Round two of the Football NSW Premier League 2 competition had the Boomerangs Club travel to Wollongong to take on the South Coast Taipans at the University of Wollongong.
A Wollongong away trip always seems a lot closer than the Sydney sojourns, and the glimpses of ocean and beach add value to the weekend – especially for those players and families that combine this away trip with a short weekend break.
Futsal rounds at the Taipan’s home at the University of Wollongong are always hotly contested and fairly even affairs and this trip proved to be no different, with the Taipans winning more of the day’s matches, but the Boomers coming home with more Club Championship points (calculated on seven age groups, 14 boys and older).
Development Squad Matches
The Taipans have a great junior development program and it was terrific for our Academy/Development teams to be able to play some really competitive matches against the youngest from the Wollongong region. The matches were, on the whole, fairly evenly contested with only a few one-sided games amongst them. Importantly, the games gave the youngest players and their coaches more opportunities to develop as individual players and as teams – and early in the season, this is already starting to show.
It’s also always good to see the juniors hang around for a while after their matches to support the older age groups compete – they learn by listening and doing, but also by observing the skills, passing, positional plays and teamwork of the older age groups.
12 Boys: Boomerangs 0 – 12 South Coast Taipans (ht 0 – 7)
This week’s match panned out much like Round 1 for the 12 boys. It appears they have come up against two of the stronger sides in the 12 boys competitions in the first two rounds, and have suffered at the hands of their opponents in both. They will learn from this experience – and extra work on defensive structures will be needed to stop leaking goals. Only then will they be able to focus on converting their forward forays.
Ladder Position: 7th
13 Girls: Boomerangs 0 – 3 South Coast Taipans (ht 0 – 2)
Much like the Round 1 match, the 13 girls were once again highly competitive in this match against the Taipans. They show good teamwork, individual skills and capacity – for the most – to put in good defensive efforts. The ability to put the ball in the back of the net is holding them back a little – but most else they do is working well.
Conceding two in the first half will always put you on the back foot – unless you can grab one back early in the second stanza. The match was closer than the score suggests, and no doubt when the girls find their scoring ‘mojo’, the wins will follow.
Ladder Position: 6th
14 Boys: Boomerangs 3 – 5 South Coast Taipans (ht 1 – 3)
The 14 boys match closely replicated the Round 1 match against Raiders. Down by two goals at the break, followed by a more competitive second half at two goals apiece. Futsal – like a lot of sports – is a simple game. At its core, it’s about scoring more than the opposition – and to that end, conceding first always puts you on the back foot.
The boys will be looking to tighten their first half defences to be able to be ahead, or at least level at the break so they can reap full reward from their solid second half efforts. Perhaps then they will be able to work their way up the competition ladder.
Goals to Ethan Yuen, Max Trushell, Nabil Djomani-Ousmane
Ladder Position: 7th
15 Girls: Boomerangs 3 – 3 South Coast Taipans (ht 1 – 1)
The 15 girls match was again another closely fought encounter – and like their Round 1 match, ended in a share of the spoils at three all. The match momentum see-sawed back and forth across both teams, but with neither really able to take full advantage at any given stage.
If the girls want to finish the season playing finals futsal, they will need to start converting some of these draws into wins for the maximum three competition points. The ingredients are clearly there to see, but perhaps a little ‘fire in the belly’ would see them grab some all-important victories.
Goals to Jade Brown (2), Meg Roden
Ladder Position: 6th
16 Boys: Boomerangs 2 – 2 South Coast Taipans (ht 2 – 1)
The 16 boys again put in a solid effort against what appears to be a strong Taipans 16 boys outfit. A low scoring affair for a 16 boys match, the lads put in a huge first half with a great defensive effort across the court and two terrific goals to take a slender lead into the break after conceding in the final minute of the half – halving the lead.
The second half, while again full of intensity and pressure, saw only a solitary goal to the home team, ensuring the competition points were shared. Next’s week’s match may be a bit more challenging, up against the yet-to-be-defeated Sydney Futsal. The lads will need to be well switched on for that one if they want to maintain their top four position on the ladder.
Goals to Rob Tkatchenko, Stef Vucic
Ladder Position: 3rd
18 Women: Boomerangs 2 – 1 South Coast Taipans (ht 1 – 0)
The 18 women’s match was, in many ways, similar to the 15s. A closely fought match with little separating the two teams this early in the season. A solitary goal to Caity Listar with three minutes to play in the first period gave the visiting Boomers young women a slender advantage at the break.
Both teams came out of their half-time huddles with renewed vigour, but it was the visiting Boomerangs, with a goal to Alex McKenzie, that grabbed the ascendency soon after the break. The two-goal advantage lasted but a minute with the Taipans replying, but the Boomers ladies played with strength and confidence for the remainder of the match to hold on to their three competition points.
Goals to Caity Listar, Alex McKenzie
Ladder Position: 5th
Youth Men: Boomerangs 4 – 3 South Coast Taipans (ht 3 – 2)
After last round’s heart-stopping finish in the Youth Men’s match against Raiders, it was hoped that this match’s three competition points could be secured earlier! Alas, the Youth men’s teams forever have been producing heart-stoppers, and another one ensued in Wollongong against the Taipans youth men.
After the home side grabbed an early advantage (2nd minute), the visitors needed to lift their intensity to make it a contest. And that they did producing three goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead into the break.
The second half produced more control and increased defensive efforts from both teams. The home team levelled it up at 3-3 with 14 minutes remaining in the match and looked to be gaining match momentum. The increased defensive work rate held firm for the Boomers, and when an opportunity presented itself – yet again to ‘the finisher’ Nic Felizzi, he made no mistake producing his second match winner in succession in the game’s dying moments.
Goals to Jayde, James-Ward, Andrew Aitchison, Rob Tkatchenko and Nicolas Felizzi
Ladder Position: 1st
Open Women: Boomerangs 1 – 3 South Coast Taipans (ht 0 – 3)
The Taipan’s women’s team have been strong performers in recent times, and it appears this season will be no different. The visitors scored very early in the match (2 minutes) and again half way through the first half. They added to that with a third on the half-time whistle, whilst the visitors could do little themselves at the offensive end to break down the solid Taipans defensive systems.
The Boomers women came out with renewed vigour after the break and looked the most likely to score – but could not put the ball in the back of the net until the final seconds of the match where a penalty was converted.
A disappointing result for the women’s team given that these are the types of matches they need to win if they are to replicate last season’s results.
Goals to Grace Basser-Silk
Ladder Position: 6th
Open Men: Boomerangs 9 – 2 South Coast Taipans (ht 8 – 0)
What can you say about this match? Especially the first 25 minutes. Eight unanswered goals and hat tricks to both Mikey Rinaudo and Nick Rathjen – all before the half-time break.
During much of this stunning first-half performance, it looked like a training drill. The first touch passing was at times superb, the finishing sublime…. but this stemmed from the enormous defensive pressure by all four court players high up the court for almost the entire first 25 minutes. The hapless Taipans had trouble stringing together more than one or two passes at a time without coughing up the ball due to the intense offensive pressure.
It may be a while before we see a half of futsal like this again, but it was a pure delight to watch. The second half was a much more even affair with the Taipan’s charges responding to the half time rocket delivered by their coach. In many ways, the Taipans took the points from the second half as the Boomers tried to – unsuccessfully – replicate their first half performance.
If the men’s team can replicate this kind of form throughout the season, they will certainly be a force to be reckoned with for the remaining 12 matches of the regular season and into finals. It is though, very early in the season, and there is much work to be done – and there are strong teams in this competition that will provide a stiffer test than the Taipans did during the first 25 minutes of this match day’s final offering.
Goals to Mikey Rinaudo (4), Nick Rathjen (4), Daniel Giovinazzo
Ladder Position: 4th
Part three of the three-week road trip start to the season takes the club to Redfern to take on Sydney Futsal Club.