- Rest of World
|2012 AGSV Soccer Grand Final Preview: Ivanhoe v Marcellin|
Friday, July 27 2012
Kick-off @ 2pm – Veneto Club, Bulleen
The two kings of AGSV football are set to square off yet again, in the 2012 AGSV Grand Final. The fixture will take place at the traditional home of the competition – the Veneto Club in Bulleen, with a crowd of over 2000 expected for the big game.
Having met at the same stage of the competition last season, Ivanhoe will be desperate to exact revenge, as Marcellin came out on top, edging out their rivals 3-1 in an entertaining affair. On that day the likes of Cardamone and McDonald were far too strong for a gallant Ivanhoe line-up, however 12 months on the boys will be looking to set the record straight.
Without an AGSV crown since 2004, this current crop of Ivanhoe players have the perfect opportunity to make history for the proud school, however it won't be easy as they face an in-form and confident Eagles squad, who will come into the match as favourites to win yet another title.
In fact, Marcellin will incredibly be after their fourth title in five seasons, as they look to continue their dominance of the sport at this level. The school have lifted the top honour in the AGSV 10 times, and will be hoping to make it 11 on July 27, at a venue they have an exceptional record at.
As was the case in 2011, let it be known that whilst this website is not generally dedicated to bringing you the latest news and analysis from the world of AGSV football, it is for this one off occasion. Let it also be known that I did spend 13 years at Ivanhoe, and was on the receiving end of the two successive defeats in ’05 and ’06, so apologies in advance for any bias towards the better school.
History in favour of the Eagles
With all of the facts and figures in favour of Marcellin, the Eagles will undoubtedly be the more confident of the two in the lead up to the 2012 Grand Final.
The two schools have a rivalry that spans over many decades, however the presence of soccer over the past 20 years has resulted in the fiercest of rivalries in AGSV history.
For an in-depth look at the recent history between these two schools, and the impact that this game could potentially have on that, click on the link below.
- Hoes blow it, as Eagles triumph again -
Is this their time?
Long gone are the Ivanhoe glory days, whereby the likes of Michael Catalano, Nick Curtis, Vito Ceniti and co. were the dominant figures in AGSV football. What will rectify this though is a championship, so it does beg the question: is this the time for the current crop of Ivanhoe boys?
Eight years on from their last title, the team have the chance to lift their first crown since 2004, led by Matthew Lazeridis and Luke Gavalas, with the latter coincidentally the brother of the goalkeeper who featured so significantly in the school's last triumph back in '04. The co-captains have been in great touch all season, and have led the team to a fine record of six wins and two draws from their eight fixtures this season.
Having conceded just four goals in this time, the Hoes are in great shape defensively coming into the 2012 showpiece, and will aim to keep that fine record intact, hoping their attackers can maintain their goalscoring prowess up front. The school managed to set a new AGSV record over the course of the campaign, scoring a whopping 69 goals in just 720 minutes of football - equating to a goal every 10 minutes and 24 seconds, with Nick Epifano finding the back of the net 10 times in two separate games, ending the season with 36 goals in just six appearances.
Definitely a player for the Eagles to keep an eye on, however this rampant Ivanhoe side are a very well balanced and well drilled line-up, with coach David Plumb confirming that in a recent interview with SoccerAnchor.com.
"Nick has been great for us all season, and he is a lad who will go on to do bigger and better things. If I was Marcellin though, I would be cautious of the fact that we are not a one man team, and have quality all over the park.
"We do have a few surprises up our sleeve for them, and we are definitely ready to get one back on them for last season."
Cracks did appear in Ivanhoe's match earlier in the season against PEGS, where they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw. This result unfortunately meant the school finished in second place, two points behind Marcellin, meaning should the game end all square, the Eagles will be crowned kings of the AGSV yet again.
Red hot Eagles
While their opponents may have banged in goals left, right and centre all season, the red hot Eagles have a record of their own which is simply incredible in its own right. Despite having scored 20 less goals than Ivanhoe this term, Marcellin have not yet conceded a single goal, which given the amount of attacking they have done is simple remarkable.
Adding to this, 49 goals in eight games is still a solid return, and with over six goals a game of their own, the Hoes will need to be cautious themselves.
Like their seniors that have recently come, taken a look and then conquered the AGSV, the current crop of Marcellin boys will be keen to maintain this sensational record, as they embark on yet another final. Ably led by captain Chris Di Bartolo at the back, the inspirational captain will set the scene early, and one would think that his performance on the day will go a long way to deciding the outcome of the contest.
With plenty of quality in midfield, and some exciting talent up front - mainly in James Papadimitriou, a player that all the fuss seems to be about in the lead up - this game is shaping up to be an absolute classic.
Marcellin 0-0 Ivanhoe (AGSV Season, 2012)
In their one and only meeting at AGSV level in 2012, the game ended in an entertaining scoreless draw. Both teams had their chances throughout the game, however failed to make the most of their opportunities.
Both goalkeepers were in inspired form, with Gavalas proving why he is already being targeted by Old Ivanhoe coach Luke Pace at the present time, with a number of memorable saves and heroic acts. Pace spoke exclusively to SoccerAnchor.com about the young goalkeeper's performance on the day, clearly indicating just how impressed he was.
"This kid has a very bright future, and we'd love to sign him up at Old Ivanhoe. If I had to use one word to describe his performance on the day, I'd say it was perfect.
"We are a big club, and we can offer the player a great deal. All he needs to do is come to our club launch on September 5, and see what we are all about."
"Luke Pace and Old Ivanhoe are all about bringing through and developing the youth, and we hope to sign Gavalas for the 2013 season, and hopefully a few of his mates as well."
While the Eagles did have their fair share of chances on the day, the Hoes were far more deserving of the three points, and will be kicking themselves if their failure to find the back of the net that day costs them a title on Friday.
Old Marcellin 3-1 Old Ivanhoe (Community Shield Final, March 2012)
Old Marcellin and Old Ivanhoe met for the first time in 2012 in the Community Shield Final at the Darebin International Sports Centre. With plenty of controversy surrounding the pre-game, the match was eventually played in good spirits, with the Eagles emerging victors by a 3-1 score line.
James Verkic had the ball in the back of the net within the first 30 seconds, however the Hoes settled from that point and dominated the first half. Craig Nichol was brilliant on the right wing, while Claude Jabbour was calling the shots from the heart of defence, despite playing with a busted foot.
Their hard work counted for little however, as a brilliant finish by Jason Sticca, and then another to Verkic early in the second half, saw the Eagles clinch an unassaiable three goal lead, ensuring that the season's first piece of silverware went to Marcellin.
Ivanhoe pulled one back from the spot, as yours truly tucked one away into the bottom corner, giving Rama Caliguri no chance in goal whatsoever, but it was too little too late, as Marcellin were triumphant yet again.
WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
* Christian Gravias: "Don't forget to head down to the Veneto club on Friday. Not only will I be making an appearance, but there also will be a soccer grand final on between Marcellin and Ivanhoe. So head down."
* Dillon Jakupi: "Few legs are going to be broken Friday..."
* Matty Laz: "Ivanhoe to take the p**s."
Goalkeeper: Gavalas (c), Costa
Defenders: Adrianopolous, Augello, Daly, Jikwa, MacLeod, Pierri, Podaridis
Midfielders: Chindamo, Jakupi, Katebian, Lauria, Lazarides (c), Yiah
Forwards: Archimendritis, Bounas, Epifano, Lobo, Michael
Defenders: Bavcar, Cottone, Di Bartolo (c), Goff, Mazzallini
Midfielders: Borghese, Gravias, Hesse, Moca, Morovich, Tribuzio
Forwards: De Bortoli, Macaluso, Papadimitriou
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Nick Epifano (IVANHOE): You just cannot go past Epifano as the key player in this match, as his record speaks for itself. His efforts have been well documented in this piece thus far, but lets go over them once again. An incredible 36 goals in just six appearances, with two bags of 10 makes him one of the most feared attackers in AGSV history. Another who will be targetted by Luke Pace at season's end, so long as he can get in before the Melbourne Heart snap him up, Epifano holds the key to success for Ivanhoe on Friday. Eventually someone will have to break down this resolute Marcellin defence, and Epifano will be the man to do exactly that.
It looks like it will be an entertaining spectacle for the 2000 strong crowd expected this Friday. Undoubtedly the two best teams of the current era going at it, with some of the most impressive players of their time, so generally you would be expecting goals. I foresee however that this will be a tightly contested, low scoring affair, as both teams will be desperate to keep a clean sheet, particularly in the first half. One goal at either end may be enough to edge the game, and clinch the title on offer.
To add more pressure, the winning captain/s will have the opportunity to join me live on SEN Radio this Sunday evening from 10pm, as we recap the game in depth on-air, in front of thousands of SoccerAnchor fans.
I've tipped Marcellin to go down on the last two occasions, and it has proven to be the wrong decision. So this time I'm going to back myself, and go against them again, but only just, in what should be an AGSV classic.
IVANHOE 1-0 MARCELLIN