Demons season wrap-up
A sharp examination on just how the Northern Demons performed in the Covid-19 ravaged FSA soccer year that only ended last week under twilight conditions can simply suggest that the Demons played out a well below par and ordinary State League 2 season.
The local Reds enforced lengthened fixtures and the longest one it has ever participated in saw the Byrne Park team win just six games and finish in 10th spot in an indifferent display to the previous three when the Demons played finals soccer.
And while the Demons should be buoyed with the recent appointment of new local coach Michael Roros for the next season, the Reds now have to drag themselves out of the past that lowered the club's loftier standards and return where it rightly belongs and deserves to be with a strong foundation behind it.
Last season would already and well and truly have been put aside, but its faults and its inability to be better seriously needs to be fixed and no doubt will rely on new payers coming to Byrne Park rather than leaving as witnessed pre Covid and during the pandemic.
The local State League 2 team will have to regain composure and rebuild as it seeks to bounce back quickly as a sports group takes a nose-dive from time to time.
New faces with jobs at the club and new ideas will present Byrne Park with a different face look that is expected to reinvigorate the Northern Demons and make the Reds a much stronger opponent and regain its usual ladder level that had been questioned in this year's season regularly.
Former Demons senior coach Joel Porter's three-year term produced a close mid-ranking 7.00 league ladder average with seasonal positioning ranging from 6th and 5th in his first two seasons, before spoiling his stats with a 10th in his farewell season for the Port Pirie FSA club.
Meanwhile it was that second-place finish back in 2017 that the Northern Demons then coached by Andrew McMillan got its best ever chance of playing in a grand final and winning promotion for the club that has now played Federation soccer for 21 years.
In the Reserves the Demons finished in 9th position while the Under 18's competition was cancelled due to early Covid precautions.
"It will be very interesting to see just how the Demons rebound and what new coach Michael Roros brings to Byrne Park in 2021"
Savoy season wrap-up
This season's slightly shorter soccer format experienced by Savoy is expected to be a positive for the Green and Whites when relating to the opposition the local SAASL club played against.
And with Vincent DeGioia continuing with his mentorship after a difficult Covid-19 year one expects things should return to normal for the new season as the Savoy coach now with experience on his side is expected to tick all the boxes and have his players primed for the return of league soccer.
In the meantime the timely and well modified SAASL season completed some weeks ago now with a 0-1 loss to Elizabeth Vale in the semi-final in Adelaide gave Savoy much satisfaction especially after playing predominantly local players after the locals had defeated several top division teams on the way.
And Savoy certainly were well rewarded by attracting new faces to the team in a combined effort that both parties relished, effective recruiting was no doubt responsible for the local amateurs performing well.
During the season Savoy naturally did a lot of travelling playing in the Northern Zone but at the same time revelled at the Memorial Oval Sports Precinct where the Green and Whites have adopted so well as its home quarters.
However Savoy will be without outstanding key forward and club medallist Jack Scoot who is currently recovering from knee surgery and will be out of action for a good part of the season and his absence will be a huge blow.
Nonetheless the new 2nd Division season must get plenty of attention and the momentum that Savoy seem to be presently enjoying must be seized on with its first team trying to continue with a top third ranking like it has done in the past couple of years.
Savoy no doubt will be looking at further bolstering its league outfit and return to league level similarly to the season it finished 3rd in and one that it could have snatched promotion in the final fixture that season.
At the moment Savoy can agree to the fact that they are currently in a good space as far as soccer is concerned.
"With Savoy no doubt enjoying its soccer of late it will now need to consolidate all its fine work by looking forward to returning to League Soccer in 2021."
FSA Grand Final Results
State League 2 Valo Sports Centre
Adelaide Cobras 0 Eastern United 1
State League 1 Valo Sports Centre
Sturt Lions 2 White City 0
National Premier League Coopers Stadium
Adelaide Comets 1 Campbelltown City 3
Football South Australia Grand Final Reviews
Wednesday night's State League 2 Valo Grand Final went to the chasing and tenacious Eastern United in an extra time tiring long final where United's top scorer and elite forward
Aaron Acton kicked his 24th goal of the season and a priceless strike for his team who was playing against the Adelaide Cobras for the 3rd time in this final series.
It proved a very tight final that easily may have gone the other way but one that experienced coach Rob Detroia got the very best out of his 's outfit and made it third time lucky with a 109th minute goal and one that probably only Acton could score as both teams played on the edge with time running out.
But although Eastern United's won its first major silverware that sends the Athelstone Saints to the stronger middle league, so will the Cobras who also have now been promoted to State League 1 next season.
The Peter Falidis coached Adelaide Cobras who were on a roll before the recent Covid mini recess came just short of being the best finishers in the State League 2 competition.
Wednesday's night's final was refereed by Curtis Wordsworth.
Sturt Lions defeat White City
The form team in State League 1 soccer Sturt Lions justified its finals form when it defeated White City 2-0 to move into the Premier League next season and be one of the newest clubs to play top soccer.
Former Northern Demons goalkeeper Deal Chamberlain was in goals for City who is coached by distinguished mentor Damian Mori and former Adelaide City great.
Thursday night's final was refereed by Christian Verdicchio and was highlighted by a standout performance from overseas import Gonzalo Rodriguez who was awarded man of the final honours and kicked two classy goals in Sturt Lions' win.
The goalkicking machine kicked double goals in each of Sturt Lions three State League 1 finals, but last Thursday night's final saw a bustling opening and quick end to end soccer before Sturt Lions settled best and served extremely well by a quality striker.
Campbelltown City get hattrick and repel Comets
Last Friday night's Coopers Stadium NPL grand final challenge of completing a hattrick was enough for reigning champions Campbelltown City to snare another major trophy when it made rather easy work of defeating minor premiers the Adelaide Comets 3-1.
A 12 th minute goal to Joshua Baressi quickly had the Reds on the right foot as it exposed the Barney Smith coached Comets who found it tough getting through Campbelltown's defensive setup and a further goal at the 21st from Mark Marino who minutes later was forced off with a groin injury had the Iain Fyfe coached outfit leading 2-0 staring at a threepeat.
Meanwhile Comets wingback and former Port Pirie and Northern Demons player Jayden Lobasso was one of a selected few to play an excellent final for the Comets and was seen pressing hard on the right side and attacking the Campbelltown goals on several occasions.
Campbelltown City had defeated Adelaide City 4-0 and was a confident combination against the Comets in Friday's final with the two goals on the scoreboard at halftime to suggest a Reds win at Coopers Stadium.
And Blake Carpenter scored another at the 64 th for a big 3-0 lead only minutes prior to the Comets penalty that referee Daniel Cook awarded and that skipper Allan Welsh converted for 3-1.
It had been a comprehensive performance by Iain Fyfe's team and no doubt that Campbelltown
City has built a dynasty in South Australian soccer.
Port Pirie flavour at Coopers
A real Port Pirie flavour was in the air at the Coopers Stadium final last Friday night and while the Jayden Lobasso name was well documented on the Comets players list and by no means never let his team down, the Amato name also came up when young Cohen Amato received FSA Life Membership posthumously for his late dad services to Savoy and local soccer as player and coach.
Also Bill Misailidis that started his career as a Hellas youngster before playing for Savoy for several seasons along with Paul Higgins that played for the club were recipients of life memberships as well.
Thank you to Recorder readers
Well it certainly has been an exhaustive year but I would like to take the opportunity to thank all Recorder readers, especially the two local soccer clubs for their assistance during their sporting seasons and as well as wishing everyone a Happy Festive Season.
Both have been very different soccer seasons than usual but I sincerely hope everyone is well and have managed the pandemic intelligently and with flying colours. And also an early good luck gesture to both the Northern Demons and Savoy.