As North Eastern MetroStars closes their 24th season, I would like to take this opportunity to provide our members, players, coaches and sponsors a snapshot of the club this past season.
OFF THE PARK
Managing football at this level is becoming an increasingly challenge for clubs of this size. Increasing expectations being placed on the club by the governing body, council, the community, and parent groups, and rising costs.
The club runs on a shoe-string budget and the help of volunteers to fall back on.
This year we saw our coaches’ boxes fall over, our pitches flood and games cancelled due to weather. We had dramas with the delivery of our new uniforms; we were sending our kids to
train off-site so we could preserve the main pitch for Saturday, and barely had any grass left for finals series.
Despite the set-backs, we made inroads in other areas.:
• We’ve appointed a full-time admin officer to run the back-end office of the club during business hours to relieve pressure off management.
•Corporate Sponsorship income increased significantly over past 18 months and that’s thanks to the efforts of our Sponsorship & Marketing Manager – David DeConno.
• Our social media platform continued to be strong, and we are proud to have re-launched a new club website. Our thanks to Jason Cavey and Dimitri Peppas for their collaboration on these projects.
• We have progressed with the $1.4m facility grant and are pleased to announce work will commence on the new synthetic pitch in November, where we will have a new main pitch,
a lighting upgrade to deliver scalable lighting up to 350 lux, new coaches’ boxes and electronic scoreboard. The project will be completed to closely align with the start of 2019 season. My personal thanks to Rob Rende who, in addition to his other commitments at the club, has taken on this project as a matter of priority to ensure a successful outcome.
• We have purchased a shelter to cover the concreted area in front of the players race which will provide under cover comfort for our spectators and supporters. This will be installed during the pre-season to coordinate with the pitch upgrade.
•We are also proud to announce the return of our new club Merchandise partner from 2019 will be JS Sport. Joe Siciliano is delighted to make a comeback to MetroStars and we are both looking forward to re-establishing a long-term relationship.
ON THE PARK
Congratulations to the Under 18 team for winning the Federation Cup final, and for reaching the Preliminary Final in hard fought second half only to be defeated by the clock in the end. An under-aged team who started the season so green, but worked, improved and blossomed as a team to look out for. Well done to Terry and the boys.
The Reserves reached the Federation Cup Qtr Finals but progressed in the NPL to finish runner up with one goal difference separating the top two sides. They then progressed to the Grand final after falling to an inform Comets.
Congratulations to Steph Pappas and his support staff who lead the boys to such heights. Steph came to this club at first coaching the U18 and then quickly stepping into the Reserves coaching job. Steph has always been a quiet achiever, from humble beginnings doing his coaching accreditation and working under the direction of the senior staff. Ressie’s is the toughest team to coach often juggling last minute player changes servicing first team’s needs. Steph has embraced these challenges and gotten on with it, always in support of the club direction.
On behalf of the club I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Steph for his hard work, dedication and successes in his time at the club and wish him all the best for his future endeavours hoping we have contributed to his future as much as he has to MetroStars.
Season 2018 for MetroStars First team began strong and steady as we hit the ground running from the start. As we passed the halfway point of the season, life became a box of chocolates as consistency became our enemy from within. Although we didn’t quite reach the same heights we have come to expect from this great club, nonetheless we found many moments throughout the season to celebrate. There were individuals that stepped up at critical times and kept us in the game, and there were times when as a collective we had to dig deep to hold onto a lead or salvage a point. In every scenario it was the MetroStars brand that stood out to show the National Premier League that MetroStars are always a contender until the end.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge a group of people who have contributed behind the scenes. These people don’t just keep the lights on, they dedicate much of their personal time at the club interest to ensure we maintain a high standard as a top flight NPL club:
• The coaching staff in Rob Saraceno , Kon Antoniou, Travis Dodd and Daniel Godley for their leadership not only in the first team campaign but also for their dedication they have given to the younger playing groups at the club
• The support groups in George Capoccia and George Laoutaris, the team managers, trainers & Physio’s
• The sports committee in Lenny Cali, Rino Rossi, Justin DeBlasio and the Technical Directors in Ernie Luongo and Terry Frangakis, and
• The Junior and Miniroo coaches, assistants and team managers.
Many of you may be aware that this is my final year at the club in my capacity as President having informed the management committee that I will not be re-nominating for next year. This moment brings me an opportunity to say a few words about the club.
I joined the then Metro Knights in 1994 on the founding committee member and I have watched this club grow over the past 24 years from an amateur club to one of the best NPL clubs in SA.
The success over such a short time would rank us as the most progressive clubs of today. It is a club that has provided so many opportunities for so many.
The club has produced players who have played in A-league, overseas, and represented their state and country.
In our brief history have won:
• 8 Premierships in our first 16 seasons in SA Division One Football.
• 3 Premier League Championships
• 1 National Championship
• 5 Federation Cups
• 2 appearances in FFA R32
• 1 appearance in FFA R16
• And countless other achievements at junior and senior levels.
During my time at the club I have experienced winning losing, advances and set-backs. Made new friends, some still at the club whilst others have moved on. But one of the biggest satisfactions I find is when I bump into someone in the street and able to share and recount some of those great memories. Whilst I will not hold an official position at the cub I will be proud to be a supporter. Where I can come watch a game, have a beer, yell at the ref, even some of the players, but all in the spirit and culture that exists in this great club.
I would like to thank the current and past committee members and volunteers and family who have been part of this journey together.
To all involved and to those considering getting involved, believe in yourself and those around you. Work hard, VERY hard, endure the pain, know your goal and stay focussed on it, don’t let the little things distract you and never ever give up.
Success will come to those that pursue it.
“Life is more rewarding when you go to bed at night feeling tired, and not bored”
Yours in sport