It takes a special man to be involved with a football club for over three decades and Zdrave Joseski is no exception.
Joseski’s connection with the Rockdale City Suns began in the 1970’s when he signed on as a player in the St George District.
Since then he has been a permanent fixture at the Suns including a stint playing in the club’s first grade side through to his current role as a groundsman.
“I’m a groundsman but also about everything else in the club,” he told Football NSW.
“Anything that breaks down at the club I will fix it, painting and cutting grass anything.
“I have been here over 30 years and I love it.”
The 68-year-old’s devotion to Rockdale is something to admire with majority of his work for the club being in a voluntary capacity.
Club officials state Joseski has stood the test of time at the club, seeing a plethora of presidents, committee members and players come and go – and he has no plans to change it.
“I love to be out on the fields watching the kids playing football, that is what I enjoy,” he said.
“I’m not a drinker and don’t gamble so this is my hobby and I love it.
“The young people who know run the club are also very good to me as were the older guard so I will do this for as long as I can.”
As recognition of his immense services to the club in 2014 he was awarded the Club Person of the Year award.
Although he plans to go on a holiday in a fortnight’s time, Joseski said he will keep a keen eye on the competition.
“This year we do not have a bad side and so far we are doing well,” he said.
“When I am overseas I will be checking the scores always because this is what I love, football is my passion.”
– By Chris Georges
Tickets are available at the gate of all venues this weekend. Attend your local Heritage Round fixture and use #NPLHeritageRound on social:
Heritage Round – Saturday 28 May 2016
6:30pm – Sutherland Sharks v Manly United – Seymour Shaw
7pm – Bonnyrigg WE v Rockdale City Suns – Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
7pm – Hakoah Sydney City East v Wollongong Wolves – Hensley Athletic Field
Heritage Round – Sunday 29 May 2016
3pm – Sydney Olympic v APIA Leichhardt Tigers – Belmore Sports Ground
3pm – Parramatta FC v Blacktown Spartans – Melita Stadium
4pm – Sydney United 58 v Blacktown City – Sydney United Sports Centre
Rockdale City Suns midfielder Toufic Alammedine has blossomed in the early part of the season by adding goals to his repertoire along with performances that has seen his name in the team of the week on a number of occasions.
“My performances have improved.
“I’m not where I want to be with my football.
“I haven’t been working hard enough way from the training ground and I need to put in the extra hours.
“The determination and knowing where I want to be and what I want to be is a major factor in my wanting to improve but I don’t think it’s quite good enough at the moment.”
This is typical of the quietly spoken, humble guy who was a ‘club hopper’ in his early days taking in Marconi Stallions, Sutherland Sharks, Nepean and APIA Leichhardt Tigers among others. It is however at Ilinden where he looks happiest as witnessed in his performances but does the no nonsense style of football always bring the plaudits it often should?
“It’s rare anyone with talent doesn’t start to gain recognition in any walk of life if they work hard enough to achieve it.
“They will generally get noticed.
“Injuries play their part of course and pushes the progression back a bit so then you need to work harder to get back to where you were and become better.”
It’s not easy for the players who regularly work full-time and Toufic is no exception in working with his father in the family construction business (Hala Constructions) and at 21-years old with a sixth month old son the demands away from the pitch are tremendous.
“I am content with what I have in life, whatever that may be and hopefully I can be a role model to those who appreciate working hard and having their honesty recognised.
”Sadly too many people who are honest these days get walked all over so I would like to try and set an example that honesty and hard work will pay off.
“It’s in the hands of God but I will try to achieve the best I can be in life as in football.”
On the playing side he deflects any praise that comes his way, such is his nature.
“The team is looking pretty solid with the core players remaining and a couple of additions and we feel we’ve got the strongest squad in maybe the last 3-4 seasons with a good mix of youth and experience.
“This adds to our depth and a Top Five finish has to be a minimum requirement in our eyes.”
Alammedine is a fine young man, honest, polite and extremely humble.
A terrific example to young players and everyone in general but his parting comment remains poignant:
“As Coerver Coaching said back in the day – Dream, Believe, Achieve – is as true now as when they first stated it.”
Many will be looking at his performances for the remainder of this season and, hopefully, for many more to come.
-By Micky Brock
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 2015 Champions’ Bonnyrigg White Eagles have fought back from a two goal deficit with only 10 men on the park to secure a 2-2 draw with Rockadale City Suns.
Rockdale seemed set for a round one victory at their Ilinden Sports Centre home until a spirited fightback from Brian Brown’s Bonnyrigg outfit.
Alex Canak and Blake Riccito were straight to business for the Suns as the pair put Bonnyrigg keeper James Chronopoulos under pressure after only five minutes.
In the ninth minute it was Canak, a former White Eagle, who capitalised on a Chronopoulos error to knock home the ball for a 1-0 Rockdale lead.
Bonnyrigg felt they had levelled the game in the 18th minute when Robbie Younis found the net.
The celebrations didn’t last long with the linesman’s flag ruling the burly striker offside.
Bonnyrigg were slowly working their way into the match and several long range efforts ensued.
Brave goalkeeping from Rockdale’s David Bradesevic ensured the home side maintained their lead when he saved a headed effort from Robbie Younis.
Rockdale doubled their lead in the 37th minute through Hristijan Tanoski when the marksman clinically finished a Canak cross on the back post.
The Suns were looking good for their lead until the 42 minute when Hesketh was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.
Up stepped Younis to reduce the deficit from the spot.
It was scant justice for the Suns.
However, it again proved you can never rule the White Eagles out of the mix as the half-time break arrived with the match just starting to simmer nicely.
Bonnyrigg came out firing in the second period with David Vrankovic and Younis peppering Bradesevic in the Rockdale net.
The Suns looked markedly lethargic on the resumption but the Bonnyrigg’s poor shooting kept the game in the hands of the home team.
Bonnyrigg looked down and out when Nikola Zonjic was sent off after he received a second caution on the hour mark.
Neat one-two passes between Blake Ricciuto, Toufic Alameddine and Alex Urosevski forced Chronopoulos into save after save.
Rockdale’s good work was undone six minutes from time when Hesketh took down Michael Robinson in the box.
Robbie Younis stepped up to level the game from the penalty spot
Half chances came and went with no further addition to the score as the spoils were shared
The result left both coaches somewhat perplexed.
“Our first 15-20 minutes, I though was exceptional and had we gone into the break 2-nil up it changes the dynamic of the team talk,” Rockdale assistant coach Matt Ribarovski said.
“Conceding a cheap penalty just before the break always hurts and changes things.
“The feeling is we lost two points as opposed to gaining one.
“There were a few heavy legs out there but overall we’re pleased with the boys who turned up and played today. If we can keep this going we won’t have too much to complain about.”
White Eagles coach Brian Brown added: “I thought it was a good game for the spectators although we didn’t turn up to play until 15-minutes into the first half to be honest”.
“When we got going I felt the boys were outstanding and to come back from two down and playing with 10-men I have to give our guys credit.
“It was a really open game and the keepers did extremely well. To go away with a point under the circumstances isn’t too bad.”
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Canak 9’, Tanoski 37’ )
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Younis 42’ pen, 84’ pen )
Sunday, March 13 2016
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: Steven Lucas
Assistant Referees: Raymond Osborne & Janush Adabjou
Fourth Official: Sam Grasso
Rockdale City Suns: 1. BRADASEVIC David, 2. PETKOVSKI Daniel, 3. HESKETH Steven, 5. REID Paul (18. DASCAL David 85’), 6. RICCIUTO Blake, 8. CANAK Alex, 10. MAKRILLOS Peter (7. UROSEVSKI Alex 54’), 11. TANOSKI Hristijan (9. MACALLISTER Dylan 86’), 15. PETRILLO Nick, 16. SAVOR Isaac, 17. ALAMEDDINE Toufic
Substitutes Not Used: 12. EL HAFIANE Idriss, 22. BAZI Andrew
Yellow Cards: 3. HESKETH Steven 32’, 2. PETKOVSKI Daniel 56’, 11. TANOSKI Hristijan 68’, 5. REID Paul 80’, 6. RICCIUTO Blake 88’
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1. CHRONOPOULOS James, 3. VRANKOVIC David, 4. ROBINSON Michael, 6. ZONJIC Nikola, 7. KONDEK Gregory (19. PETERSON Aaron 66’), 9. YOUNIS Robert, 10. KOKADO Yuta (5. JENNER Adam 66’), 15. MILLER Raymond, 16. GALLAWAY Samuel (2. MANSUETO Alexander 90+2’), 17. GIL Mun-Soo, 21. CHUN B0-Hyun
Substitutes Not Used: 13. MCKENZIE James, SAVICIC Stevan
Yellow Cards: 15. MILLER Raymond 73’, 4. ROBINSON Michael 76’, 6.ZONJIC Nikola 19’, 60’
Red Cards: 6. ZONJIC Nikola 60’
Man of the Match
3 – Alex Canak (RCS)
2 – Robbie Younis (BWE)
1 – Blake Ricciuto (RCS)
-By Micky Brock
Ilinden Sports Centre was the setting for an entertaining, if somewhat one-sided, local derby when Sutherland Sharks arrived at the home of Rockdale City Suns.
The re-arranged round 18 fixture played out on a chilly evening, but it was the Suns who delighted the home crowd with another fantastic performance to keep its push for finals alive.
The Suns wasted no time in getting on the front foot when in the 2nd minute a Marko Jesic free-kick forced Sharks skipper Nathan Denham to punch clear from under his bar as the home team sought to seek the early advantage.
It was Jesic again who cantered onto a through ball from Toufic Almeddine in the 5th minute, but off balance he blasted hopelessly high and wide as another chance went begging.
He followed it up three minutes later with a long-range effort straight at Denham.
Sutherland responded with an Alek Jovovic corner that Jordan Figon couldn’t keep on target with their first attempt on goal in the game after weathering the early storm and slowly starting to find their feet.
Rockdale opened the scoring in the 19th minute when another Jesic free-kick into the box appeared to get the merest of touches by Dylan Macallister as it was turned into the net.
The goal would have been Macallister’s first for the Suns, but the former A-League forward was denied as the goal was actually an own goal to Nick Littler who wrong footed Denham at the near stick.
Dylan Caton, playing at right back for Sutherland, received the first caution of the evening after 32 minutes after an altercation on the far side of the pitch.
The trainers were called on immediately for Caton and Steven Hesketh, for Rockdale, when both cannoned into the fence as the former chased down the ball on the right flank with Sutherland attacking.
The incident appeared worse than it was and both players continued to play.
Soon after, Charles Lokolingoy slipped the ball out wide to Jovovic whose pinpoint cross found the young striker in space but he couldn’t direct his header goal-ward to work Ivan Necevski between the sticks in a deft sweeping move.
Macallister forced a magnificent save out of Denham in stoppage time of the first-half, but the keeper did well to get down to his left.
The resulting corner was delayed when Nick Littler required treatment inside the area, however Rockdale couldn’t take advantage of the superior numbers with the Sharks defender off the pitch when the Suns should have doubled their lead seconds later when Idriss El Hafiane rattled the crossbar from distance.
The Suns took a 1-0 lead into the break and they were worth their lead.
On the restart Lucas Stergiou replaced Littler who was unable to continue and Jordan Figon, who had received scant service when leading the forward line for Sutherland, by Seongjin Park.
Just prior, it was Alec Urosevski who warmed the hands of Denham once more.
Pat Savor doubled the advantage for the Suns in the 61st minute when from 25 yards he hit the ball with the outside of the right foot to bend the ball past the out-stretched Denham with a peach of a strike.
Sutherland’s walking wounded had a mountain to climb before the second strike and the task before them looked near impossible on the night.
With 72 minutes on the clock it was a case of what we have, we hold, for Rockdale as Paul Reid rang the changes and brought himself on for Jesic and replaced Macallister with Hristijan Tanoski, the home side still harbouring thoughts of a top five finish and finals football.
Dylan Caton received a second caution in the 79th minute to be marched off the ground after an innocuous looking challenge on Toufic Almeddine that was more hard luck than intention and Sutherland were reduced to 10-men.
The match was now certainly beyond the visitors grasp as Rockdale’s winning run was set to continue.
The mission was made totally impossible in the 87th minute when the substitute Tanoski played in Iwamoto to blast past a stranded Denham.
Suns coach Reid was delighted with the result.
“We started off very well and Sutherland had a period of about 20 minutes in the first half where they put us under pressure but overall we were the better team and we even created the better chances in the first 45 minutes,” Reid said.
“It was a comfortable win in the end and we’ve shown we are a team who can score goals but in the last couple of months we’ve been able to tighten things up at the back and become a side that is proving hard to break down.
“It’s not in our own hands yet but we’ve stolen a break on the chasing pack and all we can do is concentrate on our own results and aim for a top five placing and finals football.”
Steve O’Connor was again disconsolate.
“They got a deflection for the opening goal but we came back into the match but we couldn’t go on with it,” O’Connor said.
“We have a number of injured players, the walking wounded but that cannot be used as an excuse and we’ll have a few missing in the coming weeks so it’s a chance for some of the younger players to step up and for us to have a look at them. We’ll keep battling until the end of the season and see where it takes us.”
Rockdale City Suns 3 (Littler 19’og, Savor 61’, Iwamoto 87’ )
Sutherland Sharks 0
Wednesday 29 July, 2015
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields & Janush Adabjou
Fourth Official: Jordan Lake
Rockdale City Suns: Necevski, Petkovski, Hesketh, Muruyama, Urosevski (Iwamoto 80), Macallister (Tanoski 72), Jesic (Reid 72), El Haffiene, Alameddine, Savor, Oygur ©
Substitutes Not Used: Petrillo, Sorras
Sutherland Sharks: Denham ©, McKenzie, Littler (Stergiou 46), Gordon (Bandur 58), O’Connell, Jovovic, Moustakas, Figon (Park 51), Hayes, Caton, Lokolingoy
Substitutes Not Used: Depta, Cox
Yellow Cards:Caton 32’, Jovovic 63’
Red Cards: Caton 79
– By Micky Brock, PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Illenden Sports Centre.