Old Foes Meet in Big Match Decider
PlayStation 4® National Premier Leagues
Sunday 13th September 2015
Canberra FC v Canberra Olympic
(McKellar Park, 16:00)
Canberra FC meet Canberra Olympic in the PlayStation 4® National Premier Leagues: Capital Football Grand Final at McKellar Park on Sunday as the winter season in Canberra draws to a conclusion. This will be the third time in five seasons that this match-up will decide the fate of the Grand Final trophy and with the previous two encounters being memorable occasions, the scene is set for 2015 to be the ultimate showdown.
Indeed, this is the fourth time in the history of ACT football that teams representing Canberra FC and Olympic have made the big dance with the current standing at two wins a piece so something will have to give on the weekend. The pair first met back in the 1997 showdown when Olympic won 4-0 before Canberra Deakin gained revenge in 2003. The epic 2011 clash, which FC won remarkably 8-5, is still fondly recalled as is the brace from Robbie Schroder which decided the 2013 version.
Ironically, considering that FC were league champions and Olympic finished fifth (making the finals because of the FFA COE ineligibility), the League Champions have only gained one point from their pair of clashes with Olympic, suggesting that Frank Cachia and his team enjoy the challenge put down by their rivals. In fact FC has only won once in the last five encounters between the clubs since the thirteen-goal Final thriller, that in the 2014 Minor Semi-Final.
At Deakin Stadium in late May goals from Callum Smith and Philippe Bernabo-Madrid were enough to cancel out a strike from former Olympic midfielder Robbie Deeley as FC was beaten 2-1 at home. At O’Connor Enclosed in August, the tables appeared to be reversed as FC led 2-1 heading into stoppage time after goals from Muad Zwed and Josip Jadric. Zwed’s goal in the last minute looked to have won it for FC only for substitute Oliver Wiederkehr to head an equaliser straight form the kick-off.
If there is one thing that both teams possess it’s an abundance of pace. FC have a quartet of flyers in Josip Jadric, Daniel Bennett, Thomas Milicevic and Niko Kresic from which to perm any two of four for the wide positions in what is usually a five-man midfield. That leaves the midfield trio of James Field, Ian Graham and possibly Robbie Deeley to do battle with Olympic’s engine room which contains the likes of Daniel Colbertaldo and Tom McLachlan.
Olympic’s pace is provided by Smith out wide and the direct running of Jordan Tsekenis up front. Following the loss of leading scorer Bernabo-Madrid in the Round 7 match at Deakin with a knee injury, the acquisition of Tsekenis from Belconnen turned into an astute piece of business by Cachia. Six goals in ten appearances speaks of a player who has settled well. Oliver Wiederkehr is a jet-heeled replacement and another whose late addition to the squad gave Olympic the impetus to push on.
Defensively both teams have sharpened up in recent weeks and call upon a veteran, Aidan Brunskill in FC’s case and Phil Yarnold for Olympic, to marshal their younger cohorts. Yarnold will be celebrating his 200th Premier League appearance in the Grand Final – an amazing achievement for a player who has been a solid contributor for a number of years.
So, where will this game be won and lost? Olympic will feel they have the necessary guile and speed, especially in the outstanding Robbie Cattanach, to open up the FC back-four, much as they did to the Tigers in the Preliminary Final. FC meanwhile welcomes back top-scorer Thomas James and his game-changing ability, eye for a goal and general nuisance value may swing it in favour of his team. Either way, we expect drama, skills and goals!
Canberra FC (from): 1. Sam BROWN, 4. Thomas MILICEVIC, 5. Izach CLEMENTS, 7. Robbie DEELEY, 8. Ian GRAHAM, 9. Thomas JAMES, 10. Domenic GIAMPAOLO, 11. Marko VRKIC, 12. Muad ZWED, 13. Daniel BENNETT, 14. Josip JADRIC, 15. Jordan LAMB, 17. Aidan BRUNSKILL, 20. James FIELD, 21. Niko KRESIC, 22. Shaun BURKE, 23. Nathan EVANS
Canberra Olympic (from): 1. Angelo KONSTANTINOU, 2. Tim BOBOLAS, 3. Ben BASSER-SILK, 4. Daniel COLBERTALDO, 5. Jon TOOLE, 6. Adrian MACOR, 7. Pat ROSS-MAGEE, 8. Bernard RENE, 9. Chris NIKITAS, 10. Robbie CATTANACH, 11. Oliver WIEDERKEHR, 12. Adam ROGIC, 13. Josh CALABRIA, 14. Callum SMITH, 15. Tom MCLACHLAN, 17. Nick BOBOLAS, 18. Phil YARNOLD, 20. George KAZOLIS, 99. Jordan TSEKENIS
Match Officials: Luke WITHELL (referee), Owen GOLDRICK, Delfina DIMOSKI (assistant referees), Matt CROPPER (4th official)
Previous Grand Final Meetings
1997 – Canberra Olympic 4 Canberra Deakin 0
2003 – Canberra Deakin 1 Canberra Olympic 0
2011 – Canberra FC 8 Canberra Olympic 5
2013 – Canberra Olympic 2 Canberra FC 0
Previous Meetings This Season
Sunday 24th May 2015
Round 7 (Deakin Stadium)
Canberra FC 1 (Robbie Deeley) Canberra Olympic 2 (Callum Smith, Philippe Bernabo-Madrid)
Sunday 2nd August 2015
Round 16 (O’Connor Enclosed)
Canberra Olympic 2 (Jordan Tsekenis, Oliver Wiederkehr) Canberra FC 2 (Josip Jadric, Muad Zwed)