Waratah Cup Round 1
Wednesday 4th April 2012
Hawkesbury Hawks 2 (Paul Cooper 19', Gavin Hartge 64') Canberra Olympic 3 (Robbie Schroder 20', Liam Carey 25', 42')

Canberra Olympic dug deep and showed plenty of inner resolve to see off the challenge of Hawkesbury Hawks in Round 1 of the Waratah Cup with a Liam Carey double and an outstanding penalty save from Angelo Konstantinou seeing them to a 3-2 win.

After a gruelling four hour bus trip, and this being their third game in a week, it was understandable that fatigue would set in and the performance lacked the sparkle and vigour we have come to associate with this youthful team, especially in the second half when the effects of a trip to Helensburgh last Wednesday and a match in Cooma on Sunday conspired to try and prematurely end Olympic's run.

Early on though it was all one way traffic as Olympic swamped the Hawks with wave after wave of attacks. An overhead kick from Robbie Schroder tested Aaron Kanalay in the Hawks goal as early as the fourth minute and the visitors even had the ball in the net four minutes later. Justin Selkirk, who was heroic throughout, threaded a superb pass behind the Hawkesbury back four for Schroder to beat the advancing goalkeeper only to see the flag raised for a close offside call.

It didn't seem to matter though as a goal appeared inevitable as firstly Schroder, and then Robbie Deeley, saw fierce shots blocked by the busy Kanalay. It was therefore completely against the run of play when Hawkesbury took the lead. A sensational run from winger Zac Watters saw him drift pass half a dozen would be tackles before laying the ball square for Paul Cooper to bend a wicked first-time strike past Konstantinou and in off the far post.

Hawks celebrations were cut short within forty seconds of the restart though. Hristjan Tanoski, a bundle of energy for the full ninety minutes, sent over a delightful cross and, from the resultant scramble in the penalty box, Schroder slammed home from close range.

Buoyed by the goal Olympic poured forward and took the lead in the 25th minute. Deeley was instrumental, picking up a short pass and running in on goal before unleashing a thunderbolt that Kanalay could only parry. Carey was there to pick up the pieces and gleefully rammed the ball into the back of the net from six yards. The Hawks replied as Cooper sent a deep cross to the back post for the influential Watters who met it firmly but couldn't direct his header on target.

The match was being played at an up-beat tempo and, crucially, Olympic found a third goal three minutes before half-time. Deeley again played his part, crossing from the left flank and finding an unmarked Carey, who rose highest to loop a header over the 'keeper and into the top corner to make it 3-1 with his fourth goal in two cup matches.

It was clear in the second half that the travel and stresses of two Waratah Cup fixtures, sandwiching the loop Premier League opener with Cooma Tigers, had taken its toll on the weary Olympic team who lacked the buzz and spring in their step that had been in evidence in the first half. Passes started going astray and the Hawks sensed a shift in momentum.

Hawkesbury surged onto the attack and took the game to their opponents at every opportunity thereafter. However, it took a fluke to get the home team back into the match in the 64th minute. Gavin Hartge intended to whip a right footed cross to the back post but miss-hit his effort that sailed on a perfect trajectory over Konstantinou and into the unguarded goal.

If the Olympic stopper was annoyed by that, he certainly more than made amends for it seven minutes later with a stunning penalty save. The visitors failed to clear a corner and a clumsy challenge in the box resulted in the referee awarding the spot-kick. Mick McCrory must have thought he had scored when he hammered a precise kick high to Konstantinou's left only for the Futsalroo custodian to fling himself the correct way and push the ball round the post for a corner.

That sucked the life out of the Hawks who were lucky not to concede a fourth late on. Nathan Megic watched as his volley was cleared off the line and Deeley and James Field tested Kanalay's concentration with low drives. As it was Olympic needed no more and heroically held on to progress.

And, while it might not have been the prettiest of victories, the grit and determination showed that Canberra Olympic have the heart and desire to go deep into this competition.


Hawkesbury Hawks: 1. Aaron Kanalay, 4. Andrew Stevenson, 13. Paul Cooper (11. John McCrae 64'), 14. Rhyce Alchin, 16. Haas Arnaout (8. Ryan Wilson 55'), 17. Mick McCrory, 18. Ethan Simone, 28. Evan Daglis, 32. Daniel Chircop (30. Ben Charles 55'), 34. Zac Watters, 38. Gavin Hartge (2. Sam Belcastro 64')

Canberra Olympic: 22. Angelo Konstantinou, 2. Hristjan Tanoski, 3. Nathan Megic, 4. Joel Valtonen, 6. Justin Selkirk, 7. Robbie Deeley, 9. Nick Mihailakis (8. Jason Ugrinic 86'), 10. Liam Carey (5. John Karapanagos 72'), 11. James Field, 13. Robbie Schroder, 14. Oliver Wiederkehr

Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 4. Andrew Stevenson (Hawkesbury Hawks), 5. Justin Selkirk, 7. Robbie Deeley, 8. Jason Ugrinic, 10. Liam Carey (all Canberra Olympic)

Waratah Cup Preliminary Round
Tuesday 28th March 2012
Helensburgh Thistle 0 Canberra Olympic 3 (Liam Carey 36', 60', John Karapanagos 87')

Canberra Olympic eased past Helensburgh Thistle in the Waratah Cup Preliminary Round thanks to a double from Liam Carey and a late strike from substitute John Karapanagos in difficult conditions at Thistle Park in Wollongong. Carey struck in either half to give Olympic control of a tie they never really looked in danger of losing with Karapanagos' late effort the icing on the cake as the LOOP Premier League team cruised to a 3-0 win.

With a number of first team squad members missing due to unavailability, Olympic Head Coach Dean Ugrinic once more placed his faith in youth naming a young side for the club's first foray into the interstate competition. It was evident early on however that the visitors would be too strong for their plucky opponents from the Illawarra District League with a number of chances spurned in the opening ten minutes.

James Field fired the first shot in anger early on, sending a long-range strike over the crossbar before Oliver Wiederkehr wasted a glorious opportunity to give Olympic the perfect start. The speedy winger got in behind a flat Thistle back four but dinked his effort over the advancing Massimo Loppulo and wide of the goal. Central midfield lynchpin Robbie Deeley then saw a 25 metre snap-shot crash back off the base of the post as the ACT team dominated possession. The New Zealander then tested the reflexes of Loppulo minutes later with a curling free-kick that the home goalkeeper did well to parry round the post for a corner.

It was fully half an hour before Helensburgh threatened the Olympic goal with Chris Russell sending a half-chance flashing just wide of James Bradbury's right-hand post, but it was a sporadic break and very much against the run of play.

Olympic finally made the breakthrough they had been threatening in the 36th minute with a goal of sheer simplicity. Wiederkehr made amends for his earlier miss by creating the goal with a sublime chip over the static Thistle defence. Carey read his intentions and latched onto the pass to help the bouncing ball over the head of Loppulo and into the back of the net.

Having fallen behind Thistle suddenly found some attacking impetus and nearly equalised just three minutes later. A cheap turn over in the centre of the park resulted in David Gallacher freeing lively striker Simon Micevski but Bradbury was alert to the danger scrambling sharply from his line to block the shot and preserve the slender lead at half-time.

It was more of the same after the break with Carey collecting a long clearance and rounding his marker before blazing his shot well over the bar in the 47th minute and fizzing a cross across goal seconds later that Wiederkehr was inches away from converting.

With only a slender one goal lead Olympic could not afford to become complacent and they almost paid the penalty for their profligacy when Jason Wellings connected with a low cross from the right and seemed certain to score only for Bradbury to deny the forward with a brave save low at his feet. Sensing that there was an unlikely way back into the match Thistle was caught with a classic sucker punch on the hour.

Bradbury hoisted a clearance high into the night sky where Robbie Schroder, a calming presence throughout, flicked on. Carey ran onto the header and took a touch before curling a delightful finish past Loppulo and high into the top corner of the net.

With nothing to lose Thistle sent on Daniel Manganaro for the tireless Wellings and the substitute went close twice, firstly heading over a free-kick from close range before lifting an effort high and wide when closing in on goal from the angle. In truth though it would have been harsh on Olympic who was the dominant team throughout. The highly effective performance, away from home, in midweek and against a team they knew nothing about, got the reward it deserved three minutes from time.

Awarded an indirect free-kick inside the penalty area as the Thistle custodian breached the six second rule, Field touched the ball to second half substitute Karapanagos and his precise shot flew past the wall and into the corner to seal Olympic's passage into the First Round proper.


Helensburgh Thistle: 1. Massimo Loppulo, 2. Richard Simons (12. Branislav Tesanovic 80'), 3. Ryan Kendrigan, 4. Gareth Brownlee, 5. David Gallacher, 6. Chris Russell, 7. Gary Cassidy, 8. Matthew Radnidge, 9. Jason Wellings (14. Daniel Manganaro 67'), 10. Simon Micevski (15. Luke Van Zyl 87'), 11. Nathan Mucci (13. Mitchell Buchan 76')

Substitutes not used: 16. Matt Wardle

Canberra Olympic: 1. James Bradbury, 2. Hristjan Tanoski, 3. Nathan Megic, 4. Joel Voltonen, 5. Nick Mihailakis (5. John Karapanagos 67'), 7. Robbie Deeley, 8. Jason Ugrinic, 9. James Field, 10. Liam Carey (12. Billy Illeris 87'), 13. Robbie Schroder, 14. Oliver Wiederkehr

Substitutes not used: 11. Leo Exarhos, 20. Angelo Konstantinou

Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 3. Ryan Kendrigan, 4. Gareth Brownlee, 6. Chris Russell (all Helensburgh Thistle), 5. Nick Mihailakis, 7. Robbie Deeley (both Canberra Olympic)

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Jakob Williams's stocks continue to rise after the Canberra Olympic premier league player was signed to a youth contract by A-League club Newcastle.

Williams will move north in three weeks to play in the Newcastle competition before taking part in the National Youth League, which runs over the summer.

Williams hopes to impress his new club and wants to press his claim of becoming part of the A-League team.

''Hopefully I do well up there and start working my way up to the first team,'' he said.

While the move to Newcastle may be daunting for the 17-year-old he will have a couple of familiar faces around him.

Williams will again link up with Gary van Egmond, who is back at the helm of the Newcastle Jets A-League team after working with Williams at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Williams is looking forward to the opportunity to again work with van Egmond, who was an AIS assistant coach and took Williams to the under 17s Asian Football Championship in Uzbekistan in 2010. The 17-year-old will also work closely with Arthur Pappas, who was also formerly with the AIS and is now the coach of the Newcastle youth team.

Williams was named as part of the Australian secondary schools team but did not travel with the squad on its British tour in January.

Canberra Olympic Premier League star Jakob Williams is the latest recipient of the 'Angelo Liangis' scholarship at the club's annual presentation awards evening.

The main purpose of the scholarship, now in its fourth year, is for an outstanding U20's player, who is selected by the club's coaches and committee, to travel to overseas to train and play with an international training academy.

Jakob Williams, who has been a part of the Australian Institute of Sport program since 2010 and represented Australia at the U16 Asian Football Championship, has since signed a youth team contract with A-League club the Newcastle Jets.

Jakob is undoubtedly one of the most talented players ever to pull on a Canberra Olympic shirt, and is clearly a product of Head Coach Dean Ugrinic's youth policy, starting the season as a virtually unknown. "Other teams certainly knew who was pretty quickly" said club president John Efkarpidis. "Jakob is the sort of player that we would love to hold onto for life and build a squad around but unfortunately for the club, his talent will be sure to take him further – we do however wish him all the best for the future and are so proud that he played for Canberra Olympic.".

In presenting the award to Jakob, John Liangis, son of the late Angelo Liangis, said "we are proud to have Jakob associated with this award, not only due to his playing ability and enormous potential, but because he's a great kid with a fantastic attitude, someone who is really respected by all at the club and in the wider football community."

Upon hearing his name being called out, Jakob said "Wow – that's awesome. This is such a great award. And I'm so happy the club sees me as deserving of it."

The gifted Williams follows in the footsteps of previous winners Matthew Aktins, Yianni Karabalis and Yusef Kamara.

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