This season's Men Championship has proven to be one filled with many memorable highlights and illustrious moments. After giving multiple clubs in the Men Championship questions regarding this current 2014 season, and in return receiving very valuable answers from the clubs first grade coaches, I was able to gain an insight into a few aspects of the teams including the coaches role in it, particularly games that were significant in how the teams are currently doing, as well as key players that have played an important role in the team.
Dunbar Rovers coach Will Cullen has managed his first grade team all the way to top spot in the men's competition. When asked what he does to prepare the players for a big fixture, Cullen stated that he ensured that the players trained the way they will play on game day, replicating things like the intensity as well as attitude. He also believes that the team has a very solid passing play, and that this year, the team has added goals to their game. The top of the table fixture against the very well-run and organised rivals Coogee United is one much anticipated by the squad, and is a fixture which always proves to be tough to play in for Dunbar. Despite this, Cullen recalls the 5-3 win over Lokomotiv Cove as the team's most vital win throughout the season, where the team 'showed character, determination and resolve to get two goals in 4 minutes to win the game'. Confident that the team will do well in the finals, Dunbar Rovers are set to have what should be a great run home.
Coogee United has had what can only be described as a bright and successful season, with the team currently sitting comfortably in second position. James Whiteford, the coach of this talented Coogee United first grade squad, speaks of a team filled with individuals who fit in with the cultures and behaviours expected by the club, and a team with great morals who all focus on the same goals equally. Whiteford urges us to keep a close eye on first grade player Alan Courtney for the remainder of the season, someone who he believes has been a revelation for Coogee this season, as well as fellow first grade talent Danny Rayson and Rich Knell who has maintained a fantastic record this year. From the reserve grade squad, keep a close watch on Gary O'Leary, who has had an immense impact on the field since joining the club half way through the season. Hoping to continue this great run of form into the next 2015 season, Coogee United will no doubt continue to be strong forces in the competition for a long time to come.
Glebe Wanderers are a team who have been forced to face the harsh consequences of a loss of players for multiple reasons, yet this still hasn't stopped them from continuing to cause major headaches for the other teams in the competition at fifth position. Coached by Seamus McCorry, this is a team who always looks to make the most of their technically sound players in every game they play. The thing which makes coaching this team so honourable for Seamus McCorry is the fact that this team provides people with a home away from home, considering the vast proportion of the team is comprised of immigrants. Along with the football, people also find a community within Glebe. If Glebe can make the finals, expect them to come out firing for every minute of every game.
Pagewood's season has been tough, but this is a team who has proven to have an incredibly strong team bond, and a team who will give all they've got right up until the final whistle. Coach Felipe Santibanez believes that the first win of the season is always most vital, and this win came when Pagewood faced Lokomotiv Cove and defeated them. Playing Waverly Old Boys at the beginning of the season for the Dimos Shield is always a much anticipated fixture for the Pagewood boys, as well as when they come up against premiership leaders Dunbar Rovers. This season has been a struggling one for Pagewood, meanwhile a season with many positive aspects including a pack of players who are all good mates, who get along and show respect for each other, which is inarguably evident on the pitch. In an attempt to rebuild for the 2015 season, Santibanez will look to bring in a lot more younger players to the squad who can spark the fire that Pagewood will need.
The season has given us so much to talk about. From unbelievable goals to miraculous saves, last minute game winners to nail-biting derby battles, even saying this season was entertaining would be a complete understatement. A big congratulations goes to Dunbar Rovers, having sealed the minor premiership for the first grade competition after 19 games of a successful 2014 campaign. Now, with only two more rounds to go before the much anticipated finals football arrives, this competition is set to provide us all with an absolutely blockbuster finish.
Nicholas Tsiolakis is a Year 10 Marcellin College student who spent a week with ESFA on work experience this week and who looks forward to a career in sports journalism.