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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 October 2015
SPORT 30 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Yarraville striker sweeps up FFV State League Awards Wright, McRae and Zaenn win Golden Boot award GEORGE STOGIANNOU Yarraville FC striker Darcey den Ouden enjoys using his pace and power to terrorise opposition defences, much like one of his football idols, Welshman Gareth Bale. And it's that direct style of attack that has caught the eye of those who vote for end-ofseason awards. The 20-year-old polled 23 votes to win the 2015 Best and Fairest medal for State League 2 NW. Along the way, he netted 16 goals to also win the Golden Boot award for top scorer in the division. The young den Ouden's goals proved instrumental in Yarraville finishing runners up to Banyule City in the league and winning promotion to State League 1 NW for the first time. The forward is quick to recognise the role of his teammates in helping him to win the individual awards. "Having good players around you and a strong team always helps. If you're playing in a team that's doing well, and giving you good service, having a core focus of achieving the goals of getting promoted as a club, you know it always puts you in the right frame of mind to do your best," he told Neos Kosmos. Den Ouden played his junior football at neighbouring Altona City, making his senior debut at just age 15, under coach Charlie Egan. When Egan left to take up the reins at nearby Yarraville, the teenage striker soon followed and he has played there for the last three seasons. Coach Egan describes den Ouden as "a strong kid, tall and very fast and powerful. You could say he's explosive". He believes that although he is yet to reach his peak, having played regular senior football over the last four seasons has allowed him to feel settled and that has contributed to his fine season. He also believes den Ouden has been happy playing at Yarraville. "Obviously our attacking style of play suits him. He's just a nice kid, very grounded." Den Ouden, who is studying a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Melbourne Uni, is at a club which has been happy to accommodate his study demands. "When I signed him to Yarraville, I assured his dad training wouldn't get in the way of his studies,” Egan siad. “He was good for us and we were good for him. I think the environment played into his good season. He was just happy to be around the place." He credits coach Egan for encouraging him to take risks in his game. "Charlie being a striker himself when he was playing, has been very helpful. His style for attacking players, is when you're in your attacking half, play with freedom and just take risks. And I guess having him around me, encouraging me to take on players and take risks is very helpful. A lot of other coaches wouldn't do that. They might focus more on retaining the ball in the forward half." With good strikers always in demand, the awards are sure to raise his profile and bring him under closer scrutiny from other clubs. This could mean offers from bigger clubs and difficult decisions to make between staying at a club he clearly enjoys being part of, or moving on to the next big challenge in his development as a footballer. Darcey den Ouden says he isn't sure what the awards might mean for his future in football. "I basically keep an open mind and any opportunity, I'll analyse it on its merits. I'd love to stay at Yarraville next year. State 1 is a very good league. It's a massive step up for me. We've got a really strong team and the culture at Yarraville is so unique and such a positive culture. I think that really helps in terms of building a strong team and having team chemistry. That's going to help you." Coach Egan believes that den Ouden won't have a problem playing State League 1. He told Neos Kosmos: "I sent him down to Port Melbourne at the start of the season, but I knew when I sent him there that he would come back to us because he still had that little bit of immaturity - I mean, I think we were a bit of a safety blanket for him. He was happy and comfortable. The next step he will have to take is, I believe, to move on. I don't want to lose him, don't get me wrong. I think he's more than capable of playing higher. I do believe he could do a job. If he was playing Premier League, for example, he would get more training for a start. If he was prepared to put in the extra commitment, I don't see that there's anything that could hold him back." In State League 5 North, Mill Park's successful titlewinning season was capped off by Roger Demelo's win in the league's Best and Fairest. Demelo polled 21 votes to win the medal by seven votes. His Mill Park team mate Taleb Zaenn hit the net Yarraville’s Darcey den Ouden warms up before a match. PHOTO :DAMJAN JANEVSKI. 18 times to win the league's Golden Boot award. Other Golden Boot award winners included FC Clifton Hill's Adam Wright who scored a phenomenal 30 goals over the course of the season, helping the Hillmen The sky’s the limit for 12-year-old Greek athlete First-time champion at the National Boulder Climbing Competition in Ballarat THEODORA MAIOS The sky is the limit for Greek athlete Theodora Kasimidou. The determined 12-year-old competed at the National Boulder Climbing Competition last Friday 9 October, ranking first amongst 12 of her peers in the Youth C 2002-2003 category in Ballarat. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses, with bouldering ‘problems’ usually less than six metres (20 feet) tall. The sport originated as a method of training for roped climbs and mountaineering and - as a result of its growing popularity - the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has included the sport into its short list for the 2020 Olympic Games. Theodora moved to South Australia with her family three years ago when her academic parents accepted a transfer to South Australia from the Greek Ministry of Education. She is the only girl to have competed from the state of South Australia in the Youth C 2002-2003 category, and attributes her success to determination and hard work. "I train nearly every day for about three hours each day and the thing I love the most about bouldering is that - ultimately - it is a game of strategic moves which keeps both the mind and body active. "Bouldering is a challenge and I love challenges," says the talented athlete, displaying maturity and determination beyond her years. Theodora admits that ‘bouldering’ is also a social outlet where she enjoys the at- tention and friendship of her peers - who are all much older and more experienced than her. "I love going for training and I get along really well with all age groups," Theodora adds, while admitting to feeling extra special every time she feels under pressure when completing a ‘problem’ and the voices of her peers are cheering her on. " 'Come on Theo', they tell me and give me so much strength and positive vibes." For Theodora's family, bouldering is much more than just a sport. It helps their daughter develop her social skills while improving her concentration and discipline. "When we first arrived from Greece all Theodora wanted to do was to go back home, but now that bouldering has become part of her life, she doesn't want to let it go," her mother Marie Kosmarikou tells Neos Kosmos. Theodora feels excited about the outcome of the competition and hopes it will be the first of many; nevertheless she doesn't want the win to be all about her. "It is not all about me. "I feel so proud for all Greeks in Australia but also for all the people in South Australia," she says. finish second on the ladder. One would think it's just a matter of time before an NPL club comes beckoning. In State League 3 S, Caulfield Cobras front man Steve McRae won the Golden Boot scoring 14 goals.
10 October 2015
24 October 2015