Floreat Athena FC

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Floreat Athena
Floreat Athena FC.png
Full name Floreat Athena Football Club
Founded 1951
Ground Litis Stadium
President Mr. Dimitrious Thomas
Assistant Coach Howard Tweats [1]
League National Premier Leagues Western Australia
2016 4th
Website Club website

Floreat Athena Football Club is an association football (soccer) club based in Perth, Western Australia. The club competes in the National Premier Leagues Western Australia. The club's founders were of Greek heritage.[2]

Floreat Athena has been crowned the Western Australian State Champions four times, League Premiers seven times, State Cup Winners six times, and Night Series Champions six times.
In 1997, the club won all three trophies to claim its first ever treble.

Squad[edit]

As of 16 February 2017 [3]

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 Jason Saldaris
2 Australia Shawn Timmins
4 Australia Andrew Scaldaferro
5 Australia Bobby Wilson
6 Australia Clayton Arnez
8 Australia Jonathan Stynes
10 England Kris Gate
11 England Dennis Galan
12 Australia Cameron Yorke
14 Australia Ludovic Boi
No. Position Player
15 Australia Christopher Saldaris
17 Australia Dean Evans
18 Australia Phillip Arnold
19 England Lewis McMahon
Australia Dylan Tzoganos
Australia Jesse Fuller
Australia Jordan Barbas
Australia Ryan Malton
Australia William Thomas
Australia Zelfy Nazary

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The club was formed in 1951 as the Athena Club by Greek-Australians as place for the local Greek community to unite around football. The club entered the third division of WA's state league football in 1953.[4]

1960s[edit]

In 1960 the club withdrew from the Western Australian Soccer Football Association (WASFA) to form WA's first official semi-professional league under the Western Australia Soccer Federation. It was also in 1960 that Athena played their first season in the state league's top tier, ending the season sixth and maintained its status in the top flight.[4][5]

The 1960s were turbulent times for Athena on the pitch. The club finished third in 1961[6] and 1963,[7] but declined to just avoid relegation in subsequent years before being relegated in 1966 after finishing 9th in the State Premier League.[8] Athena finished second in the 1967 Second Division season,[9] gaining promotion to the State League for the 1968 season. In 1968 they were relegated for the second time in three years after they finished last.[10]

1970s[edit]

Athena remained in the First Division for five successive seasons (1969–1973). In 1973 Athena clinched the Second Division title[11] and entered the top flight in 1974, finishing sixth.[12] In the 1975 and 1976 seasons, Athena finished third.[13][14] The club has finished no higher than third on four separate occasions since 1960.

In 1977, internal disputes at the committee level resulted in the sacking of coach Bill Dumbbell despite Athena claiming its first state league title.[15] Athena maintained its status in the top flight until 1980 when the club was relegated for finishing tenth under coach Ulysses Kokkinos.[16]

Golden era[edit]

After being relegated in 1980, the club secured its second First Division title in 1981 and returned to the top flight of Western Australia football (soccer). Since 1982, Floreat Athena has not been relegated, remaining in the State Premier League for three decades.

Mid 1980s – early 1990s – The Golden Years[edit]

From 1984 until 1991 Floreat Athena entered into a "golden era" of Western Australian Premier League football. After winning the Top Four Cup in 1984 Athena proceeded to win the Night Series trophy in 1985. Then from 1986, Athena were placed no lower than third for six straight seasons. Having finished third in 1986 and 1987, Athena claimed only its second State Premier League title in 1988 under coach Ken Worden. Besides its great league achievements Athena also won the then State D'Sorgna Cup three years in a row during these halcyon years.

Following the 1988 triumph, the Soccer Federation strangley decided that from the 1989 season onwards, the championship would be decided by a top four finals playoff, discarding the 'first past the post' format after nearly a century of Association Football. This was to imitate the Australian Rules code (AFL).

In the subsequent three years, 1989, 1990 and 1991, under coach Worden and then Alan Vest, Athena continually topped the State Premier League. The phenominel 1990 team finished the season first with 17 wins, 1 draw and no losses with a goal difference of +55. A feat only three other teams have matched in going unbeaten, but never surpassed. However, Athena having achieved the top positions in all three seasons lost in the top four play-off finals against rivals Perth SC (Perth Italia) and Stirling Macedonia. The Soccer Federation intelligentley decided to revert to the more accepted and traditional 'first past the post' league championship format continually used around the world from 1992 onwards. If this rule had not changed, Floreat Athena would have seven league championships rather than the recorded four.

The Treble (1997)[edit]

In 1997, under coach Jim Pyraglios, the club won a record treble of titles winning the Night Series, League Championship and Association Cup.

In 1999, they finished runners up to Inglewood in the Association Cup Final. In 2000, Athena won their fourth Night Series trophy. In 2001, Athena finished runners up in both the Association Cup Final and the Night Series Final to arch rival Perth Italia. In 2002, Athena again finished runners up to Perth Italia, this time in the State Premier League Championship.

Undefeated season (2007)[edit]

In the newly formed Football West, Floreat Athena was competing for their fourth State Premier League title. In 2004, a young squad was assembled under former Floreat Athena players Michael Roki and Taki Nicolaidis. Both players had been part of that 1990 side that went through the entire season undefeated.

After finishing the 2004 season in ninth position, Athena finished fifth in 2005 and fourth in 2006, climbing the ladder. Athena signed former Perth Glory defender Ante Kovacevic who was to prove instrumental in the 2007 season. Jerry Karpeh scored 25 goals and Josip Magdic played the wing. Captain Bajo Savic played his last game for Athena against Cockburn in a match that helped seal the title for Athena. Savic suffered a serious knee injury and subsequently never played again.

In the 2007 Football West Premier League season, Athena clinched the title undefeated with a 15-point gap over second place. There were several notable events during the season:

  • James Isaia's 94th minute long range goal to draw the match against Fremantle Spirit,
  • the 4–1 victory over rivals Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens,
  • the 4–0 win over the Stirling Lions at Litis Stadium,
  • the bicycle kick goal by Garin Collins on debut, and
  • the last round against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval, where Athena found itself down 2–0 in the first 10 minutes, but rallied to win the match 5–3.

Being the fourth side in Western Australian State Premier League history to go through an entire season undefeated places Michael Roki and Taki Nicolaidis in the elite category of having played and coached Floreat Athena sides through undefeated seasons.

Following the 2007 season, Floreat Athena dominated almost all opposition but failed to bring home the trophies. The team finished the 2008 season without a title, having lost the Night Series final to arch rival Perth SC on penalties. Athena was to finish Runners Up in the 2008 State Premier League to Sorrento whom they had beaten 9–3 on aggregate for the season. Floreat was gain defeated by Perth SC in the 2009 Night Series final.

Floreat Athena managed to avenge the defeat Inglewood had inflicted upon them in the 1999 Association (Boral) Cup final by defeating them a decade later in the 2009 Association Cup final. Following the 2010 Night Series, Michael Roki decided it was time to retire due to work and family commitments.

Floreat Athena was taken over by player-coach Ante Kovacevic for the beginning of the 2010 Football West Premier League season. Athena finished a respectable 4th in the league and finished Runners Up to the Stirling Lions in the 2010 Association Cup final.

2011–present[edit]

It had been 11 years since Floreat Athena had been crowned Night Series champions. Ten players and management staff left at the end of the 2010 season. Coach Ante Kovacevic and assistant Taki Nicolaides assembled a fresh outfit that won the title in February 2011.

Floreat Athena finished the season at the top of their group, dispatching Armadale and Forrestdale 3–1, and drawing to Inglewood 2–2 with goals coming from Liam Boland, Garin Collins, James Isaia and Danny Trevisol. All three games being played at Alfred Skeet Reserve.

The quarter final against Sorrento was played at Athena's home ground, Litis Stadium. New recruit Dave Houston scored a goal in the 91st minute to set up a semi-final appearance.

The semi-final against Cockburn City was played at 6PR Stadium. Athena went a goal down in the early stages of the first half but Liam Boland scored a goal back. Cockburn defender Paul Natale was sent off in the first half and Floreat Athena took the lead. Early in the second half, Boland scored his second of the game. Garin Collins then added a further two goals to make the score 4–1 and put Athena into another Night Series Grand Final.

Saturday, 19 February 2011, Floreat Athena faced ECU Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens. In the 68th minute, a goal attempt by the right wing by Jack Allen was stopped by the ECU goalkeeper, however Liam Boland scored a goal from three yards. With 15 minutes remaining, a challenge on Athena goalkeeper Alex Dunn forced the no. 1 to leave the field with a head injury. Replacement goalkeeper Simon Madaschi took his place, making several saves in the remaining minutes to hold ECU at bay. The final score was 1–0.

The club had its maiden FFA Cup appearance in 2016, when it qualified for the competition proper at the Round of 32 stage, drawing A-League club Melbourne City FC.

Crest and colours[edit]

Club crest and the Goddess Athena[edit]

Both the club shield and the Goddess Athena feature on all Floreat Athena merchandise. Playing strips have always carried both emblems. The club shield has blue and white stripes and a football placed in the middle, signifying both the heritage and purpose of the club.

The Goddess is the club's original namesake and features heavily on its merchandise and uniforms. Unlike other clubs with an ethnic past, Athena is allowed to keep her name because it is essentially non-ethnic.[citation needed] The Goddess is not a nationality but an idea, a symbol of virtue required in football and in life.

Colours[edit]

Floreat Athena "home" colours are blue and white stripes. Away strips have generally tended to be all white. However, this current format was not the original strip. In 1953, Athena had a predominantly blue strip with a white block 'V' topped off with a blue collar. Floreat Athena used a replica heritage strip in the 2011 season as it is the club's 60th Anniversary. Blue and white has significance as the majority of people who founded the club came from Greece.

Stadium[edit]

Athena's first home was at Wellington Square in East Perth. The club later played at Perry Lakes Stadium in Floreat, leading to the addition of Floreat to the club's name.

The club has played at Litis Stadium, formerly the Lake Monger Velodrome, in Mount Hawthorn since 1985.[17] There are two grandstands, the Eleni grandstand and a more modern stand in front of the clubrooms which was built 20 years ago. A cycling tunnel has been left intact for players to use to and from the change rooms and is a feature of the ground. The tunnel was named after two famous Athena players: Stan Lazaridis and Vas Kalogeracos.

Proposed 'Home of Football'[edit]

In late 2008 Football West (the peak governing body for football in WA) approached a number of local governments to explore potential sites to establish their state headquarters. Litis Stadium was identified as a potential site to become the 'Home of Football'. The proposal has faced opposition from local residents.[18]

Support[edit]

Floreat Athena enjoys support from the Greek-Australian community though this has dropped in recent years. The current average attendance at Litis Stadium is between 300–500 people per match. This is a far cry from the 5,000 – 10,000 that would regularly attend matches in the early years.[citation needed] Local Greek-Australian businesses contribute in the form of sponsorship on an annual basis. Many affluent Greek-Australian families have donated to the club, helping Floreat Athena become a mainstay in top flight and junior football.

Current Season[edit]

The club's 2015 season started with a win in the preseason Night Series, defeating Cockburn City.[19]

Club Officials[edit]

President: Mr. Stacy Pilkadaris
Vice President: Taki Lambetsos
Club Treasurer: Michael Christodoulakis
Club Secretary: Jenny Veneris
Committee Members: Con Veneris, Dim Thomas, Nick Tsadilas, Yani Metaxas
Andrew Tiniakos, Sam Tzoganos, Evan Maounis
General Manager: Evan Maounis
Property Manager: Con Veneris
Junior President: Stacy Pilkadaris

Club Coaching Staff[edit]

Senior Coach:
Senior Assistant Coach: Howard Tweats
Senior Team Manager: Sally Allen
Reserves Coach: Tim Kantor
Reserves Assistant Coach: Marin Vlasich
Reserves Team Manager: Marin Vlasich
Under 18's Coach:
Under 18's Assistant Coach: N/A
Under 18's Team Manager: Shane Holloway
Specialist Coach (GK): Paul Turvill
Technical Directors: Mano Psanoudakis

Club Team Manager: Taki Lambetsos
Club Physio: Lisa Zorzi
Match Day Physios: Dimity Hall
Ceily Perham
Emmanuelle Chow

Honours[edit]

Joined state league: 1960

Seasons in Semi-Professional State League: 1960–1966, 1968, 1974–1980, 1982–Current

Western Australian State League Championships
Winners: 4 – 1977 | 1988 | 1997 | 2007
Runners Up: 6 – 1989 | 1991 | 1993 | 2002 | 2008 | 2012

Western Australia Association Cups
Winners: 6 – 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1997 | 2009 | 2016
Runners Up: 4 – 1984 | 1999 | 2001 | 2010

Western Australia League Night Series
Winners: 6 – 1977 | 1985 | 1997 | 2000 | 2011 | 2015
Runners Up: 9 – 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1992 | 1994 | 2001 | 2008 | 2009 | 2014

Western Australia First Division
Winners: 2 – 1973 | 1981
Runners Up: 1 – 1967

Doubles:
League & Association Cup: 1988
League & Night Series: 1977

Treble:
League, Association Cup & Night Series: 1997

Notable past players[edit]

List includes players from Floreat Athena youth or senior teams that have gone on to represent the Australian national team, or have amassed over 100 games with Perth Glory FC.

Past players who have represented the national sides of other countries include:

Affiliated Clubs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle for the title goes to the wire". Football West – National Premier Leagues. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  2. ^ Greeks in English speaking countries. Hellenic Studies Forum. 1993. 
  3. ^ "National Premier Leagues Season Preview". Football West. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "HISTORY | Floreat Athena Football Club – Official Site". www.floreatathenafc.com.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  5. ^ "1960 Tables". footballwa.net. Retrieved 27 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "footballwa.net: 1961". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  7. ^ "footballwa.net: 1963". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  8. ^ "footballwa.net: 1966". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  9. ^ "footballwa.net: 1967". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  10. ^ "footballwa.net: 1968". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  11. ^ "footballwa.net: 1973 Tables". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  12. ^ "footballwa.net: 1974 Tables". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  13. ^ "footballwa.net: 1975 Tables". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  14. ^ "footballwa.net: 1976 Tables". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  15. ^ "1977 Competition Review". footballwa.net. Retrieved 27 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "footballwa.net: 1980 Tables". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  17. ^ "Britannia Reserve Master Plan – Background". Town of Vincent. Retrieved 27 February 2011. 
  18. ^ Peden, Lauren (23 November 2010). "Bid to block new home of football". Guardian Express. Perth: Community Newspaper Group. Retrieved 27 February 2011. 
  19. ^ Simcox, Peter (20 February 2011). "Floreat spot on in Night Series decider". Perth: Football West. Retrieved 27 February 2011. 

External links[edit]