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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 3 October 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2015 31 SPORT Oakleigh appoints Tsolakis and Tangalakis as new joint senior coaches Both coaches look to youth to build an exciting team GEORGE STOGIANNOU If Oakleigh Cannons' new twin coaching team brings the elusive success that the NPL club craves, the Cannons will owe a debt of gratitude to Port Melbourne Sharks. The new men in charge at Jack Edwards - Peter Tsolakis and Con Tangalakis - have a tight friendship forged in their days as teammates playing for Port Melbourne youth teams. Their vision for success at Oakleigh is rooted in that experience with both believing that a path to a successful future is paved through developing and promoting talented young players. The Cannons announced the unique coaching arrangement following the resignation late last week of Arthur Papas who, according to general manager Aki Ionnas, resigned because of demanding work commitments. Ionnas told Neos Kosmos "the club's very excited about their appointments”. “We spoke to a few candidates. We thought that Peter and Con were the appropriate fit for the club. We believe that Peter's done a great job The newly-appointed Oakleigh Cannons coaching team: (L-R) Mark Tsiorlas (senior assistant coach), Peter Tsolakis and Kostas Tangalakis (joint head coaches). PHOTO : KOSTAS DEVES. as a senior coach in previous years at Northcote and at South Melbourne. He's a great motivator and has an eye for young talent. And the same with Con. We believe Con's also got a special eye for young talent. Together with our core experienced players, we believe they can build a great team on the park." Whilst Tsolakis is new to the Cannons, Tangalakis is a former Oakleigh player (back when the club was in State Leagues), as well as a former assistant coach to Bill Lambropoulos when the pair was in charge of the Oakleigh youth team, and again when they moved on to South Springvale in State League SE1. He's also worked as an assistant coach to Joe Palatsides at Melbourne City youth. Tsolakis says of his new partner at the helm - "Con knows the Oakleigh mentality, the Oakleigh people so to speak. I've got a lot of respect for Con, what he's done in the community. He's a go-getter, knows what he wants and he gets results." Tangalakis, who has proven himself a success in the business community, is aware of the challenge ahead. "It's a huge challenge. I’m looking forward to it immensely, because being under people like Joe Palatsides and Bill Lambropoulos, guys I've been affiliated with in the last six to seven years and earning my stripes as a junior type coach, this will be a challenge to prove myself and see what I've learnt. "Oakleigh is a big club. It's an opportunity that has been given to me in good faith, by the committee. You know it's an honour that they've given me the opportunity. Big clubs like that are normally very stringent and precise with who they interview and who they give opportunities to. So at this stage it looks like they may have a bit of faith in me and Gus (Tsolakis) and we're hoping we're not going to let them down." Tsolakis has had close associations with South, Northcote and Port. When asked how he sees Oakleigh fitting into that landscape of Greek NPL clubs, he says "Oakleigh, in my opinion, (I'm talking about the Greek Community) is the biggest Greek club going around”. “They're in that hub now where they can tap into businesses, people. If they get a bit of success, I think they can get quite a few people behind them. In terms of football, I think personally they've underachieved. That's my personal opinion. And I stressed that to them. I said that with the resources they've got, they've underachieved and I don't mean that in a demeaning way against any coach or anything because I think all the coaches they've had have been sensation. They just haven't been able to take that next step to get that championship. They still haven't had that success that Oakleigh really deserves." Both Tsolakis and Tangalakis are firm believers that promoting talented youth PAOK host high-flying Olympiakos Another big derby in Thessaloniki tomorrow GEORGIOS HATZIMANOLIS Fresh off their incredible Champions League victory in London on Tuesday, Greek SuperLeague leaders Olympiakos Piraeus travel north to Thessaloniki on Sunday, where they take on an inform PAOK in the match of the round. Olympiakos shocked the football world on Tuesday when they beat Arsenal 2-3 at the Emirates Stadium, giving the Greek champions their first win in this season's UEFA Champions League. It was Arsenal's second consecutive defeat in the competition. Olympiakos winger Felipe Pardo put his side ahead in the 33rd minute, but home side Arsenal drew level just two minutes later through Theo Walcott. A schoolboy error by Arsenal's David Ospina, who dropped Kostas Fortounis's corner into his own net, allowed Olympiakos to regain the lead five minutes before the half time break. Arsenal then equalised for a second time through their Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez, only for Olympiakos to grab the lead for the third and final time with a goal by Icelandic international Alfred Finnbogason. The win was a big boost for the Greek side, who have also recorded five straight wins in the Greek Super League following their 5-1 thrashing of PAS Giannena last week. The goals arrived courtesy of Pajtim Kasami in the 31st minute, Costas Fortounis a minute later, and Alberto Botia in the 42nd minute. Giannena defender Themistocles Tzimopoulos gifted Olympiakos with an own goal in the 52nd before Jimmy Durmaz scored a penalty to make it 5-0. Giannena's only goal was scored by Andi Lila in the 86th. PAOK are also going into tomorrow's big game off a win in the Super League, after they came from behind for the second time in five days to beat Atromitos 1-2. Following their home win against AEK in Round 4, PAOK secured three more points against Atromitos when their new Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov brought them level with his first goal for the Macedonian club before Slovenian Robbie Mak scored the winner in the 90th minute. This week Atromitos take on AEK, who also scored a come from behind win last week, defeating Veria 1-2. Neto scored first for the home side before AEK drew level through Argentinean Diego Buenannote and eventually won the game with a stunning free kick by Portuguese midfielder Helder Barbossa in the 90th minute. The win means AEK is equal third with PAOK, both sides on ten points. In second spot is Panathinaikos with twelve points, following their hard-fought win 1-0 victory at home over last-placed Platanias on Sunday. Abdul Ajagun scored the winner with stunning strike from 25 metres out in first half injury time. This weekend Panathinaikos have a tricky away game at Xanthi, who are in ninth place with six points. Also this weekend, Panthrakikos host Levadiakos, while fifth placed Panaitolikos take on eighth placed Panionios, the two sides are only separated by goal difference. Giannena kick-off against Iraklis who have just five points from their five games back in the Super League after being promoted last year. Iraklis has failed to win any of its three home games so far. Kalloni play Veria in a very important game for two sides near the end of the table while on Monday Asteras Tripolis host the bottom placed team Platanias. will reap rewards for the senior team. Tsolakis believes the NPL points system, which is effectively a salary cap, is fantastic because it forces the clubs to look at the youth. "You've got to look in your own back yard which is what the FFA and FFV want to do. They want to promote juniors, and Oakleigh's got a really good junior set up. The other thing is John Kostopoulos (junior co-ordinator) - I played with John at Port Melbourne for many many years so I've got a really good rapport with him as well. I'm excited to work with him." Tangalakis is singing from the same hymn book when he says: "We're going to create a club environment where we're going to produce exciting soccer. We're going to bring through the ranks, the younger players. I believe a team that is successful, is a team which has got a lot of home grown players. You need to form a culture where everyone will play for each other." He recalls the successful Port Melbourne Youth teams that he and Tsolakis played in as teammates. "We were together many many years. We had created that bonding, that X-factor. We were playing for the strip, playing for the right reasons." That bond has held fast and Oakleigh fans will be hoping it can bring long-awaited success to the Cannons.
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