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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 March 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 MARCH 2015 29 SPORT Popovic unhappy over Wanderers’ busy schedule ‘We’re certainly not as fit as we want to be, but there’s a lot of fight’ says Wanderers coach Tony Popovic Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic admits playing seven games in 20 days is beyond belief, but that's exactly what his weary side will have to deal with after it played a tough match against Melbourne Victory. It was the Wanderers’ third game in a week following their 3-2 win against Melbourne City. The players and staff will then pack their bags to travel to South Korea to face FC Seoul next Wednesday. The relentless schedule has seen the Wanderers travel to Asia and across the country as they juggle both their ALeague and AFC Champions League campaigns and it's taking a huge toll on Popovic's squad. Having lost both Brendon Santalab (shoulder) and Shannon Cole (collarbone) to season-ending injuries, Popovic was then also left without Brendan Hamill (torn quadriceps) and Mark Bridge (groin) - the duo will be racing the clock to make it back before the end of the season. Wednesday's come-frombehind victory, courtesy of a Zaharakis returns for Bombers Brisbane Roar player Brandon Borrello (R) kicks past Western Sydney Wanderers’ Nikolai Topor-Stanley. PHOTO: AAP/DAN PELED. Nikita Rukavytsya winner at the death, was just the Wanderers' second of the season, finally lifting them off the bottom of the ladder. But it proved costly, with key midfielder Mateo Poljak suffering a calf injury. Popovic retained just four players on Wednesday from the starting line-up that lost to Brisbane on Sunday as he rotates his squad to cope with the heavy load. The coach had to dig so far into his reserves he gave 18 year-old Jonathan Aspropotamitis from the youth squad his debut against City as he admits "players are starting to fall apart". Popovic, who played for years as defender at English club Crystal Palace, says he's never endured such a hectic schedule. "I played in the Championship, which was a very tough, gruelling league and never did I play seven in 20 days," he said. "We've had to endure travel, hot conditions in Adelaide and Brisbane, the Champions League. It's beyond belief in some respects. "We're certainly not as fit as we want to be, that's why we've got injuries, but there's a lot of fight." Taekwondo teenager kicking butt David Zaharakis back in the squad. Seventeen-year-old Anastasia Galazoula has earned third place in Greece's National Women's Taekwondo Championship held in late February. It was the first time the youngster had entered the competition, the win coming as the result of 10 years of intense training. Anastasia is no stranger to the podium, winning first, second and third placings in six National Taekwondo Championships in Greece. The teenager is a third-dan black belt and has been training since she was seven. With family in Melbourne including grandparents Spiros and Anastasia Charitidis, Anastasia's win is a huge deal, keeping them connected to the family and the motherland. PHOTO: AAP/JOE CASTRO. Kos clubs honour Spyros Thalassinos Three Greek Australian local teams have come together to honour the memory of the late Spyros Thalassinos. Mr Thalassinos was a big supporter of Pankoaki Adefotita Kos Club (O Ipprocatis), West Preston Soccer Club (Andagoras) and Essendon United Soccer Club (Kos) and all had him involved at some part of their history. All three clubs entered into a round robin tournament on March 7, giving their coaches a chance to field some strong teams ahead of the 2015 season. Anastasia Galazoula with her little sister at the championship. This year's shield winner was Essendon United, which Essendon favourite David Zaharakis returned to the pitch last night to head an Essendon team still struggling through an ASADA drugs scandal and its pre-season. The team used 11 top up players and a number of older players to supplement their team, which didn't use any of the players from the 2012 team list. An AFL tribunal is currently considering the fate of around 17 Essendon players who have been issued with infraction notices by ASADA. Zaharakis avoided the cull because he did not partake in the controversial drug supplement program because he had a dislike of needles. Four younger 2012-listed Bombers successfully argued to play in last week's match against St Kilda, confirming they are not the subject of the ASADA investigation. Zaharakis returned to play the NAB Cup match against Greater Western Sydney on Friday after recovering from a minor knee injury. Essendon's final pre-season game is against Melbourne on March 20. The tribunal's ruling on players issued with infraction notices is expected before the AFL season commences in April. Source: The Age, AAP Three Kos clubs come together to honour Spyros Thalassinos. was presented with the trophy by none other than Mr Thalassinos' son, George. Quite emotional at the support, George spoke of his father's love of all three of the clubs and said that the tournament was his father's long- time dream come true. All three clubs, who have 90 years worth of history between them, were so impressed by the tournament that they're hoping to host more joint events and celebrate their Greek heritage.
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