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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 September 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2015 29 SPORT Bergers strike out against Pascoe Vale GEORGE STOGIANNOU Heidelberg United fans experienced the highs and lows that football can bring in the space of just four days as the Bergers made a surprise exit from the NPL finals at the hands of Pascoe Vale SC at Olympic Village last Sunday. The penalty shoot-out loss followed quickly on the heels of its FFA Cup success against Sydney United just four days before at the same venue. Finals football once again delivered on its promise of great drama, as fans witnessed a sudden death match which included a red card, a controversial goal, and culminated in a penalty shoot-out. The visitors looked sharper in the opening half and the home team definitely knew it had a challenge on its hands when defender Jamie Cumming saw red after he appeared to lash out at Pascoe Vales' Davey van't Schip. The visitors took immediate advantage after the break, when skipper Joseph Youssef fired the ball into the net. But the Vales' lead was short-lived as Heidelberg playmaker Andreas Govas equalised minutes later. An exciting second half produced further clear chances to Yousseff for the Vales and Heidelberg striker Dan Heffernan, without addition to the score before the completion of full time. Bergers fans thought they were on the way to the next final when wide forward Reuben Way put them ahead with a diving header early in extra time. However their joy turned to dismay when Jake Nakic equalised for the visitors early in the second period of extra time, with what was initially a disallowed goal for offside. The referee overturned the decision and the goal stood, sending the match to a penalty shoot out. That was the cue for Vales keeper Alex Pavlidis to emerge as the hero, saving the first two Bergers' penalties whilst the third struck the crossbar. In contrast, Pascoe Vale con- verted all three penalties to advance to another knockout NPL final, this time to minor premiers South Melbourne on Friday. (The match was played yesterday evening after this edition went to print.) Heidelberg United will now concentrate on the FFA Cup quarter finals. Young gun pushing for world domination Karate champ hopeful of someday competing at Olympic level JOHN PYRROS Athan Dritsas is an ambitious 17-year-old whose long list of accolades speaks volumes about his incredible talent. A national team member since 2011, he started karate in 2005, aged seven, and received his black belt three years later. Coming off a gold medal win at an Under/21 competition in his weight division last month, Athan has been crowned the 2015 Australian National Champion - which led him to being named in Australia's national team to compete at the Under/21 World Championships in Jakarta in November. With sport in his DNA from Heidelberg striker Dan Heffernan (L) in action against Pascoe Vale on Sunday. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. a young age, he puts himself through a gruelling regime to keep in shape for competition, all while completing his year 12 VCE studies this year - something he puts down to time management. "I train everyday, it is difficult this year balancing year 12, my fitness, karate, conditioning, but I have been managing it. I think time management is the most important thing when you're trying to succeed in something," he said. including Greece, the United States and Fiji, but competing in Indonesia in November is amongst his favoured achievements. "This year the biggest goal was getting to the World Championships again which is in Indonesia in late November. "Representing your country in your sport is one of the highest honours and being selected for world championships again is really a great honour and I'm very privileged and proud. I didn't want to get selected and say 'that's it', I'm going there for medals, to take first place, that's my goal." Athan after winning gold at the 2015 Australian National Championships. "Every morning before school I'll get up and I'll do a bit of stretching, a little jog around the block and some activation exercises, get the body going. On a Monday I'll do strength and conditioning, on Tuesday I do karate, Wednesday strength and conditioning, Thursday karate, Friday strength and conditioning, Saturday karate, and Sunday I'll do speed training like sprints, or some aerobic conditioning. I'm training every day for about two hours." The determined champion hopes to one day win gold for Australia at Olympic level - karate isn't yet a recognised Olympic sport, but it may be so by Japan 2020 - and at senior World Championships. His awards are countless, and have taken him to destinations around the world And the teen is quick to appreciate his support networks - none more so than his parents, who continue to sacrifice a lot to see him fulfil his dreams. "I've been very fortunate to have my parents supporting me, they're helping my brother (who also competes) and I travel, take us interstate, take us to training on a daily basis, so I've been very fortunate with that. Because karate isn't in the Olympics at the moment, I guess the funds are coming from my parents so that's why it makes it a little bit harder and more valuable for what they're doing for me. I'm very grateful for that." For the time being, Athan is hoping to find sponsors for his upcoming tournament in Jakarta and has created a Facebook page exhibiting his talent: go to www.facebook.com/pages/Athan-Drit-sas/772945002802350 Lozanovski resigns from senior coaching job at Northcote City GEORGE STOGIANNOU Northcote City FC announced the resignation of senior coach Goran Lozanovski last Tuesday week. Lozanovski coached Northcote for 101 games over the last four seasons and prior to that was assistant coach to Peter Tsolakis in season 2011. He brought championship success to the club, landing its first and only Premier League title in 2013 in just his second year at the helm. Club vice-president and football operations manager Peter Kotsiris said that Lozanovski's legacy at the club is a massive one. "Obviously bringing champion success to the club, the first coach to ever do it at the highest level. An incredible achievement. As far as the club's concerned, Goran will be a friend of the club for life. He set standards which the next set of coaches will have to try to beat, which will be a challenge in itself." Although season 2015 was a struggle for the senior team, finishing in 10th spot and unable to mount a challenge to make the finals, Lozanovski's resignation came as a surprise to the club. According to Kotsiris: "We were training for next season. Goran probably thought it was time to move on. He never indicated as much clearly, but it was obviously something he was wrestling with in his own mind. We respect his decision. We felt that we had to accept it, as difficult as it was, and we had to move on." "We're disappointed (to lose Lozanovski), obviously,” Kotsiris added, “because we're big on stability. We don't want to be turning over coaches. Unfor- tunately we had a high turnover of playing personnel which made Loza's job even harder, so it's going to be a challenge to whoever comes in." Kotsiris says the club would like to appoint a senior coach sooner rather than later, but stresses that Northcote won't be pressured or rushed into making a decision. "We need to be sure we're going to make the right decision. "The club is going to be looking for someone who understands the culture, the history of our club, understands the limitations of coaching our club. We're not a club that can go out and sign players for an astronomical amount of money like some other clubs, like the South Melbournes, the Bentleighs, the Oakleighs of this world. So, it's a challenge from that perspective. But having said that, we have a tremendous group of young talent. We've got more quality coming through as well. So we're comfortable with where we're at but we'll need to sit down with the incumbent and go through what he would perceive to be requirements for the coming season." Goran Lozanovski disappointed to miss out on finals in 2015. PHOTO: TOM POLLOCK.
29 August 2015
12 September 2015