yak

Aug 222016
 

On the 29th of September 1996 something special happened. In appalling conditions, the mighty Uni Whites overcame Pulteney Old Scholars 3-1 to take home the Collegiate Cup for the very first time. 20 years on, sure a few of us are more wrinkled, greyer, perhaps carrying a few more pounds… But the memory of that day, and that season lives on.

To celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the 96 Cup winning season, the whites are having a Reunion on Saturday September 3rd. 96 Legends vs Uni Whites all-stars match 2pm @ Grads. All Uni whites are welcome to come along. If you’re keen for a game, let me know (the older and slower you are the better). The bar will be open and the BBQ will be on!

The 96 legends will then have dinner at the British & hopefully some of us will make it all the way to the Hackney for the John Whitehouse medal after that.

 Posted by at 10:59 am
Jun 282016
 

Congratulations to Chris ‘Crab’ Gayen, spiritual leader of the Whites ‘Drinking XI’, for reaching the 200 game milestone last week. Quite an achievement for a man who’d already played at 11 other clubs and had officially retired, before being coaxed back into football in 2004. Since then he’s managed to win  a couple of B’s Best & Fairest awards, be part of a Cup winning team & even coached for a season. Well done old man.

May 182015
 

The Whites this week returned to division 4 football, after the distraction of our cup defeat to the Blues A’s last week.

Brez had close to a full squad to choose from, with only Ollie, Phillip and Jan not available. This meant that we welcomed Eddy, Bez, Matt & Wez back to the squad, which also saw Nick ‘Sangas’ Kalfas make a long awaited return to the starting line-up.

Our opponents this week were Pembroke, who were yet to record a win, but with whom we’ve often struggled over the years, as their squads are usually stacked with young, fit, fast energetic players.

Not surprisingly, the coach asked us to play our natural game, short passing from the back, find feet, get it to the wingers & deliver low crosses, and for much of the first half we did just that. We had a number of chances but mostly we hit them wide or high of the target. Bez, Bobby, Eddy & Jonny all had shots, but we couldn’t make them count.

Pembroke though weren’t without their chances either as Glyn was forced into a couple of good saves.

Overall though, we looked a bit flat & at half time the coach told us so. He also asked the boys to move the ball more & dribble less, as Pembroke were breaking down many of our plays when the boys tried to dribble through the midfield.

The second half begun brightly, with us testing the Pembroke defence & keeper a couple of times. We did manage a couple of corners, one which was only cleared as far as Wez outside the 18 yard box, who found the author unmarked to nod in a rare goal from close range. 1-Nil.

Soon after this, some good pressing from our forwards allowed Bez to break free, he raced to goal only for the defender to somehow get a foot in at the last minute to deny him.

From this point on, Pembroke lifted their intensity and were beating us at our own game. Tomas and Homood came on to sure things up & then Darren and Daniel to give us a spark.

Pembroke though were just more desparate than us as we struggled to break out of our own half. They also realised our game plan of playing short out of defence & began to bottle up the play.

To the boys credit though, we limited their sighters on goal & the couple of times they hit the target Glyn was there to rescue us.

The final whistle went & we knew we’d stolen the points! Brez’ comments were something along the lines of “that was a sh*tty performance, the passing was sh*tty and it was one of the sh*ttiest wins ever, but you have to win ugly sometimes”.

Hey, we’ll take the 3 points which moves us up to second on the ladder. Another big game away to Rostrevor next week. Hope to see you all out to training.

That’s it.

Saf

 Posted by at 1:33 pm
Apr 272015
 

Matt joined the mighty Whites in a controversial deal, after a long stint at Wimbledon ended with an altercation with fellow ‘hard man’ Vinnie Jones that saw Hawyes shipped off to the Antipodes, whilst Jones’ was sent to the US to become a B-grade actor.

The White’s C’s quickly snaffled Matty up & his impact was immediate. An intimidating figure in goals, Matty was soon marshalling the (sometime ragged) troops in defence & scaring the bajesus out of opposition strikers. This was important, because the C’s were largely a gentle lot & were badly in need of a bit of hardness.

Hawyes’ keeping was solid, but his ‘all-out attack on the opposition’ playing style meant he missed as many games as he played.

In 2014 then, after yet another injury (this time at work – chasing down a stolen car on foot & stopping it in its tracks) he switched his role to coach, as one half of the now infamous “Hot Fuzz” (along with Jacko) the team saw immediate success & were the only team to knock off the champions last season – Hawyes now refers to himself as the “Special One” (No, that’s not Jose Mourinho) after masterminding their downfall.

Matt’s passion for football knows no bounds & he leaves no stone unturned during the week when trying to work out his best team & tactics. This means long sessions on the phone with his ‘brains trust’. Ask any of the senior members of the C squad, some of the junior members, neighbours, close friends and even slight acquaintances who is the most likely to call them to talk tactics during the week… It’s Haweysey.

This season, the “Hot Fuzz” have completely revolutionised C Grade football & their squad’s mix of youth, experience & aggression mean the boys are gunning for the title.  With the Special One involved, who wouldn’t back them to do it?

 Posted by at 3:27 pm
Apr 172015
 

Just about to start a 7 v 7 match… Ollie looks around at his team and says

So… It looks like i’m the only striker here..

 Posted by at 12:24 pm
Apr 132015
 

There’s something special about the collegiate cup, a competition where minnows take on CSL giants, cricket scores are plentiful & the occasional upset can happen to any team on cup day.

The Uni Whites 4’s have made it through to the second round of the cup a couple of times before, but facing Uni SA 2B promised to be a daunting task. Not only were they 2 divisions higher than us, but they’d also finished runner up in 2B last season scoring 88 goals! So we were expecting a tough encounter.

Coach Brez though had done his homework… This was a game that was going to be won in the dugout… On Thursday, instead of a big training session, we spent 45 minutes in the clubroom looking at a whiteboard. Brez made the bold decision to name his team the night before the game & he’d set us up with tactics to pressure our more highly rated opponents.

Of course much of what we saw & heard on Thursday night was quickly forgotten, but we did learn who has the guts to call out a weak link in the team (thanks Adi), and that no matter what happened on Friday, we’d be the first team – either through to the next round, or to have the long weekend off. the important thing was we’d be first.

Friday arrived, and unsurprisingly there were some late withdrawals meaning the author made the starting XI and young buck Jason Nichol was promoted to the bench.

This was a first night time outing at Magill & the lights could be described as adequate rather than dazzling. What wasn’t adequate though was Uni SA’s organisation. Kick off was 20 minutes late as the Uni SA boys dilly-dallied with the team sheet & most of the Whites boys were cold when the whistle finally arrived.

Early on Uni SA showed some quick movement & passing and pressured us from the outset. They scored after 10 minutes with a flowing piece of play in which no Whites player touched the ball from behind half-way until it was plucked out of the back of the net.

Our boys responded strongly though, with Bez and Saber working hard in the midfield, we managed to get a lovely through ball for Wez whose shot was well saved by the youthful Tony Zollo in goals.

As the half wore on, we picked up the speed of the game. The boys began to pick up more tackles which stifled Uni SA’s attacks, and Ollie and Eddie were hitting targets out of defence, which allowed our wingers Phil and Bobby to push Uni SA’s defence back.

Soon one of these breaking plays saw Bobby run at his defender & get to the bye line before a lovely cut back found Johnny ‘The Lotus’ Wilson inside the box – his first time strike wrong footed the keeper & we were back in the game at 1-all.

Unfortunately from the kick off, Uni SA again showed their skill and speed & in a mirror image of their first goal, they again worked it from the centre of the pitch to the back of the net without us getting a touch (although Rob was desperately unlucky, with the ball somehow going under his tackle for the last pass). Down 2-1 & looking down the barrel.

Not long after this we won our first corner of the match & Steve had given us a set play to use. Whilst that didn’t work – Johnny was blatantly pushed in the back, yet somehow no penalty was given.

We had another opportunity to show of Brez’ coaching panache however, as our first free kick allowed Bez to run onto the ball & bang it beautifully, it hit the crossbar & sailed over, but it did look pretty.

Thankfully though the football gods eventually smiled on us, as again we managed to get behind Uni SA’s defence, this time through Phillip. Just as he shot he was tackled & the ref adjudged it a penalty!

Captain Bobby stepped up to take it & netted it with aplomb. Then something odd happened… Bobby celebrated the goal, but there was no rifling through his pants, no reveal of a sweaty-ball-sack-smelling wrestling mask, no hysterical laughter from the dozens of Uni Whites who came to support us, just a few high-fives and a walk back to the centre spot.

Whilst the celebrations were subdued, the boys were still pretty happy & when the half-time whistle sounded with the score at 2 all, we knew we were right in this match.

Bez had taken a nasty knock just before the half, so he was the only substitution at the break with Homood coming on to replace him in a like-for-like move.

At the half, Brez was pretty happy with proceedings, he told us to keep the short passing game going & importantly to run at the Uni SA defence, who were struggling with the pace of our boys (I don’t get to say that too often!).

The boys started brightly, with Saber & Homood working some nice plays in the midfield & Phil and Bobby again pushing Uni back.

Defensively Glynn was cutting off all the long balls & our boys were doing a good job of nullifying the pacey Uni SA attackers.

One Ollie interception, allowed him to provide Phil a nice ball to run onto. Phil outsprinted his opponent & worked himself to the edge of the box. The keeper came at him, but Phil passed instead of shooting allowing Wez a straightforward finish from 12 yards! 3-2 and the boys were pumped!

Once we had the lead things got interesting. A couple of pretty ordinary tackles lead to Saber coming off for Darren & then both Bobby and Phil being hacked pretty savagely. Daniel and Jason came on for Jonny & Wez as we attempted to shore up the midfield.

Our old friend Tony Zollo got fired up in the opposition goal, at one stage accusing our spectators of stealing the match ball in what was a pretty funny exchange.

Each time the ball went down the hill (those of you who’ve played at Magill would know it’s pretty steep), we decided not to get our keeper Glynn to fetch it we asked for the second match ball (which was already down the hill), at this point the game would stop for minutes at a time – Uni SA had 20 or 30 spectators, but none of them was willing to help their team by fetching the ball.

Not surprisingly though, this did seem to fire up the Uni SA boys, and with their superior fitness starting to show through the whites goal was under siege.

In the final 20 minutes our defence was sorely tested, but Glyn was excellent in goals & our back 4 held firm – Rob & Eddie were outstanding during this period, repelling dozens of Uni SA Forays.

In the end though the final whistle blew & we were battered, bruised, exhausted and victorious! The song was sung with vigour and we also gave 3 cheers to the Uni SA boys who pushed us to the brink!

A special win for the boys & a real confidence booster for the season. A final word of thanks must go to the spectators who made it out to support us – Family, Friends, Committee members, the President and players from the A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s came along & we definitely appreciated the atmosphere they created! We’ll do our best to return the favour during the course of the season.

That’s it! #RoadtoBurton

Saf

 Posted by at 11:10 am
Sep 082014
 

After the calamitous result last week, the D’s were keen to get back to our winning ways facing up against an Unley team who’d stolen a draw against us earlier in the season.

Before the game there was already some drama – with both Ali and Somi being unwell & therefore not playing. Mike Williams got a late call up to cover (Thanks Mike!), and Somi was well enough to come out to the game (team man!) and support us.

With a dearth of strikers, and a seemingly endless supply of defenders available, Steve switched things around – Jan moving up to the number 9, pushing Rob into central midfield and having Lev slot in at the back.

The full line-up was Lim (gk), Darren, Lev, Saf, Bobby at the back, midfield – Phillip, Rob, Saber, Manny, forwards – James, Jan.

From the kick-off, Unley took the early ascendancy, with the aid of a stiff breeze they bombed the ball long to the strikers, but also utilised their wide midfielders well, often leaving our wide defenders (Darren & Bobby) with two men to face.

Eventually their long ball plays paid off, as their young striker outsprinted the full-back (me) to shoot on the edge of the box. Lim made a good parry, but again the striker was too fast and scored at the near post.

At the other end, we’d actually had a number of chances, with Phillip shooting wide, and at the keeper, and James and Jan also looking dangerous, but their keeper had done a good job keeping us at bay.

One-Nil at the break, Steve asked us to pressure the keeper more and reminded us to play short balls unless going across the park to Manny or Phil – as the rest of us were at a pace disadvantage to the much younger Unley team.

Early on there was some good movement, and again we created a couple of chances, with Philip, Manny and Jan looking dangerous, but our good work was undone, as a slip in the midfield by the author allowed Unley to pounce. The ball being released to their striker on the right who made no mistake from just inside the box.

Steve began to ring the changes, as Tomas came on at the back and Hamad was moved up the front and we also brought Jan back into the midfield with Manny slotting in at 9.

We managed to pull a goal back from a well weighted corner, as I scored my first goal in close to a decade for 2-1. From that point on, the Whites put the pressure on Unley, but we lacked something special up forward as again our shots went wide or high.

The final whistle blew for a 2-1 loss, as Unley again proved to be our nemesis. And the day only got worse, as out A’s and B’s were both beaten, effectively ending their title hopes.

This is the first time we’ve lost 2 on the trot all season & was an extremely disappointing day. Let’s ensure we get a win on Saturday to finish the season on a high!

Hope to see you boys all out at training.

Saf

 Posted by at 10:29 am
Sep 082014
 

The honeymoon is over… After an undefeated run of twelve league games, during which time the D’s had won 9, drawn 3, scored 43 goals, conceded only 14 and moved ourselves up to second on the ladder, it all came crashing back down to earth against Uni SA.

A team we’d already defeated twice this year (once in the cup) and whom we had a very good record against us gave the whites a footballing lesson on a difficult pitch at Magill campus.

The ground was narrow, on a slight slope and incredibly dusty, but right from the outset the Uni SA team completely outplayed us, with a stacked midfield they played 2 touch football and showed the combination of skill and pace that’s allowed them to score more than 60 goals already this season.

The first two goals both came from half clearances from corners and good long range strikes, but after that Uni SA used their superior skill and pace to completely dominate the ball.

The only bright spots for the whites were Bobby’s excellent contribution after coming on just before the half time break, as he dropped into the defensive midfield slot and broke down play after play, getting his body in the way and running down the Uni SA midfield, and also Darren’s first goal for the club, after Jan, Rob and Bres were all involved in perhaps the oldest 4 player build up in collegiate football history.

7-1 was the correct score-line in an extremely disappointing day.

Saf

 Posted by at 9:12 am
Jul 312014
 

The Whites faced Grads Red this week who were sitting pretty having not yet dropped a point in division 4. They’d done a number on us early in the season so we were hoping to put on a better performance this time around.

Steve had a pretty strong squad to choose from, with only Rob, Wes and Glyn missing from his best team.

Glyn’s absence meant Steve had to play in goals & test out his ageing shoulder. At the back was Matt Gardner and Eddie out wide, and Lev and Saf in the middle. The midfield consisted of Phil and Bobbie on the wings and the ever reliable Saber and Jan central. Up top were Benny and Chad to spearhead the line-up.

Steve gave his usual spiel about having fun, win, lose or draw (as long as we win) , and then got to the more serious matter of reminding us to play short passing game, hit feet & make it as easy as possible for each other.

And right from the outset we did just that. Eddie and Matt were just too fast at the back for the Grads Strikers to break through and our midfield were consistently first to the ball. We had numerous chances to open the scoring, but somehow conspired to consistently miss the target. Philip, Jan, Chad, Saber and even the author were all guilty of inaccuracy in front of goals.

On the other hand Grads had one clear cut chance in the first half, & thankfully Steve was up to the task & parried it away.

At the break, the talk was positive (we were already 4 down in the previous encounter at this stage), even the coach had some good things to say, although we all agreed we should have really been 3 up at least.

The old cliché that football is a game of two halves rung true however, as right from the kick-off the Grads took the ascendancy. Their midfield began to take hold, as we also were guilty of missing our passes and going long too soon on a number of occasions.

Thankfully though, their shooting wasn’t great either, with Steve only forced to make a couple of saves.

In an attempt to shore up our defence, Darren and Tomas came on, and James came on for Bobby on the wing.
The other significant move was that Lev moved into goals, with Chad coming to sweeper and Steve went up front.

Lev was instantly in the game, pulling off a couple of good saves, whilst Chat was made to make a couple of fierce tackles at the back.

In the end the result was nil all, which I think was a fair reflection of the game. This was a great result for the boys though, as we’re the first team to take points of the Reds. Hopefully we can use this result to push us on for the rest of the season.

Another stand out performances from Eddie was great to see, but really this was a game where the coach could say ‘all played well’

That’s it

Saf

 Posted by at 11:24 pm
Jul 312014
 

The whites played CBC who were languishing at the foot of the ladder.
Fresh from the disappointment of the 4 all draw with Unley, the boys were keen for a win.

Before kick-off, half the team looked tired, with the world cup in full swing, barely anyone had actually slept the night before.

That being the case, the boys started well, with Jan and Nick ‘Sangas’ Kalfas bagging early goals. I think we were 3 nil at half time without ever having got out of second gear.

The second half for us was much like the first, with us bagging another 3 goals (Jan claiming a hattrick, Benny and Wes each scoring one). A 6 nil win is always nice, but to be honest CBC were particularly poor.

A six nil win is always a good way to recover from disappointment of the week before. Well done boys.

That’s it!

 Posted by at 10:14 pm