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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 03 August 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 3 AUGUST 2019 27 SPORT winners WINNERS OLYMPIACOS Olympiacos have made it through to the third round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers, after a dominant 4-0 win against Czech side Viktoria Plzen at the Georgios Karaiskakis. The red-and-whites maintained a high percentage of possession throughout the encounter and were able to create several opportunities in front of goal, yet were unable to make the most of them until early in second half. The team from Piraeus showed it hasn’t lost much of last season’s attacking flair, scoring four goals while not allowing their opponents to get anywhere near their own area. Despite captain Fortounis’ absence, this Olympiacos team demonstrated early signs of working as a unit and providing fans with high quality football. Will they survive in the competition? That will need to be answered next week, as they take on third round opponents Istanbul Basaksehir. GREECE U-18 MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM The young guns are showing their mettle in the U-18’s Eurobasket tournament that is taking place in Volos. Despite their heavy loss by France in day two of the competition (80-55), Giorgos Vlassopoulos’ players were able to bounce back and claim a very important win against Slovenia (72-54) on the final day of the group stage that kept their hopes of winning a medal intact. The team was scheduled to play Finland on Wednesday night and, should they have made it through, they would SINNERS MACK HORTON In the same way that Shayna Jack could have been in this spot for her substance abuse, it is also appropriate for Mack Horton to be in this category for his position to condemn one of his fellow athletes that served his sentence and refuse to stand on the podium alongside him at the Guangzhou World Swimming Championships. An athlete is not a spokesman and there are rules and regulations that need to be followed. There are a number of things that athletes may not agree with but if they all take a stand against them during the games, then there will be no games at all. STEFANOS TSITSIPAS-NICK KYRGIOS Even though they seemed to get along outside the courts (which is an oddity for Kyrgios), the truth is the two didn’t seem to work much inside of it. Losing hands down to the much more synchronised Colombian duo of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, 3-6, 6-3, 5-10, for the round of 16 of the Citi open in Washington DC, it was obvious that they had little to not preparation for the tournament. Perhaps the single’s games is where their focus was, it’s difficult to say, but at least Tsitsipas gained one more follower on Instagram! McGrellis conducts a recent coaching workshop with young players in Broome PHOTO BYFH.COM Olympiacos start season in spectacular fashion sinners & by alex anyfantis Just as every week, we choose the Winners and Sinners of Greek and Australian sport Bentleigh Greens look to Mc Grellis GEORGE STOGIANNOU Bentleigh Greens technical director of six years Frank McGrellis was overseas with an U 17's youth team in Bangkok last week, when he received an unexpected SOS from the club to take over the reins as senior Greens coach for the remainder of the year, following the sudden departure of coach John Gabrielson. McGrellis has answered the call to help the club despite a busy work schedule. Speaking to Neos Kosmos this week, the popular Scot whose last senior coaching job was at Malvern City (followed by an assistant coach's role for a season at Bulleen Lions), said: "Bentleigh has proved themselves to be up there with the best NPL clubs in the country. So to get the opportunity, even in the short term, to try and motivate and get enthusiasm into the guys, and try to turnaround an inconsistent period. Yeah, that's a bit of an honour." The youngster of the Greek U18 Basketball team made it through to the last 16 of the European basketball competition in Volos. PHOTO: APE/MPE face the winner of the Serbia vs Lithuania tie in the quarter finals. Yet even making it this far is a huge accomplishment that proves the vast wealth of talent Greece has in the sport. GOLD MEDAL GREEK ROWERS Greece has won its second Gold medal at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in the United States. Just one day after Christina Bourmpou and Maria Kyridou triumphed, setting a new fastest time in the Women’s Pair, Anneta Kyridou and DimitraSofia Tsamopoulou won the gold medal in the Women’s Double Sculls, finishing on 7.04.20. Kyridou and Tsamopoulou shot into the lead from the beginning, but it was a tight final with Australia, Hungary, Germany and China. It soon turned into a battled between Greece and Australia, but the Greeks ended up being the best sprinters with a higher stroke rate. Australia came second with 7.07. 77, following by the Hungarians in third, with 7.11.68. “That was a really hard race for us,” said Kyridou after the race. “But we came here to win the gold which we’ve been training all year for. It was hard until the last stroke but we did it!” The championships were held in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. The inconsistent period McGrellis mentions is exemplified by the drop in percentage games won in the second half of the season. In the first half of the season, the Greens won 70 percent of their matches but in the second half, that figure has dropped to around 40 per cent, as well as being eliminated from the FFA Cup/ Dockerty Cup competitions. Despite knowing early in the pre-season that long term coach John Anastasiadis would depart to take up an A-League appointment, the club opted to retain the coach for the first half of the season before handing operations over to his assistant. Despite this seemingly smooth transition, there was speculation as to how the team would fare following Anastasiadis' departure as well as that of key forward Valentino Yuel. McGrellis said that it's probably an expectation that you are "going to have some ramifications" when you lose a quality senior coach and a quality senior striker to the A-League. The aim for the remainder of the season is to win “ every game and see how that develops. "Was that the factor (in the inconsistent results) or was it the transition from Johnny A to Johnny G with the players?" he asked. "Was that a factor or not? It's hard to pick. But the inconsistency has obviously affected the feeling of the club. Valentino was a big loss. In the window when they departed, we basically had five new players come in. Of the five we've only had two consistent starters, Futa Nakamura and Mario Illich. Was that a factor? With a club like Bentleigh, the expectation and ambition of the club is to get results. And if you're talking around 70 per cent, you want to keep and maintain that sort of percentage. Forty per cent over 10 games won going into finals. Is that an expectation Bentleigh can accept?" Bentleigh has always been a creative team, but in past seasons has also been very solid defensively. This season it has conceded more goals already than in nearly all its previous NPL seasons. McGrellis says this is an area that needs to be addressed. "Absolutely, and we've tried to address it already. It's easy to blame the goalkeeper and the back four, but the expectation in modern football is you defend from the front. We've conceded by far the most goals of any of the teams in the top eight of the division. And it's not Bentleigh like. Obviously there's a pattern there that we're trying to turn around. And that's a factor of where we're at." What looked like a threehorse race between Avondale, Bentleigh and Heidelberg United for the Premier's Plate, now looks increasingly like a two horse race between the Bergers and Avondale following Bentleigh's inconsistent run of late. McGrellis says the aim for the remainder of the season is "to win every game and see how that develops." Asked if the players and the club still retain a belief that they can contend for silverware at the end of the season, McGrellis said, "Look, we're inconsistent in results over a period of time, and that can even go back to when JA was at the club. We're inconsistent over 90 minutes because we're totally dominating matches for patches of the 90 minutes, but for some reason we go in our shell and we don't look like what Bentleigh's been like. So, we're still confident in the squad, that we can A. create, and if we can B. close up at the back and not concede as many goals, that we can still be a part of the finals right until the grand final."
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