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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 November 2016
SPORT 26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2016 Ikonomidis scores maiden goal for Danish club DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Chris Ikonomidis (R) during the Group B 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Australia and Jordan at Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney earlier this year. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE VIA AP/DAN HIMBRECHTS. Socceroo squad member Chris Ikonomidis has had a breakthrough week at his new Danish club, where he had yet to secure a regular place in the starting 11. But two starts in five days and two strong performances in winning matches may go a long way towards helping him cement a regular place in the Danish Super League club. As well as playing 90 minutes in successive games, the 21-year-old winger netted his maiden goal for AGF in the first of these games, last Wednesday's midweek cup match, a 3-1 win over thirdtier club Holbaek. Ikonomidis also provided an assist for one of the other goals. His performance earned him a start in the following league match, five days later on Monday evening, against bottom of the table Esbjerg, which AGF won 6-2 thanks to a second-half five-goal spree. Speaking to AGF-TV after scoring his maiden goal for the club in the cup match, Ikonomidis said: "I think now mentally I'm more free and hopefully … the goals [will] now start rolling in and that will really help the team and it will also help my performance. "I've been training the last couple of weeks on my finishing with the coaches − doing extra work after training − so it [makes me] happy to finally see your work and see the rewards you get from it." It was a timely couple of performances for Ikonomidis ahead of Socceroo boss Ange Postecoglou finalising his squad for the World Cup qualifier away to Thailand in mid-November. Ikonomidis has now played eight matches in all competitions since joining AGF on loan from Lazio in September. He has started in five of those matches. Three FFV directors and interim CEO resign The FFV boardroom has lost its gender balance following the surprise resignation of three of its four female directors last Thursday week, leaving just one female among the five remaining directors on the board. Their exit was followed soon after by the resignation of interim CEO Cathy Acocks. The ructions upstairs at FFV have seen the exit of directors Tal Karp, Sandra Lordanic and Tammi Rose as well as acting CEO Acocks, whose departure follows close on the heels of the recently-resigned former CEO Peter Gomes, who departed in June. The FFV has remained silent on the reasons for the resignations. However, in a joint statement released to the Herald Sun, the three former directors indicated their reasons alluding to a recent board decision which they believed compromised their principles. "The board's governance and decision-making processes are inconsistent with our expectations of appropriate board processes," they said. "In particular we are unable to accept the approach taken by the board in respect of a recent decision which we believe compro- mises our role as directors." Although the directors' statement didn't give particulars of the decision, the Herald Sun believes it relates to a decision by the board to annul a 2014 FFV Tribunal guilty finding against lawyer, and former FFV board director, Aldrin de Zilva after he was charged with using offensive language and abusing a female referee at a junior match. The finding resulted in a two-year ban for de Zilva. The recent resignations continue to raise concerns about the organisation's governance and transparency, and about the board's stability. The election in March this year of three new board members − Antonella Care, Sezar Jakupi and Ken Steel − follows divisions in the past between the board and FFV members concerning the composition of the board and how board appointments were made. The future of the current board remains unclear, as does how and who will fill the newly-vacated positions. The FFV was not available for comment at the time of printing despite requests from Neos Kosmos. The Sydney-born Ikonomidis played for Sutherland Sharks in Sydney before moving to Italy in 2013 as a 17-year-old to join Lazio's youth team. He had to wait until being loaned out to Serie B club Salernitana before he made his senior debut in Italy. He made 14 senior appearances for Salernitana scoring a single goal.
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