Congratulations to all our teams who played with their hearts in the spirit of the Eastern Suburbs at their respective Champion of Champions Semi Finals last weekend. Unfortunately for four of our teams, the fairy tale ended albeit with resilience and pride in their achievements for season 2015.
We are accordingly proud to advise that we have two teams still representing their clubs and Association in the Grand Finals of Champion of Champions this weekend. With Dunbar AAM having won their respective Champion of Champions last year, the pressure is on to repeat this feat with both Coogee United in the AAM Grand Final and Pagewood Botany in the Over 45 Grand Final. With all Grand Finals being played at the home of football, Valentines Sports Park, we look forward to seeing Club unity as we support our teams from the ESFA competition.
We asked both teams how they felt about their achievements thus far. With both Coogee United and Pagewood Botany having won their respective Leagues and Grand Finals, we know that the third trophy would be a charm.Jimmy Whiteford, coach of Coogee United FC AAM Championship told us the following:
"Next Sunday will be a magnificent occasion for the club. It's amazing to think what we have achieved over the last few years as 'the pub team from the beaches'. This year it all started with an amazing FFA Cup run followed by a League and Grand Final double. To reach the Champion of Champions final is just the icing on the cake. There is great spirit in the squad (definitely helped by the time spent at our second home, the Coogee Bay Hotel!) so we hope to put in a big performance against the all dominating Lilli Pilli FC. Either way, I'm really proud of my players for what they have achieved in 2015"And from the captain of Coogee United, Oran Weldrick:
‘’It has been our most successful season to date. An outstanding finish to an already memorable season. The boys have worked tirelessly throughout the season (this week is week 42 of our 2015 season) and we all deserve to enjoy the occasion on Sunday. We are looking forward to taking on Lilli Pilli who have been on an incredible winning streak and an aggregate win of 12-0 in their last two Champ of Champs games is some achievement. They will obviously be favourites but we will be doing everything possible to take the trophy back to the Eastern Suburbs. Our club has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and it is a credit to our management team & social media manager (Jimmy) for our on field success. Each year we somehow manage to find new players, improve training conditions and overall match preparation and this is now reflected with our on field success. We cannot wait for Sunday, our family and friends will be cheering us on and we hope some of our Eastern Suburb rivals will come out to Valentine Park to support us also. And finally a big thank you to our players, it has been a memorable journey boys with one more challenge to go. Let’s do this boys.’’ John Harris, Captain of Pagewood O45s reported the following on the team that has not lost a game all season:
"The over 45 team completed the season winning all 17 games with a goal advantage of 109-9.At the time of writing this report the team is about to play the final in the champion of champions competition against the St George representative after victories against the champion teams from Central Coast, Sutherland and Nepean regions.
The team has been strengthened, as shown by these results, by the introduction of Gennadi from Bondi and the trio of Gerri, Marko and Maldini from Coogee/ Rushcutter bay .
Pagewood existing long service elite players continued their star performance in 2015 including Steve Downey, David Booker, David Shaddock, Christian Oritiz ,Zaya Jedraiel,Steve Lundy Sean Fenton etc
Top goal scorer was spread among the whole team which is a pleasing as they was one more than the allocated forwards."
All PUMA Champion of Champion winners will also feature in a special parade organised by Hyundai A-League side Sydney FC which will take place on Friday, 6th November at Allianz Stadium when the Sky Blues take on the Brisbane Roar in their round 7 encounter. Winners will be paraded at the half-time break of what will be an entertaining clash between two quality sides.
With the entire ESFA competition supporting our two remaining teams, we hope there will be a large crowd of Eastern Suburbs Football Association members cheering on their own at Valentines Sports Park on Sunday.All Age Men – Lilli Pilli (Sutherland) v Coogee United (Eastern Suburbs) – 11:15am (VSP2)
Over 45 Men – Hurstville City Minotaurs (St George) v Pagewood Botany (Eastern Suburbs) – 5pm (VSP3)
We wish both teams the best of luck in adding to their silverware for a highly successful season 2015. Sunday looks like a beautiful day for a drive.