Day 3 of the Kanga Cup

Kiwis beat Foxes in great game

By Tim Foran

Three Kings United has a very strong girl’s senior team so it comes as no surprise that they have a very strong under-10 girl’s team playing in the Kanga Cup. Beating Belwest Foxes Football Club 3-1 in a very exciting match on Tuesday, it was easy to see why Three Kings United is one of the leading clubs in New Zealand.

Created in 1997 due to the merging of Eden Association Football Club and the Mount Roskill Association Football Club, Three Kings United is one of the largest football clubs in New Zealand and also one of the most successful. It is estimated that 15% of all youth teams registered by the Auckland Football Federation were made up of Three Kings United youth teams.   

Despite New Zealand’s main sport being rugby union, football is becoming increasingly popular including women and girls football and the girls team showed why today, playing some beautiful football full of passing and pleasing to the eye. With an extremely strong right side with Monica Mair and Sophie Michal combining magnificently throughout the game coach John Dosset was very pleased with the result and the effort shown.

“The girls actually play above their age group back home,” Dosset said. “They play under-12s and actually won that completion so we wanted to test ourselves and see where the girls are at plus give them a good experience. We thought that this team would give us the greatest test out of our pool and I’m delighted the way they played today.”

The girls also play a very pleasing brand of football, sometimes being asked to pass to each other a certain number of times before scoring to help improve their play. “Yeah they’re a very good team. The girls are very good and I’m extremely pleased with how were playing. We should make the finals,” said Dosset when asked on his team’s chances.

Australia beware, New Zealand football is coming to a field near you.


Ability will shine through at Kanga Cup

By Russ Gibbs

The Kanga Cup becomes even more inclusive in 2012 as the competition features, for the first time ever, an Athlete’s with a Disability (AWD) Over-14 division during the week-long festivities in the national Capital. The competition, in association with Capital Football’s Football-Connect program features four squads taking part in a round-robin event at Kaleen and Mawson during the week with the showpiece Grand Final match scheduled for Friday 13th July at University of Canberra SSG Field 1 with kick off at 12:30. The teams entered into this historic event are Football Connect (ACT), Special Olympics (ACT), Sport4All (NSW) and Just4Kicks Academy (VIC). Each team is guaranteed six matches in the round robin stage and it’s sure to be an inspiring display of football.

“We’ve been talking about trying to introduce an AWD division for a number of years now and we are proud that we have managed to integrate this division into the tournament for 2012,” Kanga Cup Tournament Director Adam Castle said. “It’s great that we have four teams entered into the inaugural competition and we can only envisage that this will grow from here in the forthcoming editions of the Kanga Cup.”

In 2011 Capital Football in conjunction with Weston Creek Soccer Club (South Canberra) and Belconnen United/Belnorth Football Club (North Canberra) launched a Football league specifically catering for athletes of all abilities. Participants were allocated a club close to where they live, received their own club shirt, attended weekly training sessions and participated in football matches weekly throughout the season with their own team at the Hawker Football Centre. The season commenced with just three teams (Belconnen/Weston Creek/Gungahlin) and fifteen players so to make sure everyone played in a competitive match each week the league invited a challenge team from the local community to take on one of the Football-Connect teams. With unprecedented numbers of player registrations as the weeks went on Majura and Woden Valley were quickly added to the expanded competition schedule meaning the league finished the last five rounds with five teams and a total of 45 registered players. This has been replicated in 2012 as the competition goes from strength to strength.

Capital Football Game Development Manager Pat McCann is the orchestrator of the AWD division at the Kanga Cup with his hard work and dedication in promoting football in the community for athlete’s with a disability, well known in local circles.

“It’s a coup for the Kanga Cup that we have managed to get this division off the ground for 2012,” McCann commented. “The athletes that are taking part are really excited to be a part of the Kanga Cup and are immersing themselves in the event. During the week we will also conduct we will conduct two exhibition matches with Football Connect U14 on Monday at Kaleen and Tuesday at Mawson both at 2:30pm. It’s a credit to the coaching staff of the four teams involved that the AWD division is off and running and we are hopeful that next year the number of entrants will grow and the friendships fostered throughout the week will reflect on the Kanga Cup mission statement of fun and friendship through football.

Football-Connect 14+: Andrew Hoatson, Liam O’Donnell, Lachie Foote, Ashley Kelly, Shaun Gower, Chantel Farmer, Eibhlis Norton, Travis Davis

Football Connect U14: Charlotte Bailey, Matthew Barrett, Max Grinsell-Jones, Chandler Leydon, Sam McCrossin, Dominic Rhynehart, Chloe Reid, Nathan Rosewarne, Olivia Runting


Dual role for Football West CEO

By Russ Gibbs

Football West CEO Peter Hugg has a dual involvement in this year’s Kanga Cup as he oversees the participation of clubs from Western Australia as well as having an interest a little closer to home for the Canberra public. For Hugg has family ties within the local Canberra football scene that sees him cheering for a number of team at the 22nd Kanga Cup.

“I have a young son who is playing for Marist in the under-14 Plate so I am watching him as often as I can as well,” Hugg revealed.

Hugg has a strong relationship with the Marist club having been one of the founder members of the football program within the school back when the hierarchy at the establishment often had eyes only for the oval ball game – rugby union.

“Many, many years ago, in the mid-seventies,” Hugg joked, “myself and a couple of other mates lobbied the Marist school governors, who were a fairly rugby orientated school ,to give football a go and we created a team and thankfully now, and over time, it’s turned into the biggest participation sport in the school.

“My role in promoting the sport in the school isn’t something I t usually reflect on but it’s something that has been brought home at events like these. So it’s sentimental and pleasing, but the bring thing about is it shows what our sport can offer. Hundreds of thousands of kids, both here and Canberra and throughout Australia play the game and love it.”

Travelling from Western Australia to a football tournament in Canberra is a major undertaking and it’s to the credit of Peter Hugg and Football West who support the clubs in their efforts to bring teams to the prestigious Kanga Cup competition every year. And, it’s the allure of the competition that brings the teams flying across Australia to take part.

“I think it’s because over time the Kanga Cup has just grown to be the most pre-eminent tournament for young players around the country and its grown in stature. It will continue to do so and once it gets more momentum people want to play against better teams and interstate sides from a club perspective rather than from a national championship point of view. Pleasingly there are also overseas clubs involved.

“We’ve always had the two teams involved over the years and this year we are represented by Perth Soccer Club one of the larger and more progressive clubs in Perth. I was down watching them yesterday and this morning and they are enjoying it very much and will hopefully be here for many years to come.”


Goals the order of the day for Rainbow Club

By Madeline Bonfini

The Rainbow club under-12 squad is in Canberra on a mission. They were initially a school team from Sydney but they have come together to form their own team especially for this competition to represent the Rainbow Club Charity.

The boys will be receiving sponsorship for every goal scored in this tournament. They hope to not only raise money but raise awareness about the charity. “We hope to promote confidence through sport” says the manager of the Rainbow Club squad. They have even managed to rope in a rugby player, who has never played football before, to join in on the action!

Rainbow Club Australia is a charity for children with a disability. The aim of the organisation is to “provide children with special needs the opportunity and confidence to explore and extend their abilities through sporting and recreational activities.”

This is the team’s first Kanga up together although this is not a new experience for many of the players as they have had the chance to participate in the competition in previous years. Many of the boys play for the representative team in New South Wales and they have certainly brought their skills and experience to the field.

The communication between the players is exceptional and they are all determined to score as many goals for the charity as possible. Participating in the competition for charity seems to give them more of a purpose and incentive to play.

The team is thoroughly enjoying their stay here in Canberra having visited the skate park and swimming pool together for some down time. “We are really enjoying playing for the Kanga Cup” says the Coach of the Rainbow Club squad, “Canberra has put on a good show.”


Charlie inspires Charlestown Blues for comeback win

By Tim Foran

Newcastle team Charlestown City Blues under-14 had a tough game against New Zealand team Oakura FC having to come back from 2-0 to eventually win 4-2. Despite being on top in the first half they were two goals thanks to a set piece and a shot from outside the box.

But a half time pep talk from coach Jim Folen did the job and the Blues come out on top. Both teams played a very technical and attacking style of play, however the Blues had slightly better weapons up front in the form of crowd favourites the quick little striker Bievenne Simba and the wing wizard Charlie Horsley who both got on the score sheet.

“He’s annoying” answered Folen when asked about Horsley. “He annoys the opposition’s fullback. Yeah he’s a good little player. Great kid. It’s just a great team really”.

Both the team and their coach thought it was great to see other teams from overseas and have the chance to play against them. “It’s good to play against other teams from overseas. It makes it a competition. And we get to meet new players as well” said one of the players.

“It raises the standard of the competition. The teams from overseas are very, very good teams. This team we played here from New Zealand are very good. It’s great for the boys to play against them”.

However this is not the first time the Charlestown Blues have played overseas opposition. A small nucleus of the Blues team went over to France and played some competitive matches against French teams as well. This group of players when added to the new boys who have been with Charlestown for about six months creates a dynamic and attacking team that will surely have a decent chance of going far in the tournament.

However Folen in content for his team to just enjoy themselves and develop as players rather than win games. ”Look we come here with no illusions. We just turn up for games and do our best. And you know I want the boys to enjoy it and become better players as well.”

Good luck to the Charlestown City Blues. They have a great coach and a great bunch of boys who hopefully will have a successful tournament and play with a grin on their faces which is what Kanga Cup is all about.   

Pinoy Streetcats on the prowl

By Russ Gibbs

There are hundreds of stories of how teams have managed to make their way to Canberra for the 22nd Kanga Cup but few take as much organization and commitment as that undertaken by Sorin Clenci on behalf of the Pinoy Football Streetcats from the Philippines.

The Streetcats will take part in the boy’s under-14 Cup competition and are looking forward to getting out on the fields of Canberra. The team enjoyed a pre-tournament run out at the Melba and District Playing Fields and took part in a friendly match against Canberra FC Girls under-18 team at the AIS last week ahead of the Kanga Cup.

 “The boys are looking forward to having a great time and to showcase the skills they have got,” Clenci said “They are obviously excited for the opportunity to come abroad and seeing a different country and meeting new people. We’ll see how they cope with the cold conditions. They weren’t so excited about that! But, they are kids and they’ll adapt and they’ll do it smilingly.”

It was evident from witnessing their first training session that the team was going to soak up every minute of their Australian adventure.

“It’s a big thing for them as individuals. They will see the opportunity to improve themselves and to be able to interact with people from different countries and cultures. Most of them have never left the Philippines before and they are excited to do their best! I won’t predict how they’ll go but with a bit of luck we’d like to win a match or two given that the competition over there isn’t as strong as here in Australia.”

Clenci’s efforts in coordinating the fund raising to get the team to Canberra have made him something of a hero to the boys as he explained how it all came about.

“Back in 2007 I went to the Philippines for a visit with my wife and I was looking for someone to play football over there with and I bumped into a group that played regularly and I’ve seen how the scene is over there,” he said. “It’s quite grim and football was poorly organised at that particular stage and I just felt that I could help a bit. Initially I wanted to collect football gear, balls and old boots and send them back to the Philippians and that’s how it started.

“I am one of the main people involved in this, but it wasn’t just me, even though I was probably the main motivator. I did get the help of my family and the team liaison. Bringing some kids to Australia to play takes a lot of money and I couldn’t have done it single-handedly. The community helped and the family helped and Mr. Reg Lazaro.”

The hope for the future is that this visit is the first of many for the boys from Pinoy.


Darwin Olympic in tune for first Kanga Cup appearance

By Russ Gibbs

Teams come from far and wide to participate in the Kanga Cup but few would have had to travel as far domestically as Darwin Olympic from the Northern Territory. Junior focused, Darwin Olympic Sporting Club is all about developing young players and has known about the Kanga Cup for some time without having the means to make the competition. But the foresight of three players has helped to make their dream come true.

“We’ve has always known about the tournament, but only established a junior club six years ago,” Team Manager Litsa Kougioumzoglou said. “ Three of the boys in the team wanted to make the Kanga Cup dream come true so, leading up to Christmas 2011 and under parental supervision, Andoni, Paraskos and Charlie went door to door singing Christmas carols with one playing guitar while the other two sung. Thanks to the three boys raising over $1000 the team was able to be registered.” 

Whilst the carol singing helped towards raising the requisite funds it was but one step towards the final total.

“We set a goal of $18,000 and we raised $20,000 proving what an effort fundraising can be,” Kougioumzoglou said.  “We held a number of events in the community including a DISCO DAY, an over 40’s soccer Exhibition Match between the Darwin Olympic Legends  versus Ellas Veterans Soccer Club, we had a number of soccer canteens, some raffles and generous donations from a number of sponsors in the community. We would like to thank Darwin Olympic Sporting Club for giving the kids the opportunity, our team sponsor ‘Diamond Property Group’, the Darwin Life Magazine, the Greek Orthodox Community NT, Ellas Veterans Soccer Club, Fannie Bay IGA, General Excavators, Holiday Inn, JN Mousellis,  HB Concrete,  Energy Electrical and all the people who helped with the fundraising events.”

When asked whether the team was excited about the competition Kougioumzoglou had no hesitation in responding.

“Absolutely! Under the guidance of Coach George Kougioumzoglou and Billy Mavros, the team is bound to do well, and while some of the boys haven’t experienced a southern winter before, competing in those conditions in a tournament of this calibre will be an experience they won’t forget!”

The team travelling to Canberra is the Darwin Olympic under-12 Team, which mainly consists of boys turning 10 & 11 playing up a division in the Darwin League.  The Team is currently on top of the ladder, 10 games undefeated with over 100 goals so should be a good chance to lift some silverware in the boy’s under-11 Cup.


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