Dandenong Thunder SC

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Dandenong Thunder SC
Dandenong Thunder SC Logo.jpg
Full name Dandenong Thunder Soccer Club
Nickname(s) Thunder
Ground George Andrews Reserve,
Dandenong, Victoria
Ground Capacity 5,000
Chairman Merson Azizi
Manager Dean Hennessey
League National Premier Leagues Victoria
2014 Minor Premiers, Champions, State Knockout Cup Champions
Current season

Dandenong Thunder SC is a soccer club from Dandenong, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. They are an Albanian Australian-backed club. From the 2009 season they compete in the Victorian Premier League, which is one tier below the A-League. In 2012, it claimed the Victorian Premier League Minor Premiership, the FFV State Knockout Cup & the VPL Championship Final.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The club was founded in 1970 as South Dandenong by Albanian migrants. Even today the club is primarily backed and supported by Albanians and Albanian-Australians living in Melbourne. They started competing in the Victorian District League East Division, which was the eighth tier of football (soccer) in Victorian Football Pyramid. For decades they were playing in the lower divisions until the mid-1990s when they started to climb the entire Victorian pyramid. In 1994 they were playing in State League Division 3, and every year managed to get promotion to a higher level until they reached the Victorian Premier League in 1998.

1990s[edit]

After a successful 1997 season, when they became the champions of Victorian State League Division 1, South Dandenong played their first ever Victorian Premier League season in 1998. Being led by their player-coach Fadil Muriqi, the team managed to stay in the Victorian Premier League after finishing the season in 12th place. Same thing didn't happen in the following season and the team was relegated to Victorian State League Division 1.

2000–present[edit]

They came back in Victorian Premier League in 2001 but were relegated again as the season ended. Since 2001 they spent seven season in the Victorian State League Division 1. In 2007 they signed boom recruits Veton Korcari from Richmond SC as well as Louis Brain, a former player with Adelaide United in the A-League. Joe Di Iorio, Marcus Stergiopoulos, Alfonso Opazo and Levent Osman were other big names who put on the Thunder jersey for a successful season in 2008. The Thunder achieved its aim in getting promoted to the Victorian Premier League, after a successful 2008 season in which the club finished second, 3 points behind leaders Sunshine Georgies. It had been a long wait for one of Victoria's biggest clubs into the top flight after a seven-year absence. After a slow start to the season with only 2 wins from the first 5 games; the Thunder had a barnstorming run with an unbeaten run of 17 games which was the catalyst in gaining promotion. In its return to top flight football, the Thunder proved all nay-sayers wrong by clinching the 2009 Minor Premiership with a lead of 12 points. It included going the first 15 rounds of the season undefeated and a club record 31 game undefeated streak after not losing since round 5 of the 2008 season. Season 2009 also saw youngster Jack Hingert being selected to play for new A-League side North Queensland Fury, as well as Joey Di Iorio winning the golden boot for leading goal scorer in the league. Hamlet Armenian, Ryan Davidson, Jack Hingert, Sam Bailey all represented a Victorian 11 which played a series of games against A-League champions Melbourne Victory, with defender Aron Wilford being selected but unavailable due to injury.

The season of 2011/12 was a memorable one for the Thunder, they secured the treble for the first time in the clubs history. They downed the Oakleigh Cannons 2 goals to 1 at AAMI Park to lift the famous Championship Trophy. This was their first ever VPL Championship.

In the current season of 2014, the senior team is competing in the new FFA league called the "National Premier League" or "NPL".

Home-grown talent[edit]

The two home-grown talents so far to have tasted National Soccer League appearances are Xhezair Sulemani (Melbourne Knights 2000-2003) and Ibraim Ibraimi (South Melbourne 2001)and also Bailey Wright who plays regularly for Preston North End.

Supporters[edit]

Dandenong Thunder are known to have one of the most passionate supporters groups in Victoria, with support coming mainly from the Albanian community in the area as well as support from sister club North Sunshine Eagles. Also Bay 13 (B13) is the most vocal in the league. The club averages 2,000 spectators at its home venue whilst also out-numbering the home side for support for away matches, with its great number of traveling fans (BAY 13 ROKDER) led by Ferman "Bundy" Zekiri and his accompanying sidekick Zani "Bush" Reshitovski.

Honours[edit]

  • 2012- Victorian Premier League Premiers
  • 2012- Victorian Premier League Minor Premiers
  • 2012- Dockerty Cup Winners (FFV State Knockout Cup)
  • 2009- Victorian Premier League Minor Premiers
  • 2008- Victorian State League Division 1 Runners-Up
  • 2000- Victorian State League Division 1 Champion
  • 1997- Victorian State League Division 1 Champion
  • 1996- Victorian State League Division 2 Runners-Up
  • 1995- Victorian State League Division 3 Runners-Up
  • 1991- Victorian State League Division 4 Runners-Up
  • 1990- Victorian Provisional League 1 Champion
  • 1989- Victorian Provisional League 2 Runners-Up
  • 1988- Victorian Provisional League 3 Champion

Individual honours[edit]

Top goal-scorers[edit]

  • 2012- Luke Sherbon 21 goals (Awarded League Golden Boot)
  • 2011- Luke Sherbon 14 goals
  • 2010- Jamie Reed 6 Goals
  • 2009- Joe Di Iorio 18 Goals (Awarded League Golden Boot)
  • 2008- Ryan Davidson 11 Goals
  • 2007- Veton Korcari 10 Goals (Runner up in the league)
  • 2006- Ryan Davidson 9 Goals
  • 2005- Leon Buhic 9 Goals
  • 2004- Veton Korcari 9 Goals
  • 2003- Miles Tidd, Joey Di Iorio 11 Goals
  • 2002- Alfonso Opazo 10 Goals
  • 2001- Boris Ovcin 4 Goals
  • 2000- Victor Korkaric 17 Goals
  • 1999- Nick Van Egmond, Billy Wright 7 Goals
  • 1998- Pino Corallo, Reshat Mezensof 11 Goals
  • 1997- Billy Wright 28 Goals (Top scorer in the league)
  • 1996- Billy Wright 30 Goals (Top scorer in the league)
  • 1995- Billy Wright 27 Goals (Joint Top scorer in the league)
  • 1994- Billy Wright 22 Goals (Top scorer in the league)

Club Champion Award[edit]

Off-season player movements[edit]

In

  • Adam Casey, Dandaloo FC
  • Ross Thompson, Hume City SC
  • Bryan Bran, Oakleigh Cannons
  • Nate Foster, Ottawa City
  • Tim Mala, Bulleen Lions SC
  • Sean McIlroy, Heidleberg United
  • Brendan Elmazi, Casey Comets SC
  • Zaim Zeneli, South Melbourne SC
  • Craig Elvin, Heidleberg United SC
  • Enes Sivic, VTC
  • Hamlet Armenian, Heidleberg United SC
  • Iqi Jawadi, VTC
  • Andrew Mullett, VTC

Out

  • Ben Harrison, Hume City SC
  • Acim Tomic, Hume City SC
  • Jarryd Barnes, Hume City SC
  • Steven Grey, Oakleigh Cannons
  • Alex Rojas, Bentleigh Greens
  • Steven Cooke, Returned Home
  • Chris Taylor, Returned Home
  • Nathan Knox, Morwell
  • Kyle Lapham, Returned Home
  • Ashley Stott, Returned Home

2012 squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Fraser Siddal
21 Australia GK Zaim Zeneli
2 Australia DF Jarrd Barnes
4 Australia DF Ramazan Tavsancioglu (Vice Captain)
5 Afghanistan DF Faisal Sakhizada
11 Australia DF Kris Kioussis
12 Australia DF Brendan Elmazovski
14 Australia DF David King
3 Australia MF Ilir Pali
6 Republic of Ireland MF Alan Mulcahy (Captain)
No. Position Player
7 Australia MF Kieron Dover
8 Australia MF Matthew Millar
10 Australia MF Feston Azizi
13 Australia MF Anthony Giannopoulos
15 Republic of Ireland MF Ryan Burns
16 Republic of Ireland MF Alan Kearney
17 Australia MF Marcus Schroen
23 Australia MF Jake Nakic
9 Australia FW Ivan Scorich
18 Australia FW Brendan Craig

External links[edit]