Bentleigh Greens SC

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Bentleigh Greens
Full nameBentleigh Greens Soccer Club
Nickname(s)The Greens
Pagkyprio (Pan-Cyprian)
Short nameBGSC
Founded1987
GroundKingston Heath Soccer Complex
Capacity3,300[1][2]
Coordinates37°58′7″S 145°5′27″E / 37.96861°S 145.09083°E / -37.96861; 145.09083Coordinates: 37°58′7″S 145°5′27″E / 37.96861°S 145.09083°E / -37.96861; 145.09083
ChairmanRay Georgiou
CoachNick Tolios
LeagueNPL Victoria
20195th of 14
WebsiteClub website

Bentleigh Greens Soccer Club is an Australian semi professional soccer club based in Cheltenham, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. The club was formed in 1986, by the Greek Cypriot community and currently competes in the National Premier Leagues Victoria. Bentleigh made nationwide headlines when it became the first club below the A-League to make the semi-final of the FFA Cup in 2014. The Greens hit another milestone a year later when they claimed their first major trophy, the NPL Victoria title. In 2016, Bentleigh Greens became Victorian top-flight league premiers for the first time.

Bentleigh are one of six state league teams to have eliminated an A-League team in the FFA Cup, along with Heidelberg United FC, Redlands United FC, Green Gully SC, Adelaide City FC and Blacktown City FC.

History[edit]

Former Bentleigh Greens logo

Formation and Early Years[edit]

In 1986, a small group of former members of Cypriot Community's Soccer Club, Central City, met at 15–17 Heffernan Lane. This group determined to create a strong Greek Cypriot based team in Melbourne. There were two previous failed attempts, one in the mid-1950s and secondly Central City from 1977 to 1983 which ran under the control of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria from 1977 to 1980.

The "Founders" at this initial meeting were Michael Christopher, Ray Georgiou, Andrew Nicolaou, Michael Iaonnou, Harry Theocharous, Phillip Philippou, Tony Antoniou and Harry Constantinou. After making a huge fund raising effort and gathering together 150 foundation members they were able to take over Greensborough SC and move it to Victory Park in the City of Moorabbin. The name of the club was changed to Bentleigh Greens. The green colours were retained.

Rise to the Victorian Premier League[edit]

The club competed in the First Division of the Provisional League in 1987 season. That year the club finished runners up to Chelsea on goal difference, achieving promotion to Victorian League Division 4. The club was promoted to Division 3 in 1989 after a second-place finish, after just two years in Division 4. Bentleigh amazingly were promoted to Division 2 in 1990, having just been promoted to Division 3 that year. Two more promotions followed in 1993 and 1995, taking the Greens from Division 2 to the Victorian Premier League for the first time in the club's history. The 1995 promotion was the fifth promotion for the club in nine years, marking a very impressive rise through the ranks of Victorian football for the recently established Bentleigh side.[3]

Bentleigh went into their first ever VPL campaign under the management of Harry Chalkitis, managing a fourth-place finish and qualifying for the finals series. The Greens met Green Gully SC in the elimination final, but went down 3–1. The following campaign was even stronger for Bentleigh, finishing runners-up in the regular season, finishing just two points behind winners Altona Magic, but then lost 4–1 to Green Gully in the qualifying final and 2–1 to Bulleen Inter Kings in the semi-final to crash out. Mark Bresciano scored the winner for Bulleen Inter that day.

Bentleigh were relegated in 2005, going down to the Victorian State League Division 1 for the first time since 1995. The side finished bottom of the league, managing just 16 points in 26 games. The Greens narrowly avoided successive relegations, finishing 10th in a 12 team league with the bottom two going down. The side finished just three points above the relegated Northcote City FC. Bentleigh were promoted back to the top flight in 2009, finishing second with 41 points. The side would have missed out on promotion and finished third had St Albans Saints not been deducted nine points that season.[4] In their first season back in the top flight, the Greens finished in 10th place, one above relegation.

Bentleigh made the VPL grand final in 2013, finishing third in the regular season. On their way to the final, Bentleigh beat Melbourne Knights FC 4–2 and then Northcote City 2–1, but lost to Northcote City in the grand final 3–2 in extra time.

2014–2015: FFA Cup Run and First Major Title[edit]

The club made nationwide headlines after making it to the semi-final of the inaugural FFA Cup in 2014. The Greens beat Blacktown City 1–0 in the Round of 32, Sydney Olympic 2–1 in the Round of 16, Adelaide City 2–1 in the quarter finals before going down 3–0 to A-League side Perth Glory. The match against Adelaide City was played in front of almost 2,000 people at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex,[5] while the match against Perth Glory drew a reported 3,300 people.[6] Bentleigh brought in a number of high-profile players for the 2015 season, including the likes of Daniel Visevic, Steven Topalovic and Queensland trio Troy Ruthven, Matt Thurtell and Chris Lucas. The season hit a major snag when the Greens were knocked out of the 2015 FFA Cup in the qualifying stages by the unfancied Ballarat Red Devils but ended in fine style with the Club winning its first ever major title when it beat South Melbourne at Lakeside Stadium in the Grand Final, 3–1 after extra time.[7] Bentleigh finished runners-up to South Melbourne in the regular season, missing out on the minor and major double on goal difference.

2016–Present: More Silverware[edit]

The Greens secured reigning NPL Victoria Gold Medal winner Kamal Ibrahim,[8] but lost key first-team players Steven Topalovic, Daniel Visevic and Alastair Bray,[9] with Bray signing for A-League side Central Coast Mariners.[10] Bentleigh kicked off season 2016 by claiming the FFV Community Shield, beating South Melbourne at Kingston Heath 3–0.[11] Bentleigh again met rivals South Melbourne at the final qualifying stage for the 2016 FFA Cup. The Greens would go on to smash their opponents 4–0, sending the side through to the national stage of the Cup competition.[12] In August, Bentleigh took out the 2016 Dockerty Cup, the second major trophy in its history and first Dockerty Cup title, with a 1–0 victory over Green Gully at ABD Stadium in Broadmeadows, with Ryan Paczkowski scoring and Ryan Scott delivering an outstanding performance in goals.[13] Just four days later, the Greens picked up their third piece of silverware for 2016, winning the NPL Victoria minor premiership for the first time in its history.[14]

Bentleigh were drawn against Adelaide-based side North Eastern MetroStars in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup in 2016,[15] winning on penalties, with the game tied at 2–2 after 90 minutes and 3–3 after extra time.[16] Bentleigh were drawn away from home against Tasmanian side Devonport City in the Round of 16.[17] Battling torrential rain and a stubborn Strikers side, it took extra time for Bentleigh to win through to the quarter-finals, with Matthew Thurtell scoring the game's lone goal in front of 3,000 fans at Valley Road.[18] In the quarter-finals, Bentleigh was paired with reigning Cup holders and A-League heavyweights Melbourne Victory.[19] Two second half goals to the A-League side saw it win out 2–0 in front of 3,754 people at Kingston Heath, a record crowd for the venue.[20] After the clash, iconic captain Wayne Wallace announce his departure from the club after six years of service.[21]

In preparation for the 2017 season, Bentleigh lost Kamal Ibrahim to Avondale FC and Liam McCormick to South Melbourne. However, the club exercised its muscle and added former A-League duo Ben Litfin and Andy Brennan.[22][23] After a fourth-placed league finish, Bentleigh secured its second NPL Championship in three years when it beat Heidelberg United 2-1 after extra time in the Grand Final, with Ross Honos scoring in the 106th minute to win the tie.[24] Goalkeeper Ryan Scott took out the Jim Rooney Medal, awarded to the best player on the pitch.[24]

Bentleigh became the 6th member federation side in FFA Cup history to knock out an A-League opponent when it beat Wellington Phoenix FC 1-0 at Kingston Heath in August 2018.[25] Bentleigh beat Broadmeadow Magic 4-0 at Magic Park in the Round of 16[26] and Heidelberg 1-0 in the quarter finals[27] to set up another clash with A League opposition, this time Adelaide United. A goal in either half saw the Reds come away from Melbourne with a 2-0 win.[28] In the league, the Greens finished a point off top spot, but lost 4-3 to Avondale in the semi-final.

In January 2019, new A-League team Western United FC announced that Bentleigh head coach John Anastasiadis would join the club as an assistant coach.[29] Anastasiadis' last game in charge was an NPL Victoria Round 13 victory over the previously undefeated Avondale, propelling the Greens to second spot on the table.[30] John Gabrielson was appointed as the new head coach after Anastasiadis' departure. Gabrielson's tenure proved to be short-lived, with Frank McGrellis taking over in July 2019.[31] After Kingston City's relegation from the NPL Victoria was confirmed, Kingston's coach Nick Tolios was confirmed as the new Bentleigh Greens coach, mid-way through the 2019 NPL Victoria finals series. Tolios led the Greens to a 2-1 victory over premiers Heidelberg and a penalty shoot-out win over Avondale in the NPL Victoria Grand Final at AAMI Park to make it three championships in five years for the Cheltenham-based club.[32]

Current 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 Ryan Scott
4 Australia DF Charlie Fry
5 Australia DF Jack Webster (captain)
6 Australia MF Troy Ruthven
7 Australia MF Kieran Dover
8 Australia FW Andy Brennan
9 Australia FW Ben Litfin
10 Australia MF Tyson Holmes (third captain)
11 Australia MF George Kalas
14 Australia MF Marco Janković
15 Australia DF Ross Archibald
No. Position Player
17 Australia FW Dimitri Hatzimouratis
18 Australia FW Matt Thurtell
19 Australia DF Nick Glavan
20 Australia GK Jordan Grifkins
23 Australia MF Trent Clulow
25 Australia MF Keanu Moore
26 Australia MF Ross Honos
30 Australia DF Joe O'Connor
42 Australia MF Damion Wilson
Australia GK Tom Baynard-Smith

Honours[edit]

Individual honours[edit]

  • Victorian Premier League Player of the Year Award

1996 – Ike Alagiozidis

2002 – Jim Kourtis

  • Bill Fleming Medal

1996 – Ike Alagiozidis

  • Victorian Premier League Coach of the Year Award

1997 – Harry Chalkitis

  • Victorian Premier League Leading Goalscorer Award

2002 – Juan Nilo

  • Victorian Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year Award

2002 – Jim Kourtis

  • Victorian Premier League Under 21 Player of the Year Award

1996 – Vlad Babic

Competition timeline[edit]

Season League NPL Playoffs Cup
Division Pld W D L GF GA +/- Pts Position Finals FFA Cup FFV Dockerty Cup FFV Community Shield
2014 NPL V 26 12 7 7 48 35 13 43 4th Not contested DNQ Semi Finalist Semi Finalist Not contested
2015 NPL V 26 17 7 2 48 25 23 58 2nd Champion DNQ Round 5 5th Round DNQ
2016 NPL V 26 18 5 3 61 22 39 59 1st Semi Finalist Quarter Finalist Quarter Finalist Winner Winner
2017 NPL V 26 13 7 6 44 30 14 46 4th Champion DNQ Round of 16 Runner-Up Winner
2018 NPL V 26 18 4 4 53 28 25 58 2nd Semi Finalist DNQ Round 7 Winner Runner-Up
2019 NPL V 26 13 4 9 47 45 2 43 5th Champion DNQ Round 6 DNQ Winner

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kingston Heath Soccer Complex". Austadiums. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  2. ^ "KINGSTON HEATH SOCCER COMPLEX". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  3. ^ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/Clubs/B/BentleighGreensDH.html
  4. ^ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/2009SD1T.html
  5. ^ http://www.theffacup.com.au/article/result-bentleigh-greens-2-1-adelaide-city/16uwcbtbx89p41jwntf1hf4ol6
  6. ^ http://www.theffacup.com.au/matchcentre/Bentleigh-Greens-v-Perth-Glory/786063
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ http://www.bentleighgreens.com.au/media/1243[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ http://www.cornerflag.com.au/championship-trio-depart-greens/
  10. ^ Kounelis, Jordan. "Alastair Bray and Francesco Stella sign with Central Coast". MFootball. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  11. ^ Kulas, Damir. "Bentleigh Bests South To Start 2016". Football Federation Victoria. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  12. ^ http://www.theffacup.com.au/article/ffa-cup-bentleigh-greens-ecstatic-after-thrashing-south-melbourne/1devirxl90gei1qicakej7hrfw
  13. ^ http://www.cornerflag.com.au/quintuple-alive-for-dockerty-cup-winners-bentleigh/
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 August 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ http://www.theffacup.com.au/matchcentre/MetroStars-SC-v-Bentleigh-Greens/862154
  17. ^ "Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 draw revealed". Football Federation Australia. 10 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 MD 2 wrap". Westfield FFA Cup. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  19. ^ http://www.theffacup.com.au/article/westfield-ffa-cup-quarter-final-draw-revealed/13a7fz8yu85821ucyewzhaxfob
  20. ^ Lynch, Michael. "Soccer: Victory through to FFA Cup semi-final with 2–0 win over Bentleigh Greens". The Age. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  21. ^ "FFA Cup swan-song as skipper Wallace departs for Hume". The Corner Flag. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  22. ^ http://www.cornerflag.com.au/litfin-lands-bentleigh-phoenix-stint/
  23. ^ http://www.cornerflag.com.au/former-knights-hoping-thrive-green/
  24. ^ a b Michell, Tim. "Goalkeeper Ryan Scott claims Jimmy Rooney Medal in Bentleigh Greens' NPL grand final win". Herald Sun. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  25. ^ "FFA Cup Wrap: Wellington Phoenix upset by NPL side Bentleigh Greens, Luke Brattan suffers serious injury | Goal.com". Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Broadmeadow Magic FC vs Bentleigh Greens SC, FFA Cup, Round of 16, 21st Aug 2018". FFA Cup. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  27. ^ "Bentleigh Greens SC vs Heidelberg United FC, FFA Cup, Quarter Finals, 26th Sep 2018". FFA Cup. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  28. ^ "Bentleigh Greens SC vs Adelaide United, FFA Cup, Semi-Finals, 5th Oct 2018". FFA Cup. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  29. ^ "Highly-rated Anastasiadis lands A-League coaching role with Western Melbourne". The World Game. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  30. ^ "FFV - NPL Match Centre". SportsTG. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  31. ^ Stogiannou, George (1 August 2019). "Frank McGrellis answers call from Bentleigh Greens to coach remainder of season | Neos Kosmos". English Edition. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  32. ^ Lynch, Joey. "Greens make it three championships in five years with shootout win over Avondale. | Daily Football Show". Retrieved 16 September 2019.

External links[edit]