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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 6 June 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 JUNE 2015 31 SPORT EPL visit won’t be felt till season start Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque says the club’s EPL battles last week will help them grow into a premiership winning team for season 11 Despite the scoreline, Sydney FC's captain Alex Brosque says the two losses against English Premier League giants Chelsea and Tottenham will serve them well in the next season of the A-League. Last week's friendly games both ended in a 1-0 loss for Sydney FC, but judging by the calibre of their opponents, it was quite a respectable outcome. "Games like this don't come around for us very often, so for them to play as they did against the Premier League champions, they can go have a good break, hold their heads up high and they'll take a lot of confidence into next season I think," Brosque told aleague.com.au Young players like Terry Antonis were singled out by Brosque as key playmakers for the EPL fixtures, and he expects them to come away from the matches with invaluable experience. Sydney FC were left bruised and battered, after conceding the Premiers' Plate and the A-League championship to Melbourne Victory. Coach Graham Arnold will be under intense pressure for season 11 to earn the club a championship. Greece shortlists Stamboulidis Melbourne-born Haris Stamboulidis is tipped to play for Greece’s under-19s team in July Melbourne City's youth player, Haris Stamboulidis, is getting a lot more interest from Greece, despite his desire to one day play for the Socceroos. The Hellenic Football Federation has starting putting out its feelers, hoping to nab talented Greeks from the diaspora to fill their youth teams. Already playing two matches for Greece's under-19s in Ukraine this year, Stamboulidis has been shortlisted to play in the European Under-19 Championship in Greece in July. The former Northcote City and Heidelberg United boy has made no secret that his ambitions are to join up with the Australian national team, but as long as he's able to play for both, he'll be keeping his options open. At 18, Stamboulidis still has a bit of leeway before he has to decide who will win his allegiance. "Playing for their under-19s Terry Antonis (R) competes against Eden Hazard of Chelsea. PHOTO: AAP/DAN HIMBRECHTS. Socceroos rise in rakings Greece continues to fall, sitting outside the top 20 The Socceroos have climbed one spot to 63 in their FIFA rankings, still the fourth highest ranked Asian team behind Iran (41), Japan (50) and Korea Republic (58). Ange Postecoglou's men have a chance to boost their rankings in two weeks when they take on Kyrgyzstan in their first World Cup qualifying match. Australia have also drawn Bangladesh (166) , Jordan (103) and Tajikistan (139) in their group as they look to qualify for a fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup. Greece, on the other hand, has fallen one spot to 25, a far cry from its top 10 ranking in 2012. Cyprus has been boosted nine points to 87 after some strong results. Sitting on top of the rankings again is 2014 World Cup winners Germany, while Belgium has moved to second place, forcing Argentina down to third. Top 10 rankings: 1. Germany 2. Belgium 3. Argentina 4. Colombia 5. Brazil 6. Netherlands 7. Portugal 8. Uruguay 9. France 10. Spain is an honour, but of course, playing for Australia would be the ultimate honour," he told SBS’ The World Game. "I was born and raised in Australia, so of course my ambition is to play for Australia, which is my country," he said. Interestingly, Stamboulidis has been overlooked for Young Socceroos and Joeys selection, but has been working hard at increasing his profile at Melbourne City's youth squad. As he tackles university exams at the moment, Stamboulidis is hoping to transfer to US Ivy League college Colombia on a sports scholarship to extend his exprience. Having Manchester City connections thanks to his home team, Stamboulidis could be teeing up a trial for New York City FC. He was given a tour of the premises while visiting New York City a couple of weeks ago. Source: SBS World Game Haris Stamboulidis earlier this year playing for Greece’s under-19s. Aris readies for FFA Cup battle After the dust has settled on the mammoth South Melbourne, Melbourne Knights match on Friday, two other Greek-sponsored clubs will be entering their own FFA Cup matches this weekend. FFA Cup darlings South Springvale (Aris) will take on North Geelong Warriors at home on Sunday as they give the Cup a second shot. Last year Aris managed to get to the top 16 of the competition, succumbing to Palm Beach Sharks. The only Greek club to do better was Bentleigh Greens, which got to the final four. The Greens have squandered their second stab at the competition after they were beaten by the Ballarat Red Devils. It was a tough reality check for John Anastasiadis, who had very high expectations placed on him to ferry the team to the business end of the Cup. Now the Greens are left to contest the National Premier League title. A match down, the Greens are in good stead to steal top position off Heidelberg United as the two sit on equal points. Oakleigh Cannons also face a FFA Cup match on Sunday against former NPL team Bendigo City. They have the home advantage and are poised to clinch a win after Arthur Papas secured a 1-0 win against Green Gully last week. South Springvale (Aris) vs North Geelong Warriors Kick-off: 4.00 pm Warner Reserve - Springvale Pitch 1 Oakleigh Cannons vs Bendigo City Kick-off: 5.45 pm Jack Edwards Reserve Aris after their round 32 win last year. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES.
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