The Nahuel Arrarte effect will be put to the test in season 2015 as the Argentine born boss looks forward to bettering his team’s seventh placing in this year’s PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 competition.
Arrarte has been one busy man during the offseason and now preseason period preparing his roaring Wolves for an exciting year ahead.
“We are all itching to get back into the swing of things as a new-year kicks into gear.
“Obviously for myself it’s an opportunity to put something together and achieve something.
“It’s also beneficial for us as we can work on how we want to play football.”
The club has dipped into the player market by filling in the gaps left by departed stars with the likes of skipper Jacob Timpano and star striker Ricky Zucco moving on to name a few.
Arrarte has snapped up former St George FC player George Codrea, Illawarra Premier League recruit David Stojic as well as Brendan Griffin and Dhari Alsaad, both arriving at the South Coast after spending time in the lower leagues of Scandinavia.
“Not being the biggest club and a regional club, it’s more difficult to attract players.
“I’m happy with the players on board because they all genuinely want to be here.”
The Wolves have lost some players from last year, most notably Timpano and Zucco.
“Fortunately Wollongong has a strong local league and some players prefer to play there.
“I’m not too worried about those that are gone because the ones that have stayed are all here for the right reasons.”
The Wolves boss has been pleased with the team’s work ethic and determination.
“We’re trying to improve and I can’t fault the attitude and commitment from the boys.
“We still have a bit to work on from a playing perspective but we’ll get there.”
Many of Arrarte’s colleagues have placed the Wolves as this season’s surprise packets.
“The reality is we did well to turn things around last year but we didn’t really achieve anything in seventh place.
“Our aim is to progress and continue moving forward, bettering last year’s league position.
“We want to go out to compete and believe in ourselves while exposing young kids at this level.
“There will be good runs and bad runs but it will be a test of how we deal with that.”
Discussing who would be a team to watch out for, newly promoted PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 side Parramatta FC was Arrarte’s selection.
“Parramatta FC has just come up after winning the Men’s 2 Premiership last year and under the guidance of coach Franco Cosentino, who has a never say die attitude, they could be a surprise.”
As for the favourites, much like the other rival PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 coaches, Arrarte named his four.
“Sydney Olympic, Sydney United 58 FC, Blacktown City who have a great bunch of young boys and of course Bonnyrigg.
Notable signings: George Codrea, David Stojic, Brendan Griffin, Dhari Alsaad
-By Nikola Pozder
Archives for February 2015
The Rockdale City Suns will head into the new PS4 NSW NPL Men’s 1 competition hoping they can better their 2014 finishing.
Coach Branko Culina has added some experienced faces to his line-up with the Suns looking like a strong outfit for the upcoming campaign.
The new additions are headed by former Blacktown Spartans pair Phil Makrys and Emmanuel Giannaros. Steve Grbevski also joins the Suns as well as Alec Urosevski coming ‘home’.
“These are players that have been around the National Premier Leagues for a while now and will make an impact as well as add experience to the team.
Culina spoke about some of the players that departed the club from last season.
“Although players like Tommy Arcaba, Tahj Minniecon, Tadhj Purcell, Paul Kohler and Sean Symons have departed, they have been adequately replaced.”
The former Sydney FC number one prides himself on the development of youngsters and has enjoyed giving rising stars an opportunity in the first team to prove their worth.
“We have a lot of good youngsters that have been here for a long time such as Nic Petrillo, who also spent time with the Central Coast Mariners, Idriss El Hafiane, Toufic Alameddine, Alec Urosevski and so on who are all under 21 years of age.
“We try to push the young guys and hope that they learn from the older players we have.
“If you have potential I will give you the chance and it’s up to you to take it.”
Culina spoke about his and the clubs philosophy on young players coming through.
“We want to get results for ourselves and fans while producing youngsters for the future and helping them move onto the Hyundai A-League like Max Burgess, Nikola Taneski and Petrillo.”
Last season, the Rockdale City Suns blew the competition away in the Preseason Cup, going on to win it against the Blacktown Spartans.
This year Culina will take a different approach to the season.
“We started strong last year winning the cup but we had a thin squad and that cost us during the season.
“This year we have chosen to prepare differently by giving more players an opportunity during the cup, that way ensuring we have a larger amount of players who can step up during the season in case of injuries, suspension etc.”
Culina believes his side still have a lot of work to do to be where he wants them to be for the season.
“We set high standards here at Rockdale and the players aren’t there yet.
“If the boys want to do better, they need to go that bit extra and the new players need to understand our philosophy here and how hard we work to reach our standards.”
Rockdale are one of only two clubs who have made the finals in the last two seasons along with the Bonnyrigg White Eagles with consistency and a core group of players, the key for Culina.
“We’ve kept the core of the squad from last season again with Askin Oygur, Takuya Murayama and Paul Reid.
“Marko Jesic is another who could be a key for us, he just needs to put his head down and he can expect big things.”
On his expectations for the forthcoming season, Culina wasn’t giving much away.
“We will prepare and go into every game knowing we can win rather than hoping we can win, we want to dictate how we play and make the step up with the players we have.
“We will be a team that will be difficult to beat and that will play attractive football.
“It’s all about the performance and if the football is there then the results will come.
“We need some luck as we didn’t have any last year and what we missed out on last year we expect to get this year.
“We won’t go around beating our chests saying we’ll be there and so on as long as we reach our potential we’ll be a handful for all teams.”
The Rockdale mentor also spoke about who his favourites were for the title this season.
“Bonnyrigg will be up there along with Sydney United 58 FC who have bought well and Sydney Olympic if they can repeat last season’s success.”
Notable Signings: Phil Makrys, Emmanuel Giannaros, David Dascal, Alec Urosevski, Steve Gurbeski
-By Nikola Pozder
Manly United coach Paul Dee is looking to improve on their 2014 performance with a better showing in this year’s PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 competition.
In what will be a highly competitive season, Dee spoke about what his team needed to do to improve on their tenth placed finishing.
“We need to make sure that we are consistent and competitive throughout the whole season.”
Down to earth Dee knows where he wants his team to finish the season.
“The aim is the top five and if that is realistic then it is what we are going to go for.”
Dee has been pleased with the additions he has picked up for the new year and is excited of the prospect of seeing them in action.
They have added midfielder Daniel Bragg from Sydney United 58 FC, APIA Leichhardt Tigers trio of Brad McDonald, Jamie Lobb and Travis Oughtrad as well as Adam Parkhouse who returned to Australia after spending four years in the English Conference League.
“Parkhouse is an interesting player who comes back to the country having left as a 16 year old.
“We’ve recruited well in all positions.
“We have a very capable and happy squad who are all aligned with the same goal ahead of the season.”
The Northern Beaches club went on a fantastic Waratah Cup run in 2014, losing in the final to Blacktown City something Dee hopes to replicate and do one better in 2015.
“Absolutely we’ll be looking for a repeat of last seasons Cup performance.
“We take every competition serious here at Manly as it breads a good culture for the club and wherever we enter, we want to win it.”
From his current squad, Dee pinpointed some exciting talents.
“Brendan Cholakian is a real danger player along with Chris Payne who will spear head our attack.
“When you add Daniel Saric down the wing then we really look the piece.”
He’s also put down last season’s Premiers as the favourites again for this season.
“The Bonnyrigg White Eagles have to be favourites with Sydney United 58 FC and APIA challenging them.”
Notable signings – Daniel Bragg, Brad McDonald, Jamie Lobb, Travis Oughtrad, Keiren Paull, Adam Parkhouse
-By Nikola Pozder
Participating in their 13th Viareggio Cup, APIA Leichhardt Tigers had a deadly draw in the prestigious u19 International tournament facing Palermo, PSV Einhoven and AC Milan.
After two toughly fought games where APIA was on the losing end of the performance, they lined up to face AC MIlan, the current Primavera Italian and 2014 Viareggio champions.
In front of a strong capacity crowd, the locals came out in force and huge with numbers to witness a flurry of goals and a goal feast for AC Milan, of course. The APIA team looked pumped, prepared, and up for the challenge.
Right from the kick-off you could see that APIA was up for it, AC Milan didn’t have any clear chances to score. APIA was under enormous pressure on every attack however the boys simply were unbeatable.
They closed space, they squeezed, kept shape and structure, they were strong on the ball, valued possession, played as a united team and fought for each other.
AC Milan in the first half looked to create 2 v 1 scenarios out wide, trying to expose our full backs. Mari on the left and McCarron on the right did an amazing job.
In the 22nd APIA took the lead, Adattini with a free kick from half way, float long ball into the box. The Milan keeper was off his line and misjudged the clearance, the ball looped over his head into the net. The entire team celebrated jubilantly.
APIA did everything in their power to hold on and not concede. Cox, Cooke and Barnett were possessed, they didn’t stop running all game.
The second half started and AC Milan came out firing. Their coach blew his players up at half time, saying "If you don’t want to be here get on the bus now and if you don’t win you should be ashamed of yourself”
Again, wave after wave of attacks by AC Milan, APIA kept to their job minimising any potential threats from Milan to score.
Unfortunately APIA could only hold out for 11 minutes in the second half when a free kick was delivered just off the penalty spot and was headed in by Rondanini past a helpless Tuxford.
AC Milan now looking for a goal piled on the pressure, with 15 minutes to go they had 8 or 9 half chances.
Tuxford, kept APIA in the game with three point blank saves, Milan doing everything to get the ball in the box or within striking range. Coach Cummins made a few subs also to keep the team lively. Rinaldi for Cortese (60th min), Colaianni for Rydzewski (80th Min), Agostino for Rinaldi (90th Min)
Coach Danial Cummins was proud of his chargers.
“The boys prepared themselves mentally and physically, I had nothing to do with the result; it was all the players themselves. They wanted it badly, they were determined – I am personally proud to have had the opportunity to have been associated with the squad.
“It was the players themselves and nobody but the players that delivered this memorable result for the club, which will be spoken about for many years to come”
Club president Tony Raciti echoed Cummins’ statement.
“Simply unbelievable, magnificent. Tomorrow morning 62 million Italians will be shocked with this result. The Italian football world will be talking about it.
“How times have changed. In our first 5 to 6 years participation in the tournament we struggled to get past the half way mark in matches. In some matches in the entire 90 minutes we never once entered into our opponents’ penalty area.
“Look how far Australian football has come. I am proud, we as a club are proud, I am simply lost for words. This incredible performance has enhanced Apia’s participation annually in this tournament."
-APIA Leichhardt Tigers Press Release
The race to be crowned as Australia’s top semi-professional club kicked off with the launch of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) 2015 season.
The event at Adelaide Shores Football Centre preceded the opening match of the PlayStation 4 NPL South Australia season tonight between reigning NPL Champions of Australia MetroStars SC and last year’s PlayStation 4 NPL South Australia champions Croydon Kings.
The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues spans eight State and Territory competitions, with the premier club of each NPL competition qualifying for the national play-offs in September and October.
Entering its third year, Australia’s premier competitions will feature a host of firsts in 2015, the most significant being the first full season that the NPL will be staged under the banner of inaugural naming rights partner PlayStation 4.
This year will also see Hyundai A-League clubs Adelaide United, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City FC field youth teams in their respective competitions, the trio joining Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory as other clubs who already have sides competing in their local leagues.
Adelaide United will have a youth team in Football Federation South Australia’s State League, while Melbourne Victory’s Youth Team will play in the PlayStation 4 NPL 1 Victoria Eastern Conference, and Melbourne City in the western equivalent. All three clubs will also field Under 20 sides in the respective reserves competitions.
Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers are set to field teams in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues NSW in 2016 while a date is yet to be determined for the Central Coast Mariners.
In Adelaide for the launch, Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop said the PlayStation 4 NPL continued to focus on improving technical development of Australia’s elite player pathway.
“The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues is the engine room of Australian football, producing players and coaches who can aim for the Hyundai A-League and our national teams,” said Gallop.
“At the same time, the NPL framework has helped strengthen the clubs by providing guidelines on management and finances.
“The introduction of the Westfield FFA Cup last year adds further impetus to the value of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues, and after PlayStation 4 came on board as the official naming rights partner prior to the national finals series last year, it is certain to further improve the already impressive standard of football at this level and increase its popularity and interest in the season ahead.”
“With six of nine Australian based Hyundai A-League clubs now having teams in their respective Member Federation competitions, it is another important step in nurturing young talent in order to produce and uncover the stars of the future.”
Having announced the PlayStation 4 partnership in September last year, Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, Michael Ephraim, reinforced the company’s passion and dedication to being associated with the National Premier Leagues.
“Football in Australia is on an upward trajectory and we are very excited to partner with the FFA through the inaugural sponsorship of the NPL. We believe this sponsorship will help grow the NPL to assist with the development of a stronger player pathway into the Hyundai A-League,” said Ephraim.
“PlayStation 4 is for the passionate players. Those on the field and those off the field with games like FIFA 15. This is why we see this sponsorship as the perfect fit for both partners.”
Football Federation Northern Territory, who adopts a partial model, is the only Member Federation not currently sitting under the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues umbrella.
The opening round of matches in the other PlayStation 4 NPL competitions around the country will commence on the following dates:
19 Feb – Football Federation Victoria
28 Feb – Football Queensland
14 Mar – Football NSW
21 Mar – Football Federation Tasmania
28 Mar – Football West
10 Apr – Northern NSW Football
11/12 Apr – Capital Football
These competitions will culminate in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 Finals Series to determine the national champions.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 Finals Series – Match Schedule
The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 Finals Series shall be staged on the following dates:
Elimination Finals 19/20 September 2015
Semi Finals 26/27 September 2015
Grand Final 3/4 October 2015
The PlayStation National Premier Leagues 2015 Finals Series draw is as follows:
Elimination Finals (first named team shall host)
Match 1 Football Queensland vs Northern New South Wales Football
Match 2 Football New South Wales vs Capital Football
Match 3 Football Federation Victoria vs Football Federation Tasmania
Match 4 Football Federation South Australia vs Football West
Semi Finals (hosts to be confirmed)
Match 5 Winner of Match 1 vs Winner of Match 2
Match 6 Winner of Match 3 vs Winner of Match 4
Grand Final (host to be confirmed)
Match 7 Winner of Match 5 vs Winner of Match 6