South-west Sydney football club Liverpool Olympic celebrates 40 years

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By Andrew Paschalidis – Heartbeat of Football Founder

The Greek Australian community has made significant contributions in all areas of football in Australia for decades, particularly at the grassroots level.

On Saturday night, I had the privilege to emcee the Liverpool Olympic FC (LOFC) 40th Anniversary Function at the lavish Edessa Reception Venue at Greenfield Park in the west of Sydney.

370 people attended including representatives from the local Southern Districts Soccer Football Association (SDSFA) and former player John Tsatsimas – the Football NSW CEO. It also gave me great joy to cross paths with former Matildas star Catherine Cannuli, who is the Technical Director of SDSFA and the only female to hold such a role in grassroots football in NSW.

Guests.
Speeches.

LOFC was founded by two passionate Greeks, Steve Agamalis and Steve Agiasotis, at a picnic with family and friends at Toowoon Bay on the Central Coast of New South Wales in 1982. Agamalis, who was just 17 years old at the time, saw a photo of his uncles John, David and Charlie in their Liverpool Hellas gear but that club had folded.

The void was quickly filled as Agamalis approached Agiasotis and convinced him to form an U12 Boys. In 1982, it became the first team registered as Liverpool Olympic FC.

Live music and dancing.
A full house.

The rise of Liverpool Olympic on the back of support from the local community of all backgrounds sees the club continue to play with 480 registered players in the SDSFA. The 40 years of active football engagement has seen many highs including 22 marriages!

The greatest achievement on the pitch came with Olympic qualifying for the sixth round of the Football Federation Cup in just their first attempt in this iconic National Cup competition in 2021.

It matters little that LOFC lost 9-0 against “cousins” Sydney Olympic FC on May 19 given they achieved so much in reaching that stage of the Cup and faced such a formidable force – somewhat fitting given the Greek backgrounds of both clubs.

Tassos Bouzouki at the event.

David Dermtjis is one of seven club benefactors along with his brothers John and Charlie. He has had many active roles and is a former player along with his wife Maria and children Tina, Steven and Manuel.

David’s grandson Michael Ruhs (21 years old) is perhaps the greatest success of LOFC, having worked his way through the juniors and is now contracted to A-League club Western United FC. Michael had previously played with Macarthur Bulls and the A-League Champions Central Coast Mariners.

“This club is more than football to me – it’s a family,” Michael said.

“I was only 18 when I secured my first professional contact with Macarthur FC. I never expected it to lead to this and I am forever grateful to my family and everyone associated with Liverpool Olympic.”

Agiasotis’ son Kerry is another success story having now won four 045s NSW Champions of Champions titles with Hurstville City Minotaurs FC, as well as eight successive Grand Final wins in the Football St George competitions.

On the night, everyone who has been a LOFC President was also recognised including:

  • 1982-1985: John Foskolos.
  • 1986: Con Paschalidis (*Note: Not related to me but I wish he was).
  • 1987-1989 & 2002-2003: Elias Liakos.
  • 1990-1995: Charles Demertjis.
  • 1996-1999 & 2004-2007: Jim Diles.
  • 2000-2001: Peter Georgakopoulos.
  • 2008-2017: Peter Kaldellis.
  • 2018-2022: Kevin Filipakis.
  • 2023: Charlie Demertzis.

It was also a night filled with great entertainment lead by Tassos Bouzouki, Nix Disco (Nick Miruforidis) and award winning comedian Tahir.

The evolution of Liverpool Olympic FC is like so many other clubs of Greek background. It’s not just about football. It’s about engaging with your local community and supporting each other. Perhaps the greatest trophies won by LOFC is 22 marriages.

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