t forget to wear your Purple Hearts on your sleeve and support the players in their efforts this year.