After several months of preparation, the club started it’s FNSW PL2 season with an away trip to the south west of Sydney to take on Raiders Futsal, a club which finished second on the Club Championship ladder last season. Raiders Futsal always provides strong teams across all age groups and matches are often closely fought with increasing intensity as the age groups progress.
Development Squad Matches
As Raiders Futsal have no younger age boys teams below 11s, the Boomerangs 9 and 10 boys ended up travelling to Windsor to have a series of matches against the Mountain Majik club. The 11 boys and the 11/12 girls had early matches against Raiders Futsal opposition and acquited themselves very well. The 11/12 girls probably had the edge over their Raiders Futsal counterparts, who were a few players short of a full squad. The 11 boys were involved in a cracker of a match against Raiders with the two evenly-matched sides exchanging goals between periods of solid defence. All the 11 boys played well – with several of them rewarded with a bench spot with the 12 boys.
12 Boys: Boomerangs 3 – 12 Raiders Futsal (ht 1 – 5)
The result of this match showed that the 12 boys were not quite ready for the level of futsal the Raiders Futsal 12 boys team brought to this Round 1 match. The home team showed a level of teamwork, skill and constant pressure that couldn’t be matched by the travelling Boomerangs 12s – a team that was short five of it’s registered players for this match.
Despite the result, the boys will benefit from this outing and it will help them to better gel as a team and learn how to play together. There were promising signs from all players that hit the court, including the several 11 boys playing up from the development squad. They will certainly improve from this experience.
Goals to Daniel Obst, Cassidy Schlesinger and Wil McCloskey
13 Girls: Boomerangs 1 – 3 Raiders Futsal (ht 0 – 2)
The 13 girls match was a much closer and highly competitive affair, but with the same result as the prior match.
The girls were on the back foot after the home team scored twice in the first period. However, the effort and results lifted in the second half as the girls managed a 1-1 second half. The 13 girls have a lot of potential this season, and like the 12 boys, they will be better for this first outing and will learn important lessons that will help them improve individually and as a team.
Goal to Izzy Listar
14 Boys: Boomerangs 2 – 4 Raiders Futsal (ht 0 – 2)
The 14 boys were highly competitive in this match and were well directed by coach Jayde James-Ward. Whilst they created a few options at the offensive end, their defences were, at times, a little lax allowing the strong Raiders unit to take full advantage.
This was a good first hit out for the lads, but disappointing to lose in what was a winnable encounter, especially after their better second half showing. They will no doubt be looking for the reverse encounter at the AIS later in the season.
Goals to Josh Larson, Nick Pratezina
15 Girls: Boomerangs 4 – 4 Raiders Futsal (ht 4 – 3)
The 15 girls match was – unlike many girl’s games – chock full of goals in the first half. Each team’s offences clearly dominated the others’ defence and seven goals in 20 minutes saw the visiting Boomers take a narrow lead into the break. The disappointing aspect was that the girls let a 4-1 lead slip near the tail end of the first half by conceding two goals close together as the clocked ticked towards the break.
Both coaches must have stressed defensive efforts for the second stanza, with both teams tightening up their back-court and working hard on not allowing their opposition much space. A late goal to the home team in the dying stages of the match ensured a split result.
Goals to Elke Aitolu (2), Meg Roden, Teah Hayes
16 Boys: Boomerangs 5 – 2 Raiders Futsal (ht 3 – 1)
The 16 boys – well drilled by Coach Dowling – were on the mark from the first whistle in this match as they looked to assert some dominance over a team they have had some tough battles with over the past few seasons.
A strong defensive effort, coupled with efficiency in the front-court, meant that the Boomers 16s took a deserved two-goal lead into the halftime break. The second half saw them continue their strong performance and take the game away from the home side, that never really looked likely to get back into the match. A solid effort to start the season brings promise for the remainder.
Goals to Ollie McCarthy (2), Rob Tkatchenko, Cale Brown, Luca Macor
18 Women: Boomerangs 3 – 4 Raiders Futsal (ht 0 – 2)
The 18 women comprise many of the players that were so successful in last season’s dominant 15 girl’s team. The expectations are therefore high that they will perform solidly this season, even though the majority of them are at the younger age cohort.
The strong Raiders girls took the initiative early in this match and worked hard to not let the Boomers young women back into it. A two-nil deficit at the break became a three-goal deficit at 1-4 and with around six minutes to play the Boomers stand-in coach for the day, Nick van Aalst, decided to remove the goalkeeper and run a fifth-man power play for the remainder of the match. This worked to the extent that it produced goals – but alas, only two and not enough to overcome the deficit to secure any competition points.
These girls will do well this season but it may take them a little while to get to the level of the 18s, which will clearly be more challenging than 15s were last season.
Goals to Elke Aitolu, Stella DeMarco, Alex McKenzie
Youth Men: Boomerangs 5 – 4 Raiders Futsal (ht 2 – 0)
The Youth Men’s squad this season will rely heavily on contributions from some of the 16 boys playing up each week. With a fair chunk of last season’s successful youth team either now over age, playing overseas, or no longer playing futsal, the core group of eight players will be asked to put in a big effort each week.
And one of the biggest challenges of the season at the youth age group is always Raiders Futsal.
It was pleasing then to see these lads get off to such a great start for the season. Like the 16 boys, the lads started with an intensity and intent and were effective at both ends of the court. They were put under some fairly heavy pressure in the final minutes of the game but withstood that pressure to see off a strong-finishing Raiders, who levelled the match with ninety seconds remaining. An ice-cool ten-metre penalty finish to Nic Felizzi on the final siren ensured a worthy three competition points.
A great win with double scoring contributions from team captain Jayde James-Ward and from debutant, Nic Felizzi; and a trademark ‘goalsneak’ finish from Lachy Choundary.
Goals to Jayde, James-Ward (2), Nicolas Felizzi (2), Lachlan Choundary
Open Women: Boomerangs 3 – 1 Mt Raiders Futsal (ht 1 – 0)
After a successful 17/18, the women’s team were looking to back up on their trophy-winning season. Always seemingly a bit light on at the start of seasons, the women’s team regularly seeks contributions from some of the 18s – and they didn’t fail to contribute across the court – including registering on the score sheet (a debut Open Women’s age group goal from Ellen Brown).
A steady first half saw a single goal advantage at the break, but with both teams pushing a little harder in the second period, it was the Boomers women that prevailed scoring two goals to one in the final 25 minutes, with the first to Rachael Corbett, just seconds after the restart.
High hopes are again held for this team to uphold the Boomerangs tradition of strong senior women’s teams and to finish in the mix for the title – and to convert that to a Grand Final appearance and victory.
Goals to Rachael Corbett, Ellen Brown, Olivia Gurney
Open Men: Boomerangs 1 – 1 Mt Raiders Futsal (ht 0 – 0)
Prior to this match, the men’s team felt slightly underdone. Even though they have had several trial matches in recent weeks, and have had a decent stint at training, the intensity of competition was yet to be felt. The referees whistle at the start of this match was a signal though, that the season had started.
The lads worked hard from the outset – as they knew they had to against a Raiders team that always puts in 100%. The defensive effort of the Boomers men – and indeed of the Raiders – was massive and the first half could see neither team ask the scorer to lift their pen.
The second half saw the intensity kick up a notch as both teams knew that to score first would be a massive advantage in such a tightly fought contest. It was Daniel Giovinazzo for the travelling Boomerangs that broke the drought with a stunning solo effort around halfway through the second term. And as often happens, when one goal comes, others soon follow – and it was a lapse at the defensive end on a transition play that saw the home team level the score not two minutes later.
The intensity kicked up to another level again in the final stages of the match – with the referees doing their best to keep control of a game that was getting a little stretched. It ended with no further scores to either team and probably a drawn result that was a fair representation of the match. And surprisingly a senior men’s match without a single yellow card awarded to either team by the referees.
Goal to Daniel Giovinazzo
Part two of the three-week road trip start to the season hits next week, with a visit to Wollongong to take on the South Coast Taipans. The Taipans were last season demoted from PL1 and will be looking to hit back hard to take the Club Championship this season to secure their re-entry into the top flight – they will be challenging across all age groups – and they will be looking to back up after their winning away weekend against Sydney City Eagles.