Versatile Blacktown City FC defender Yianni Fragogiannis has one eye firmly set on this Sunday’s epic PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Grand Final showdown as the Premiers take on a red-hot Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Leichhardt Oval.
The 24-year-old has had a sterling season and has been one of coach Mark Crittenden’s most consistent performers in 2015.
After a fantastic run of results which saw Blacktown City capture the 2015 Premiership, the club did falter slightly in the finals series but after putting their Major Semi-Final loss to the White Eagles behind them, the club bounced back in true fashion smashing APIA Leichhardt Tigers 6-1 which earned them a spot in the big one.
“I thought the boys responded well after our loss to Bonnyrigg.
“We couldn’t really fault our display against the Tigers, we played some good football, scored some decent goals and kept it pretty tidy in the back.
“I felt that we did do well against the White Eagles but it was a 10-15 lapse where we fell asleep and we got punished for it.
“Hopefully that loss against Bonnyrigg that day was a wake-up call and that it’s put us in good stead for the big one on Sunday.”
Looking towards clinching back to back Championships, Fragogiannis stated that the boys from Blacktown needed to be at their very best in challenging Brian Brown’s men for the major title.
“We know the danger the White Eagles possess so with that we need to stick to our own game plan.
“We understand that Bonnyrigg are a very tough side but then again we do have an inner belief that we can go out there and put in a good performance for ourselves and our region out West which will make our supporters feel proud.”
The former Sutherland Sharks player stated to Football NSW that the club would train as per normal during Grand Final week, approaching this match like every other.
“It will be business as usual for us as there is no point in getting nervous for a game just because it is a Grand Final.
“With that mentality you tend to lose more energy and get tired quicker if you focus on those negative energies so we will be focusing on our game plan, the football we want to play and hopefully we can execute it on the day.”
The magnificent Leichhardt Oval, once home to fellow PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 side Sydney Olympic in the former National Soccer League, will play host to this hotly anticipated clash with the defender praising Football NSW with its decision in snapping up the venue.
“Football NSW has done a great job in securing this quality venue.
“There’s nothing better than playing on a really nice grass pitch and to do this on one of Football NSW’s most important dates in its calendar should be something special and I’m encouraging as many fans as possible to come out and enjoy some wonderful football played with hopefully Blacktown coming out on top.”
Fragogiannis will be need to be at his very best come Sunday as he will be responsible for marking some of the best attacking players in this competition with the likes of lethal marksman Robbie Younis, Yuta Kokada and Tynan Diaz all capable of posing serious threats in the Bonnyrigg front line.
“I always enjoy taking on the top teams with the best attackers and I know full well Bonnyrigg certainly have that.
“I see this as a good challenge, not just for myself but for the rest of the boys and I know they all wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We’ll go out and enjoy ourselves and hopefully come out on top with the victory.”
Finally, it will be a memorable day for the club as all three grades will feature Blacktown City with the 18s, 20s and First Grade taking on a Blacktown City feel – an achievement the club is very proud of.
“It’s been a great year for the club in general and we have shown this with the success of our younger squads right through to the seniors.
“We have unbelievable support with our back room staff as well as our sponsors Lily Homes and LBF Concrete as well as Vince Camera and Frank Bertilo, they’re unbelievable.
“I don’t think other clubs are fortunate like we are to have support from people such as these two.
“It’s our job as players to repay them and hopefully we can give them a Championship trophy come Sunday.”
-By Mark Stavroulakis