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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 November 2015
SPORT 26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2015 South Springvale appoints skipper Aris as player-coach Drakos brothers take the helm at South Springvale GEORGE STOGIANNOU South Springvale's appointment of its 2015 senior skipper, Aris Drakos, as its player-coach for 2016 reflects in some ways the high regard in which both former coach Bill Lambropoulos and the player himself are held at the club. Drakos was one of a number of former premier league players who were brought to the club by Lambropoulos in 2013. In recognition of his leadership qualities, Lambropoulos had little hesitation in appointing Drakos captain of the team following the departure of Craig Metcalfe at the start of last season. And it was Lambropoulos who, following his resignation, recommended that the club seriously consider Drakos as its new senior coach. After interviewing a couple of other candidates, the club has entrusted Drakos with the coaching job despite the fact the 32-year-old has very little senior coaching experience. Drakos is unsure how he'll make the transition from player to player-coach but believes his 14 years’ experience as a Premier League player with Bentleigh Greens, Bulleen Zebras and Oakleigh Cannons will hold him in good stead. "To be honest, I think with my experience, I've learnt a lot from previous coaches," Drakos says. He reels off a list of names which includes George Calomino, Harry Chalkitis, Gary Cole, Peter Ollerton, Michael Michalakopoulos, John Anastasiadis. "These are people who have played at that highest level. I respect them all. If I can take a little bit from each coach, hopefully put it all together and have a pretty good side." He won't be on his own. Being a player-coach, he says, means he needs an experienced head on the sidelines. "My assistant is going to be my brother, Stelios Drakos. In the last two years, he's actually missed only two or three Senior coach Aris Drakos (R) and reserves coach Jim Orfanidis. South Springvale games, so he pretty much knows the team. I need someone with his experience on the sidelines to watch and I can't think of anyone better than my brother to come down and help. We should enjoy working together." The brothers have played together in a number of aforementioned Premier League sides. Drakos is hopeful he can keep most of the existing squad for next season and will look to emulate the success on the park of the previous two seasons. "The way Bill and Con (Tangalakis) set up the team was fantastic. I'll try to pretty much do the same. A few little adjustments here and there and hopefully I can continue that run. My whole thing is to try and keep as many of the boys as I can, see if I can bring one or two of my own players. Right now about 90 per cent are happy to stay. If I can bring in a couple of players here and there, I think the team will be pretty strong and competitive for next year." While South's appointment of Drakos would appear to emphasise a continuity with the previous couple of sea- sons, one man at the club who believes the future direction of the club also needs to include the young players is reserves coach Jim Orfanidis. "We're going to sit down with the new senior coach and the committee as well," he says. "It's all about direction for a club. You can't just let the club go off on its merry way. We all need a direction. And finally I can see that the club has made a decision on a direction, which is to build on and promote some of the youth we've got here. I've pushed this for a long time. It's good to see that will finally come through. But you still need that core of senior players as well. They've been around. Their knowledge can be filtered through to these boys." South Springvale has announced a fundraising event to assist loyal club member Con Kounelis and his family. Surgeons have recently amputated Kounelis' leg and the club is supporting him by holding a BBQ, raffle, auctions and jumping castles at a family day on Sunday 22 November at Warner Reserve, from 12 noon-5.00 pm. For further details, please contact Angela Argyropoulos 0401392 294. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM New signings bolster Greens’ defence GEORGE STOGIANNOU NPL title winner Bentleigh Greens is determined not to rest on its laurels and the team continues to inject new blood into its playing group. Having already bolstered its attacking third in the off season, and released some of its championship winning defenders, the team has secured the signing of a quartet of defenders to strengthen and deepen its defensive third in 2016. Late last week, the Kingston Heath club announced the signing of Milos Ridesic, Josh Brindll-South, Kane Pierce and Nathan Tidmarsh. Nineteen-year-old central defender Ridesic returns to the Heath after two years with Melbourne Victory Youth, while 23-year-old midfield/full back BrindellSouth joins from Brisbane's Lions FC after spending a two-year spell at Wellington Phoenix. Pierce is a 24-year-old keeper who also hails from Queensland but comes to the Greens via Tasmania's biggest club, South Hobart. Rounding out the quartet is 20-year-old left back Tidmarsh, who joins from Canberra club Gunghalin United. Greens CEO John Ioannou, speaking on the club website said: "All four boys are exciting young players who are ambitious as individuals and will no doubt increase competition within the playing squad who are determined to add more success in 2016." The Greens’ announcement of the new signings follows hard on the heels of its release of keeper Alastair Bray and defenders Steven Topalovic and Ryan Love. Source: www.bentleighgreens.com.au Kyrgios, Tomic overlooked for Newcombe Medal Duo not shortlisted at ceremony celebrating ambassadors of sport Australia's tennis 'bad boys' Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic have been excluded from the list of six finalists for the Newcombe Medal at the Australian Tennis Awards, after both endured a controversial 2015. The award commemorates ‘Australia's most outstanding elite tennis player and ambassador for the sport’. The six nominees include Kyrgios' fellow Greek Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, along with Samantha Stosur, Casey Dellacqua, Sam Groth, Dylan Alcott and John Peers. Earlier in the year Kyrgios received a 28-day suspended sentence along with a $35,000 fine for making a crude on-court remark to Swiss opponent Stan Waw- rinka in their second-round clash at the Cincinnati Masters in August. His compatriot Tomic found himself in hot water after going on a tirade against Tennis Australia at Wimbledon. Their exclusions come despite the pair being Australia's top ranked male tennis players, with Tomic ranked 18 and Kyrgios ranked 30 in the world. Kokkinakis finds himself ranked world number 78 despite reaching a career high 64 earlier this year. Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios on court together at the 2015 Australian Open. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/LUKAS COCH.
7 November 2015