The F-League fifth chapter has expanded yet again with the Men’s and Women’s Competitions consolidating Australia’s east coast and offering up the country’s most exciting Futsal talent for an intriguing winter.
The nine-team Men’s and seven-team Women’s round-robin features almost every national player, former internationals, dozens of state representatives and some of the country’s best up-and-comers… coached by some of the sport’s legends.
Kickoff’s scheduled for this Saturday, so it’s good luck to all clubs, players and officials as they contest Australia’s elite Futsal Club Competition.
Men’s F-League ready to rock
Nine teams stretching across Australia’s east coast – NSW (3), Victoria (2), ACT (2), Queensland (2) – with new entrants Bayside Pirates and Galaxy FC adding extra spice to what should be a riveting Men’s F-League season.
Defending Champions Dural Warriors will quite rightfully have a huge target on their backs following a dominant unbeaten 2014 F-League display, winning 16 straight games culminating in a 3-1 Grand Final win over closest rivals East Coast.
There were 14 different Dural scorers last year but the Warriors have lost some key personnel this winter – particularly Toby Seeto who’s semi-retired from Futsal and Jarrod Basger’s now with Inner West – to place the title-holders in a redevelopment phase. Having said that, they are coming off a fourth straight Football NSW Futsal Premier League triumph that didn’t reveal a hiccup in their willingness and ability to succeed under stalwart coach Rob Varela.
The 2015 title will again be threatened by a far more experienced East Coast Heat, who were excellent value in finishing second to Dural last winter and putting up a solid effort in a 1-3 Grand Final loss to Warriors. Futsal gurus Chris Zeballos, Daniel Fulton, Daniel Martinez, Lachlan Wright and Shervin Adeli join a line-up that already includes Harley Da Silva, Jordan Guerreiro and Peter Spathis in the goalkeeper’s jersey to put the Heat well in contention.
Inner West Magic enters the F-League fray for the first time with a gun-team of Futsal stars ready to make an immediate impact. Two of last year’s top four F-League scorers Jarrod Basger and Daniel Bennett join the likes of Michael Cimino, Miles Downie, Daniel Fogarty, Dean Lockhart, Daniel Vellonio and Isaac Wadick, with legendary glovesman Angelo Konstantinou between the sticks.
Vic Vipers will be their usual obvious menace with all-time Futsal greats Jonathan Barrientos, Adam Cooper, Thiago Priori, Miguel Barrigos, Konrad Machoy and Matthew Vragovski in their ranks to ensure they’ll be competitive. And they’ll be salivating for another crack at the AFC Futsal Club Championships after a tough run in China last August (see more below).
Boomerangs can never be taken lightly and their depth of Territorian talent is yet another elite competition year better to again prove difficult to overcome. Jason O’Dwyer, Keiran Stroh, Jake Wilsener, Callum Smith and Jonathan Ciminelli will be driving force behind their success but the swift development of their young brigade will probably end up making the most difference.
South Brisbane and Capital FC both endured tough F-League seasons last winter (two wins between them), and new entrants Bayside Pirates (Vic) and Galaxy FC (Qld) are unknown entities in Australia’s best Futsal Club Competition, but they each represent a definitive market for Futsal where there is plenty of room – and vision – for growth and development.
You can expect South Brisbane and Capital to be better prepared for the F-League demands ahead of them, and we hope Bayside and Galaxy can also offer something to an expanded F-League.
The 2015 season kicks off on Saturday (May 9) with Galaxy FC facing Inner West Magic at Queensland’s Eagles Sports Complex (1pm) followed by South Brisbane versus Inner West (4.30pm). At Logan Metro Sports Centre on Mother’s Day, Galaxy FC tackle Vic Vipers (9am) and South Brisbane play Vipers (12.30pm). At Canberra’s mpowerdome on Sunday, Boomerangs meet Bayside Pirates (11am) and Capital welcome Bayside Pirates (3pm).
Men’s 2015 F-League line-ups
Mohammad Alsarraf, Edem Ayayi, Jesse Bailouni, Clayton Chappell, Jonathan De Biase, Roland De Biase, Anthony Elmer, Juan Forero Torres, Thomas Forster, Roger Lai, Brendon Maokhamphiou, Nathan Meneses, Daniel Rizio, Ruea Ruea, Nebojsa Stojkovic, Kimus Tak, Christopher Triantafilopoulos, Ian Twist, Alex Valente, Daniel Ventura, Hayato Yamada
Grant Barlow, Benjamin Basser Silk, Jonathan Ciminelli, Kristian Collins, Ashley Collins, Grant Davoren, Daniel Fabrizio, Daniel Giovinazzo, Tully Keegan, Tom McLachlan, Jason O’Dwyer, David O’Gorman, Nikolas Popovich, Nicholas Rathjen, Michael Reeve, Brad Sawyer, Callum Smith, Zachary Sorenson, Keiran Stroh, Nicholas Van Aalst, Harry Williams, Jake Wilsener
Kenrick Beuth, Aidan Brown, Adam Exposito, Jason Farrell, Brett Forward, Dylan Garcia, Cameron Gordon, Brandon Hawker, Raymond Moon, Richard Moon, Lachie Riddell, Slavisa Stojilovic, Michael Sydney, Chris Trajanoski, Ryan Tredinnick, Victor Yanes
Jacob Basden, Alastair Bruce, James Brunacci, Daniel Burns, Corey Finch, Gregory Giovenali, Wade Giovenali, Brendan Hoyer, Glen Kelshaw, Kaan Kilinc, Vic Koutsoufis, Daine Merrin, Bradley Mitchell, Nathan Niski, Nathan Philips, Bruno Pivato, Chris Polkinghorne, Daniel Polkinghorne, Blake Rosier, Nicholas Starr, Brandon Vella, Peter Xenos
East Coast Heat
Shervin Adeli, Jun Arima, Harrison Bagot, Mark Brackenrig, Nathan Clissold, Dominic Cox, Harley Da Silva, Jamie Dib, Aaron Fraser, Daniel Fulton, Jordan Guerreiro, Conor Irwin, Shaun Irwin, Rodney Lewin, Michael Loupis, Andrew Luttringer, Grant Lynch, Daniel Martinez, Matthew Mazevski, Clayton Musumeci, Mitomo Somehara, Peter Spathis, Stephen Spirou, Lachlan Wright, Christopher Zeballos
Reza Behbahani, Jayden Anthony Bordin, Jarrod Bravin, Dylan-James Cairney, Tuan Cao, Scott Fenn, Adam Finocchiaro, Nestor Fonseca, Jean-Philippe Lasm, Vinicius Leite, Marcio Lyra, Sam Meyer, Faris Noor Rani, Brett Richardson, Samim Rohani, Gerardo Soto, Mason Vojdani, James Weidmann
Inner West Magic
Domenic Badolato, Jonathan Barzel, Dylan Basger, Jarrod Basger, Daniel Bennett, Michael Blancato, Cristian Ciampa, Michael Cimino, Miles Downie, Robert Ezekiel, Daniel Fogarty, Daniel Fornito, Laureano Gomez Castro, Brian Griffin-Colls, Angelo Konstantinou, Matthew Lecce, Dean Lockhart, Roberto Maiorana, Jordan Mundell, Marino Musumeci, Jordan Pyne, Matthew Rosenberg, Daniel Vellonio, Isaac Wadick, Joshua Yeates
South Brisbane FC
Nicholas Baker, Samuel Beaden, Dallas Dack, Andre Gimenez Barbosa, Jayden Hewitt, Yoel Jogiono, Rohholla Mohammadi, Rhys Pope, Marcio Ribeiro, Daniello Romano, Joshua Sewell, Caleb Urlich, Jarrod Vlaanderen
Shayan Alinejad, Christos Apostolakis, Robert Armellini, Maxim Avram, Jason Barrientos, Jonathan Barrientos, Miguel Barrigos, Adam Cooper, Alistair Dunlop, Diego Garcia, Gabriel Lucena, Konrad Machoy, Kui Mu, Kieran Pates, Thiago Priori, Ryan Timmins, Matthew Vragovski
Men’s F-League Premierships
2011: Victorian Club Inner City won the inaugural six-team F-League Premiership in 2011, pipping Dural Warriors at the post by two points with third-placed Maccabi Hakoah storming through to win the Grand Final trophy against St Albans Strikers and book their place at the AFC Futsal Club Championships. Fourth-placed Strikers made the finals on 21 points, 10 behind Inner City.
2012: Dural were runaway 2012 Premiership winners (no finals that year) – a 10-game unbeaten run to start the winter laying the platform for an eight-point victory over East Coast Heat by season-end. The Warriors kicked 108 goals in 14 matches (hitting double-figures four times including a 20-1 last-round win over Strikers) and only three teams got within four goals of them (Vic Vipers in a 3-4 loss and 5-4 win, and Heat in a 1-1 draw). Fourth-placed Boomerangs finished on 24 points, 13 behind Dural.
2013: A shaky Warriors allowed a more-consistent Vic Vipers to creep up on them and steal the 2013 Premiership by two points, Scorpions a couple further back and Boomerangs finishing fourth on 25 points (just nine behind the Vics in a tight race home to the finish line). Vipers edged Boomerangs 4-3 in a tight Semi Final before annihilating Dural 4-0 in the Grand Final to underline a triumphant year and return the F-League title south of the border.
2014: Dural were crowned 2014 Premiers with two games to spare following a record 14 straight F-League wins. East Coast Heat finished eight points behind and it was the biggest ever distance (20 points) between first and fourth place Boomerangs, who were the only side to get within a goal of the Premiers (5-4). The Warriors also became the first side to concede less than 30 goals in a season (27), and eventually outclassed Heat 3-1 in the Championship match.
With the F-League Premiership mantle now shared twice by NSW and Victoria, the most obvious common link between all four Premiers is that they all conceded the least amount of goals in the season they won… defence is key in a game of attack!