Sydney Olympic FC launches the 2024 NPL season

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Sydney Olympic FC set the stage for an exciting 2024 National Premier Leagues (NPL) season with a entertaining launch event held at the Canterbury Leagues Club in Sydney on Thursday, February 29. The evening unfolded with a vibrant presentation of both the men’s and women’s first-grade teams, captivating the audience with promising insights into the upcoming season.

Women’s first-grade team.

The event commenced with a heartening address from the club’s President, Damon Hanlin. He expressed his delight at the youthful and fresh appearance of the teams, emphasizing the pride he feels for a club he has been a part of for eight years. He acknowledged the club’s rich 67-year history but passionately conveyed the message that the club is now geared towards a new and promising future with the National Second Division on the horizon in 2025.

Highlighting the significant milestone, Mr Hanlin expressed gratitude to the key figures, including Simon Hill as the evening’s MC, CEO Lawrie McKinna, Board member Matt Phelps and first grade coaches Labinot Haliti, Geoff Abrahams, and the supporting staff for their efforts.

The evening continued with a panel discussion moderated by renowned commentator Mr Hill, featuring football legends Anthony Doumanis, recently retired Will Angel, Fábio Ferreira, and former Socceroo Marshall Soper. Mr Soper, reflecting on his time with Olympic in the 80s, spoke about the club’s prestige and his pride in contributing to its rich history and emphasized he would always be a pioneer for the club. Mr Doumanis shared his experiences playing alongside football giants, Troy Halpin, Ante Juric, and Kresimir Marusic, expressing excitement for Sydney Olympic’s return to the national stage in 2025.

Fábio Ferreira, who retired in 2023 after a remarkable career, affirmed his enduring support for the club, speaking of the strong connections formed during his time with Olympic. The recently retired Will Angel concluded the panel, reminiscing about his 20 years with the club and expressing anticipation for the spotlight to return to Olympic in coming year.

Mr Hill, steering the conversation, engaged Soper on defining the current state of the game in Australia. Soper highlighted the achievements of the Matildas, recognizing them as the most recognized faces in Australian football who are leading the game in the country at present.

The event took an artistic turn as Angelica Georgopoulos unveiled the club’s new cultural project – the redesigned Sydney Olympic kit. Designed by 21-year-old Kayleb Gama, Gama delved into his creative approach that sought to blend modern aesthetics with the rich traditions of the club, creating a visual representation of the multicultural spirit that has fueled the passion for football in Australia. He wanted the kit to pay homage to the club’s history and represent Australia’s diverse migrant communities.

The second panel discussion featured first grade men’s coach Mr Haliti, first grade women’s coach Mr Abrahams, first grade women’s player Brianna Oliverio, and first grade men’s player George Timotheou. Ms Oliverio expressed her eagerness for the introduction of women into the second tier, while Mr Abrahams discussed new signings and changes for the upcoming season. Haliti reflected on recent wins in both The Greek Herald Cup and the Hellenic Cup in Brisbane while Timotheou highlighted his mentoring role with the younger squads.

Mr McKinna expressed gratitude to the club’s sponsors, essential for the club’s success. Raffle prizes, drawn by representatives from Simon Curwood Jewelers, one of the club’s sponsors, added an exciting finale to a night filled with optimism and anticipation for Sydney Olympic FC’s promising 2024 NPL season.

L to R: Fábio Ferreira, Simon Hill and Will Angel.
Club sponsors, Simon Curwood Jewelers gave away prizes on the night.

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