A Positive End to Season 2014

Northcote City pulled the curtain on another successful 2014 season with a very worthy 1-0 away win against Hume City in Broadmeadows Valley Park while the Under 20s produced another emphatic performance with a resounding 6-1 win against their opponents.

After the game, a very proud Under 20s head coach Alex Gymnopoulos took the time to reflect on the season.

“I am extremely proud of the boys this year, they have been fantastic from the word go. It is always challenging coaching kids at this level and age group but I can sincerely say we have a fantastic group of kids here at our club.”

“We had Jonathan Bounas, Aaron Ward, Luke Gavalas, Anthony Rizk, Nasr Said, Ricky Gonzalez, Jacob Eliopoulos, Steve Sifinos, Chris Di Bartolo and Chris Oghanna all feature in our seniors this year and in recent years. That’s a fantastic result for our club in terms of player development but a testament to our coach Goran Lozanovski who has faith in playing our kids.

Alex also spoke about having a sound environment around the club as reason for the continued success and development of the young talent, “I cannot praise my assistant David Kalifatidis and team manager Jack Sidiropoulos enough. David is such an amazing mentor to these lads it’s amazing, when I see the interaction between them it’s not just coach to player but it’s like friend to friend. The kids adore him and trust him and take his advice on board, that’s how much respect they have for him. As for Jack, well another amazing Northcote City person, he just loves the club, has been involved for over 30 odd years, it’s incredible, and the love and respect he has for the kids in reciprocated in full.”

Finally, Gymnopoulos paid tribute to departing captain Adrian Chiappetta and Liam Wooding, who will return to South Australia after one season with the club.

“Chippa has been one of our clubs most loyal servants, he arrived in 2009 so he has spent some amazing years here in terms of the success we have had as a club. He and his family became part of our club from the moment he arrived as a young boy and now he departs as a man, I just want to thank him for everything he has done for the club as a person and as a player. He always made sure he boys in the Under 20s were looked after, taking the time to give great advice. I just want to wish him the very best for the future and he will always be a part of our club no matter what.

“Liam although only with us for one year left a wonderful impression on all of us. He is extremely dedicated, I would regularly see him pumping out extra sessions, I can see why he was good enough to represent his country at youth level, I also want to wish him the very best for his future and thank him as well.”

Congratulations to all our staff, players and fans in this inauguaral NPL season.

Remember to stay with Northcote City through web, Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date on all the post-season news.

NPL Final Round Preview: Hume City v Northcote City

It’s the final round of the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Victoria 2014 season, and with South Melbourne having already lifted the trophy, the focus now shifts to the three-way battle for survival between Ballarat, Port Melbourne and Werribee City.1545923_226399647567095_761889284_n

In what shapes as a thrilling finale to the season, the latter two will face off in Port Melbourne on Sunday, while Ballarat has the difficult task of playing away to second-placed Oakleigh.

In NPL 1, league leader Avondale Heights – already promoted – can wrap up the title with two rounds remaining if it defeats Springvale and St Albans takes points off second-placed North Geelong.

Hume City v Northcote City
5th v 7th
3.00pm, Sunday September 14, 2014
Broadmeadows Valley Park
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #HCvNC #NPLVIC

Last round:
Bentleigh Greens 1-1 Hume City
Northcote City 0-1 Green Gully

Form:
Hume City: WLLWD
Northcote City: LWWLL

Last time they met:
Northcote City 0-2 Hume City, Round 13 2014

Northcote City has lost just three times in its 12 away matches this season, and will have the chance to continue its impressive record on the road in Broadmeadows on Sunday.

The poor state of Northcote’s pitch hasn’t allowed it to play its possession-based style, according to coach Goran Lozanovski, but there will be no excuses on Hume City’s pristine surface.

Look out for Hume City ‘keeper Chris Oldfield, who has been in sensational form lately and is rated as the best custodian in the NPL by his coach Lou Acevski.

Match Preview: Northcote City v Green Gully

10568853_954626397897798_213192414645252311_n

Northcote City v Green Gully
7th v 9th      
3.00pm, Saturday September 6, 2014
John Cain Memorial Reserve
Twitter: Live updates on Twitter @nplvictoria, #NCvGG #NPLVIC

Last round:
South Melbourne 2-1 Northcote City
Green Gully 1-2 Port Melbourne Sharks

Form:
Northcote City: DLWWL
Green Gully: DWLLL

Last time they met:
Green Gully 6-2 Northcote City, Round 12 2014

Northcote City’s defence was humiliated when these two sides last met, but form is on its side this time round.

Last year’s Victorian champion took newly-crowned Victorian champion South Melbourne down to the wire last week on the back of two wins.

It will be favoured to grab the points at home on Saturday, but Green Gully is no certainty to avoid relegation and must snap a three-game losing streak to guarantee its survival.

Match Report: South Melbourne 2-1 Northcote City

By Steven Chang (@Gixibyte)15041792392_f03142c7d9_o

South Melbourne showcased a commanding 2-1 home victory over Northcote City at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday to place itself on the brink of a championship title.

NPL leading goalscorer Milos Lujic was the hero, netting a brace to cancel out Marino Gasparis’s equaliser.

The win could have huge ramifications for second-placed Oakleigh, which must win its remaining three matches – one of those away to South Melbourne – and hope that South Melbourne drops points against Goulburn Valley if it is to win the inaugural NPL title.

In the early minutes, Lujic was played through by an incisive move, but the ball was smothered by a swift Chris Theodoridis intervention.

Nick Epifano was soon presented with an opportunity in the penalty area, but miscued his volley which bounced well wide of the woodwork.

Nevertheless, the home side’s pressure paid off and South took an early lead when Tyson Holmes delivered a pinpoint cross onto the forehead of Lujic, who nodded the ball home to open the scoring.

Epifano was again involved, nimbly skipping past his marker to sling a stinging shot which was parried to safety by Theodoridis.

Northcote struggled to impose itself on the match, allowing South to control much of the first half’s proceedings.

The away side crept back into the game at the close of the opening stanza, stringing together a patch of possession which culminated in a sizzling blast from Anthony Rizk which was tipped over the crossbar by South custodian Chris Maynard.

Ten minutes after the break, Gasparis netted for Northcote against his former club with a low , precise free kick to level the scores.

South fired back with Holmes finding himself in space with all the time in the world, but he narrowly placed his shot just inches wide.

The partisan home crowd was provoked into indignant roars when Lujic was seemingly brought down in the box but the referee waved away the howling protests.

Substitute Mathew Theodore showed flawless composure with his first touch of the game to supply Lujic through on goal, and the big man demonstrated clinical technique and flair with the outside of his boot to restore South’s advantage.

Northcote occasionally threatened in patches, but Maynard held firm and displayed acrobatic reflexes to keep South’s lead intact until the final whistle blew and the delighted home crowd celebrated joyously.

Winning coach Chris Taylor was confident that his side was within touching distance of the championship.

“I’m just happy with the three points. It’s all I care about. Feels like we’ve just got a bit more to do and get to where we want to be,” Taylor said.

“We’re confident in what we do and for me we’ve been the best side all year and we just need to continue doing it.”

Taylor’s opposite number Arch Giotopoulos – filling in for coach Goran Lozanovski – enjoyed the match as a contest and still believed his side had pride to play for.

“Entertaining match. Both teams went for it. Unfortunately they just got the better of us”, Giotopoulos said.

“There’s still something to play for. You play for the shirt. That means the supporters, the history, and the club.”

South Melbourne will have to the chance to secure the title with a draw or win against Oakleigh when the two sides meet in a fortnight at Lakeside Stadium.

MATCH DETAILS

South Melbourne 2 (Lujic 16’ 72’) defeated Northcote City 1 (Gasparis 56’) at Lakeside Stadium [HT: 1-0]

SOUTH MELBOURNE: 21. Chris MAYNARD (GK), 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR, 7. Nick EPIFANO, 9. Milos LUJIC, 10. Tyson HOLMES (25. Shaun TIMMINS 73’), 11. Bradley NORTON (8. Mathew Theodore 70’), 12. Iqi JAWADI, 14. James MUSA, 17. Jamie REED, 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS

Unused substitutes:  1. Jason SALDARIS, 18. Dion KIRK, 27. Leigh MINOPOULOS.

Yellow cards: None.

Red cards: None.

NORTHCOTE CITY: 22. Chris THEODORIDIS, 2. Adrian CHIAPPETTA, 4. Kristian KONSTANTINIDIS, 5. Philip PETRESKI, 6. Aaron WARD, 10. Marino GASPARIS (9. Trent RIXON 78’), 11. Liam WOODING, 15. Wade DEKKER (8. James KALIFATIDIS 77’), 16. Greg LOMBARDO, 17. Anthony RIZK, 23. Jonathan BOUNAS (7. Jonathan MUNOZ 70’)

Unused substitutes: 1. Luke GAVALAS, 21. Ricardo GONZALEZ.

Yellow cards: Petreski (36’), Bounas (44’).

Red cards: None