ESFA Clubs Champion of Champions Journeys

Sunday 23rd October concluded the Football NSW Champion of Champions competitions with the finals all held at Valentine Sports Park. From the 14 ESFA teams only three made it all the way to the end, one of which winning the tournament for their age group. Here we will revisit the journey of every team that competed.

Under 13 Girls – Easts FC Eagles
The Easts girls had a terrific campaign making it all the way to the semi-final. After a bye in Round One they entered the competition at the quarterfinal stage to face Rouse Hill Rams FC at Valentine Sports Park. The girls managed to take the game all the way to extra time after 0-0 at full time. With the golden goal rule in play, Aaliya Lewis slotted the ball past the keeper to win the game.

Next, they would be playing Lilli Pilli in the semi-final on home soil at Heffron Park. Although the girls started the game strong, they were caught out on a counter attack and conceded early in the first half. Again, in the second half the girls started to fight back but were struck again to make it 2-0.

Congratulations to all players and coaches involved in this impressive CoC campaign.

Under 15 Girls – Maroubra United (Matildas)
Maroubra’s journey began at the very start in Round One. They faced Castle Hill United FC at Heffron Park. Although the girls had the home advantage, they couldn’t claw a goal back after going doing 1-0. Although it was a very close game, Castle Hill walked away with the win and ended up getting knocked out in the following round with Pittwater RSL FC winning the competition.

Under 16 Girls – Queens Park (Cheetahs)
After a bye in round one, Queens Park Cheetahs begun their CoC campaign at Valentine Sports Park against Marton FC. In tough fought game the girls went down 2-1 and couldn’t equalise despite playing well towards the end of the game. The girls competed amazingly considering they were playing in the U15 local competition throughout the year.

Under 18 Girls – Queens Park (Waterdragons)
Similarly to their U15 clubmates, the U17 Waterdragons were also competing in an age group above in the U18 CoC category. Their only game was in Round one against a strong and physical Rouse Hill Rams FC. The girls competed well but couldn’t beat the experienced U18 Rouse Hill defence in a 2-0 loss.

All Age Women – Coogee United
Coogee’s women had an incredible campaign having made it all the way to the final. In round one they beat Robertson Burrawang FC 10-0 in a comfortable away fixture. In round two they faced Kellyville Kolts out of Valentine Sports park in another comfortable 8-1 victory. Things started to become tougher during the semi-final against a notoriously strong Albion Park. After being 1-0 up for most of the game, they conceded a late goal, with 1-1 the result after extra time. In a nail-biting penalty shoot-out, shot stopper Amy Singh saved the final Albion Park penalty to secure a finals spot for the team.

The final would be just as tough of a contest with Seaforth coming out strong and taking an early lead. The girls fought hard all game and equalised in the dying minutes of the game to take it to extra time. During the second half of extra time, Seaforth were awarded a penalty which they converted. As the CoC competition runs with the Golden Goal rule, Seaforth were crowned champions.

The Coogee WPL squad have had an impressive season and were so close to topping it off with one more victory. Coach Nigel Singh and the team should be incredibly proud of the season they’ve had and will surely be looking to make amends next year.

O30 Women – Coogee United
Coogee Over 30’s squad also had an incredibly impressive season which saw them cruise into the CoC competition after an undefeated year in the local competition. After a bye in round one, they first competed against Glenhaven FC in a dominant 4-0 win. The semi-final was a far tighter fixture against Loftus Yarrawarrah Rovers. The match ended 0-0 after extra time for penalties to decide the winner. With may shots scored and saved by both teams; Rovers walked away with the win to secure the finals spot. Rovers went on to lose 4-0 to Northern Galaxy who had been exceptional all year.

Under 13 Boys – Pagewood Botany (Pumas)
Pagewood Botany were so close to securing their spot in round two of the CoC competition. Four goals in normal time unfortunately wasn’t enough to overcome Woongarrah FC who also scored four to take the game to penalties. Despite Pagewood scoring most of their penalties, Woongarrah displayed slightly more composure from the spot to win the shootout 5-4.

Under 14 Boys – Maccabi Hakoah (Hawks)
The Maccabi boys started off fantastically with a huge 5-1 win over Wyoming FC in round one on home soil at Heffron Park. Round two was just as impressive as the boys travelled away to face Albion Park at Valentine Sports Park. The first half was filled with back-and-forth action with Maccabi taking the lead three times to take the game to 3-2. In the second half it was all about protecting their lead which they did to perfection to win the game.

The semi-final was played back home at Heffron Park against Pitt Town. The game was incredibly tight throughout despite Pitt Town going 2-0 up. Maccabi clawed one goal back and were close to a second on many occasions. Unfortunately, the Pitt Town defence was strong, and they ultimately walked away with the victory. An amazing performance from all players kept Pitt Town on their toes until the very end. Pitt Town ended up losing 2-1 in the final against Shellharbour JFC.

Under 15 Boys – Maccabi Hakoah
The Maccabi 15’s also started off strong with a 2-0 victory over Terrigal United FC at Heffron Park.

Unfortunately, the team were dealt some very bad luck ahead of their round two match against the Camden Tigers. All games scheduled for Sunday 9th October on grounds that were going to be washed out, were rescheduled to the Saturday onto a synthetic pitch. Due to a significant proportion of Maccabi’s players unable to play during Shabbat, the team had no choice but to forfeit.

We’ve no doubt the boys would have competed well against the strong Camden Tigers outfit.

Under 16 Boys – Dunbar Rovers
Dunbar were dealt a tough draw in round one against a solid Wyoming FC outfit. Playing out of Heffron Park, the Rovers were unable to find the back of the net in a 2-0 loss. After a strong season in the ESFA competition, they will be keen to get stuck in again next year for a better CoC campaign.

Under 18 Men – Waverley Old Boys (Blue)
Waverley were also drawn a tough matchup against Kellyville Kolts in Round One. In a very tight game, the Old Boys couldn’t settle the one goal deficit in the 2-1 loss. Well done on a solid performance away at Bernie Mullane Sports Complex.

All Age Men – Glebe Gorillas
What a journey these lads have had this year. From winning the ESFA MPL for the first time in their history to winning the All Age Men’s Champion of Champions competition in electrifying style.

Throughout their four Champion of Champions matches, the Gorillas scored an astounding 23 goals and only conceded three (two of which were in the final).

11 of their goals were scored in their 11-1 Round One victory against Bansktown Sport Strikers, played out of Waverley Park.

One of the more significant wins was their 3-0 victory in Round Two over Pittwater RSL FC who had won the competition multiple times previously.

In the semi-final they really showed their class in the 6-0 victory of Ponds FC out of Heffron Park.

They played an incredibly strong Banksia Tigers team in the final out of Valentine Sports Park. Banskia took an early lead followed by another goal off a defensive error. Glebe persisted to get one back before the half time mark. Second half they continued to battle and equalised late in the game to take it to extra time. During the first half of extra time, Glebe were awarded a penalty after a shove in the box. Due to the Golden Goal rule, once the penalty hit the back of the net the game was done, and Glebe were crowned champions.

Glebe displayed dominant performances throughout the competition with forwards Rupert Murray and Yoel Silvestre racking up the goals, as they did with the ESFA competition.

We are blown away by the performances this team has put in throughout the year and they thoroughly deserve their winning titles.

O35 Men – Pagewood Botany
Pagewood Botany unfortunately didn’t make it past round one after an intense 1-1 full time and extra time score against Kellyville Kolts. Kellyville remained clinical from the spot in the shootout and won 3-1 on penalties. The Pagewood side have had their fair share of CoC success and will be keen to challenge again next year.

O45 Men – Dunbar Rovers
Dunbars CoC campaign was consistent throughout with huge performances against illustrious opponents. In Round One the Rovers showed their scoring prowess in a 6-0 victory over Kellyville Kotls. Round two was much of the same as they triumphed 5-0 over Southern & Ettalong United FC out of Valentine Sports Park. In the semi-final things became tougher as they faced the Cronulla Seagulls at Heffron Park. Rovers scored twice to secure the win to take them to the final.

Leading into the final, Dunbar had scored 13 goals and conceded none but were apprehensive about their opponent. They would face Hurstville City Minotaurs FC who have a stunning history of winning the competition three times, twice in the previous two campaigns. The game started off high tempo with the teams evenly matched. Hurstville struck first in the second half to put the pressure on Dunbar, who responded with chances and found the equaliser as the game was drawing to a finish. In extra time the game continued back and forth with Hurstville throwing the killer punch with a Golden Goal to win the game.

Well done to all our ESFA teams that competed in the Champion of Champions competition this year. After two years off due to covid it was exciting to have this competition back. We’re sure the East will go hard again in 2023.

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