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Australia’s Subbuteo Team Beats Japan in Asian Cup in Joyous Table Football Win

This article first appeared on the ABC News Australia website – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-11/australias-unheralded-subbuteo-team-beats-japan/8607988

By Tracey Holmes


Australia faces Japan in Subbuteo Asian Cup.
Photo: Table football can be a tense affair. Multiply that a few times when its played in the Asian Cup. (Australian Table Football (Subbuteo) Association)
Map: Japan

There are no fancy uniforms, no Sports Commission grants, nor a single dollar in sponsorship.

To be brutally honest, there’s not even much fanfare for this team of unheard-of Australians, in a little known sport, who this weekend celebrated their first overseas victory since 1994.

The event is the Asia Cup. The sport is table football, or Subbuteo.

Never heard of it? Never mind. You have now.
Australia plays Japan in Subbuteo Asian Cup
Photo: Australia cobbled together a team in time for the Asian Cup, even flying in one team member from Sweden. (Australian Table Football (Subbuteo) Association)

The event is being played in Tokyo and the Australians spent last night celebrating a 3-1 win over Japan.

Australian team spokesman Steve Dettre told The Ticket “people may laugh but it’s like any sport, you play at a pretty high level and it’s quite tense”.

“Some of the best players in Asia are here, actually some of them are ranked in the top 50 in the world,” he said.

“It’s quite a challenge playing at this level … like the game I just played, one mistake and the other guy scored, so it’s pretty hectic.

“We’ve got about 200 to 300 players in Australia now. It doesn’t sound like a lot but we started from ground zero and we let everybody know the Asia Cup was coming up … so we put together a team.

“We got a guy from Perth, two are from Sydney and an Aussie guy flew in from Sweden.”

There are six nations, including Australia, to contest the prestigious ‘Open’ event on Sunday. Saturday featured a veteran’s comp and the Nation’s Cup — featuring Japan, Singapore and Australia.

Australia’s Subbuteo factfile:

Our highest ranked international Table Football player is Melbourne TFC’s Peter Thomas, ranked 40th in the world
The Melbourne Table Football Club is ranked 44th in the world
There are table football clubs in every Australian capital city
Club membership is for men and women, boys and girls of all ages
Matches consist of two 15-minute halves
The Asia Cup Open will be covered by NHK Japanese television
Australia has never won the Asia Cup

Despite its historic victory over Japan, the Australians weren’t good enough for Singapore who walked away with the Nation’s Cup.
Australian and Japanese players at Subbuteo Asian Cup
Photo: Raffaele Lombardi (R) is one of Australia’s team-members in Tokyo. (Australian Table Football (Subbuteo) Association)

The International Federation of Subbuteo Table Football (FISTF) is not as advanced, or well funded, as their cousins from FIFA so a win at the Asia Cup doesn’t provide a pathway to a world event.

“The international scene is not that developed, but obviously that’s a future plan,” Dettre said.

“All we’ll get for winning something here will be bragging rights.”

ATFA Board Elections

Over the last 12 months, one of the tasks undertaken by the ATFA Board has has been to make ATFA a registered not-for-profit association. As part of this, under the Association’s constitution, Board membership must be voted for by ATFA’s registered members at the beginning of each financial year.

All ATFA members are also invited to stand for election as volunteers on the ATFA Board and so the nomination process for this is now underway. All current ATFA members are free to stand. Nominations must be supported by 2 ATFA members and acknowledged by the nominee. Members are free to nominate any number of nominees.

As per the constitution, the Board must consist of 7 members, 4 who are Office Bearers and 3 Ordinary Committee Members. Below is a list of the role descriptions for each member.

DESCRIPTIONS

Office Bearers

President : oversees the Board. In conjunction with the Board, the President sets dates for, and convenes Board meetings as required, including the compulsory Annual General Meeting following the close of each financial year; presides as chairperson over all Board meetings.

Vice President : assists the Board President in all the President’s duties.

Treasurer : oversees ATFA’s monetary concerns: the running of ATFA’s bank account; supplying annual profit/loss overviews to the Board and ATFA membership; keeping records of all expenses and income.

Secretary General : is responsible for: supplying all documentation required by FISTF in regards to ATFA club and player memberships; FISTF tournament registrations and results or any other necessary documents; keep minutes of all committee or general meetings.

Ordinary Committee Members

Board Advisor (Communications Officer) : is responsible for communications to the Australian Subbuteo community, including: the upkeep and co-ordination of the ATFA website; the ATFA calendar; the ATFA mailing list.

Board Advisor (General) (x2) : offers advice and assistance to the rest of the Board in relation to all decisions made at the Board level.

All Board members will be equally responsible for the discussion and decision making processes for any issue required of the Board. It is expected that all Board members will be proactive in promoting Subbuteo Table Football in their local context and will undertake all their table footballing duties, including Board membership, with the best interests of the game in Australia at heart.

Nominations close at 11:59PM on June 24, 2017. Voting will take place during the following week via the ATFA website. The ATFA Annual General Meeting will take place at Good Games Bella Vista (Lower podium H143, 24-32 Lexington Drive, Bella Vista, NSW) at 2:30PM on Sunday, July 2, 2017, during which time votes will be counted and the ATFA Board for 2017-18 endorsed. All members are invited to attend the AGM (which will be followed by actual games of Subbuteo!!).

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Mat takes on Richard on the near table, with Adrian C battling Dave at the back

Mat takes on Richard on the near table, with Adrian C battling Dave at the back

Western Flickers’ Adrian Connolly was heading to Parramatta for a week of business, so the Subbuteo Parramatta club held a WASPA tournament to give him something to do while he was away from home. Adrian had sharpened his skills at the Victorian Championships the previous weekend and was looking to put them to use. Meanwhile, the Subbuteo Parramatta club was using its new clubhouse at Good Games Bella Vista for their first ever Opens WASPA tournament.

With 5 players making their way to the midweek competition, a straight league was settled upon as the best way to go. The opening round saw Adrian C take out a 2 goal victory over Richard with Adrian E doing the same against Dave. In the second round of games, things got really tight – Richard and Adrian E slugging out a 0-0 draw and Mat peppering Dave’s goal, only to see everything saved or hit the woodwork. Then, in the final minute of the game, with his first shot of the game, Dave slipped one past Mat’s ‘keeper with the ensuing victory dance telling the full story! Dave followed this up with another 1-0 win, this time over Richard, while Adrian C continued to build an impressive run with a 2-0 victory over Mat. The 4th round fixtures saw a very tight 0-0 between Adrian C and Dave, while Adrian E got over Mat by the solitary goal. This left Dave, Adrian C and Adrian E all on 7 points with one round remaining. Unfortunately, Dave had the final bye so wouldn’t be able to take the title, leaving the match between the two Adrians as the virtual final.

(l-r) Richard, Adrian C, Mat, Dave, Adrian E

(l-r) Richard, Adrian C, Mat, Dave, Adrian E

In the final games, Mat picked up his first points of the tournament with a goalless draw with Richard. Adrian and Adrian squared up and the game, as was typical of all the evening’s matches, was an incredibly tight affair. However, late in the first half, the Melburnian made a beautiful incisive flick and shot on the run, putting the ball into the goal with the Sydney-sider not even behind his goal line. Holding on to his lead for the rest of the fixture meant that Adrian C would return home with the title, having seen off all his Subbuteo Parramatta opponents.

For full results, click here.

For more photos, click here.

ATFA Membership

The Australian Table Football Association is happy to be able to announce that, due to the exponential growth of our game over the last few years, we are now in the position to be able to have a formal membership process, enabling us to fall in line with the Federation of International Sports Table Football’s requirements for full member nations.

We have endeavoured to keep membership fees to a minimum. They will be $10 for the season for players 18 years of age and over, and free for Juniors. Membership is required for players to compete in any FISTF tournament worldwide. It also allows Opens players (18 and over) to nominate to volunteer on the ATFA Board and vote in ATFA Board elections.

Normally, membership will run for each FISTF season – from September until the following August. For this year, memberships taken up now will be valid until August 2018. There will be a Board election in late June/early July for which all members will be able to both nominate and vote.

ATFA Board General Meeting

In March, the interim Board of the Australian Table Football Association met to consider a few points needed for the administration of the game in Australia. While most of this information will already be fairly common knowledge amongst Australian players, the minutes are published below so that anyone can have a look. It is envisaged that the next Board meeting will occur around the end of the current financial year. This will coincide with the inauguration of ATFA memberships and the full election of the ATFA Board by ATFA members.

to read the board meeting minutes (pdf format), click here.

Subbuteo Parramatta Junior WASPA Tournament – Autumn 2017

group photoSchool holidays can only mean one thing, the return of Subbuteo Parramatta’s Junior Subbuteo Tournament. This autumn, the club took the opportunity to try out a new venue – the newly opened Good Games store in Bella Vista. Suffice to say all who attended were impressed by the space, the lighting and the hospitality provided, so much so that the club has now decided to use the shop as their new permanent clubhouse.

Seven players lined up for the tournament and, for the first time in Australian history (maybe even the world, anyone got access to all the records?!), the females outnumbered the males in an open tournament. With a couple of those involved in their first ever junior tournament, the future looks bright.

Players were divided into two groups. WASPA rankings were used to seed two players into each group, the others placed randomly to fill them up. Oliver was the dark horse – not having played as many tournaments as others, his ranking didn’t place him as a seeded player, but his intense practise over the last 6 months meant that he was poised to give the seeded players a shake. The group games were all very even, with 2 goals being the greatest margin in any fixture. At the conclusion of the group matches, the places all went according to seeds, except for Group Two, which turned out to be something of a group of death. Oliver made good on his dark horse status, taking his place at the expense of Imojjen, who lost both her fixtures in incredibly close 1-0 results to Oliver and Jonty. Meanwhile, Jonty and Oliver, with identical results and a head-to-head draw, had to go to a shootout to decide first and second place in the group. Oliver came out on top in a tight tussle.

In the repechage, Imojjen beat the day’s youngest competitor, Catherine, by a single goal to set up a final game against her good friend, Maddy. The two then played out a scoreless draw, the fatigue of a few hours’ straight Subbuteo play taking its toll.

The semi-finals saw Daniel line up against Jonty and Oliver faced Æowyn. None of the players could be separated. Oliver and Æowyn both put the ball in the back of the net during their game – Oliver while the referee had stopped play and Æowyn 5 seconds after the half-time whistle – but couldn’t break the deadlock during normal play. Likewise, Daniel and Jonty played out a scoreless draw and so both semis went to shots. Oliver took a straightforward 2-0 shots victory over Æowyn, but Jonty and Daniel needed 10 shots each before they could be separated!

oliver battles jonty in the grand final

oliver battles jonty in the grand final

Fatigue definitely set in for Æowyn in the 3rd/4th play-off, with Daniel running away with a 3-0 victory. Meanwhile, Jonty and Oliver renewed their group game rivalry and, again, couldn’t be separated. A goal to each left them with their second shootout of the day. This time, however, Jonty turned the tables, taking the match, and the title, with a shot to spare.

An excellent afternoon of Subbuteo with fairplay and friendliness a feature throughout. A big thanks to the parents who brought their children along and hung around to referee and give coaching tips. A big thanks to the Palamaras and the Sirmais who trekked from the opposite side of the city and many many thanks to our wonderful host venue, Bella Vista Good Games. The juniors will be back next holidays!

for full results, click here
for more photos click here

Subbuteo Parramatta Junior WASPA Tournament

Subbuteo Parramatta is proud to host a Junior WASPA Tournament during the upcoming NSW school holidays. We’ll be using the wonderful space at our new headquarters – Good Games Bella Vista. All school aged players are welcome, girls and boys. New players are especially welcome – we can loan you equipment and teach you how the game is played. Entry is completely free. So come along for some school holiday fun.

april 2017 junior tournament 600px

2017 Australian Grand Prix – Opens Tournament

group photoDrama is probably the best way to describe the Australian Grand Prix 2017.
A late switch of venue, events during the Open competition, some classic encounters, a female competition for the first time, and the presence of representatives of 11 of our club, combined to make this the most dramatic Australian Grand Prix.

The dinner and draw on the Friday night, so ably MC’d by Geoff Sirmai, and catered brilliantly by our own Fabrizio Coco, resulted in some fascinating pairings in the groups of the Open.

In Group 1, Peter Thomas (MTFC) dominated, but one of the two Cherrybrook ‘prodigal sons’ — Nick Brill raised lots of eyebrows with his comeback performance after 20 years out of competition. In his first up match, using Toccers he faced Peter and came away with a credible 6-2 loss, before smacking Kosta Barbaris (Sydney) 6-0.

In Group 2 there was a big surprise when Giuseppe Tardiota (Brisbane) beat Eliot Kennedy (Falcons) 1-0. Yago Dzelalija (Canberra) made his ATFA debut, getting a credible 1-1 draw against Giuseppe, and a 0-0 with Jeremy Simpson (Hipfingerz) before succumbing to the raw power of Eliot 5-0.

In Group 3, Ross McNulty (Perth) threw caution to the wind in his opener against Steve Dettre (Falcons), and despite Steve twice taking the lead, Ross pegged him back — the second being an absolute screamer. But in the second half, Steve’s accuracy wore Ross down, scoring three unanswered goals. Fabrizio won the group after a 1-0 win against Steve.

panorama 1 1000pxGroup 4 featured the bravest individual of the weekend. Despite suffering from the effects of a brain tumour, Harley Ullrich (Falcons) turned up on both Friday night and Saturday: “I wasn’t going to let anyone down. People were expecting to play, and I was going to be there.” He lost 3-0 to Benny Ng (MTFC) and then 2-0 to Rik Bland (Brisbane) before sharing the spoils in a pulsating 3-3 draw with Tony Credentino (Sydney).

Benji Batten (MTFC) made a spirited start to his title campaign with three wins in Group 5, ahead of Jon Ball (Falcons), another debutante in Terry Koutzas (Sydney) and Chris Thorn (Perth).

Hermann Kruse (Falcons) caused a boilover in Group 6, topping the table after playing some of the best table football he’s shown in the last two years. He held Adrian Elmer (Parramatta) 0-0, then Todd Giles (Newcastle) 1-1, before whipping three past another returnee, Richard Wilson (Cherrybrook). Todd had quite literally come straight off the boat, after a night shift in the navy, but lack of match practice took its toll.

In Group G, Paul Mercer (MTFC) topped the table, with Hugh Best (Perth) squeezing through in second place.

The barrage round threw up some of the biggest scores of the weekend. Rik could do no wrong as he beat Hermann 5-1, while Fabrizio went on a rampage against Jon, winning 5-0, and Benny beat Hugh 6-0. But the big surprise was Steve’s 7-1 thumping of Giuseppe, with every shot being an unstoppable meteor. Nick caused the biggest boilover when he beat Paul Mercer 2-0 to progress to the quarters.

Peter Thomas threw everything at Steve in the first half of their Quarter Final clash, with only Steve’s goalkeeping forcing him into the match. In the second half, a lightning attack by Pete broke the deadlock, and we progressed with a 2-0 win. Eternal rivals Benji and Benny faced off in their quarter, with Benji loudly proclaiming his 2-1 victory in a controversial climax to the game! Fabrizio comfortably moved past Rik 3-0, but Eliot had to battle all the way to sudden death extra time — at one stage being down 0-2 — before he could beat Nick 3-2.

opens 1In the Semi-finals, Eliot seemed to be inspired — or maybe just spurred into action — and put on a great performance to beat Fabrizio, while Peter turned on the style to beat Benji 3-0.

In the final, some unbelievable defensive flicks from both players kept the game scoreless until Peter wove his magic to claim his second AGP in three years.

Tournament report by Steve Dettre

For more photos, click here.

For full results, click here.

2017 Australian Grand Prix – WASPA Consolation Tournament

Ross Mcnulty celebrates his victory

Ross Mcnulty celebrates his victory

After the drama of the knockout stages in the AGP17 the 3rd and 4th players in the group of four advanced into a WASPA Knockout Tournament that ran alongside the Knockout stages of the AGP17. In a thrilling competition full of incidents and some truly special goals Mcnulty clinched victory to head 4,000 miles back to Perth with another title in the bag.

In the first of 2 Elimination play offs to make the Quarter Final Chris Thorn turned on a spectacular display too dispose of local junior, Andrew Kuany, in emphatic style with a 3-0 win. In the 2nd Elimination Play Off Yago Dzezlalija also put on a superb display in a 3-0 win against another local junior, Othniel Antwi, in a gripping match that really showcased the beauty of Subbuteo in its finest essence.

In the first of the Quarter Finals Ross Mcnulty came up against Jeremy Simpson and his dangerous Leicester City Tokas. After an even start, Mcnulty began to dominate play and took the lead just before half time. Simpson tried his all and cannoned a shot against the post but Mcnulty broke quickly and rasped a fine strike past the helpless keeper to go 2 up with 5mins left. Simpson did his all but could not break down the organised defence of Mcnulty’s Manchester City Tcha Arrows team and another goal was added to complete his advance into the Semi Finals. Chris Thorn took on Kostas Barbaris In the 2nd game of the Quarter finals and yet again remained water tight at the back. The veteran 74yr old dominated and took the lead just before half time with a wonderfully constructed goal of sheer patience that paid off. In the second half Kostas put Thorn under pressure but could not break down the defence and half way through the half Thorn added another beauty to join his club mate Mcnulty in the Semi Finals. In the 3rd game of the Quarter Finals, local Greek-Australian lad, Terry Koutzas, faced Melbourne girl and current Ladies No 1, Beth Eveleigh. Again another very tight match was played out with Beth remaining extremely organised at the back and they headed into half time at 0-0. Koutzas finally broke away after a sustained period of pressure midway through the second half and although Beth rallied she could not equalize, Koutzas advancing into the Semi Finals. In the 4th and final Quarter Final Richard Wilson was pitted against Yago Dzelalija and another classic encounter was evident with the first half ending 0-0 with each player going close on numerous occasions. In the 2nd half, Wilson and his dangerous Tokas smashed in an unstoppable shot that nearly took the net out and Yago crashed out after such a valiant effort in another cracker.

Chris Thorne buries his first in his semi final shootout against Terry Koutzas

Chris Thorne buries his first in his semi final shootout against Terry Koutzas

The first Semi Final pitted Chris Thorn against the local Terry Koutzas and after both defences were so organised the game headed into extra time, again they could not be separated and the game headed into shots. After the required 5 shots each, scores were tied at 3 each, so they went into sudden death. Thorn missed his first and Koutzas made no mistake to propel himself into the Final and deny Thorn of a possible show down with other Perth local Mcnulty. In the 2nd Semi Final Mcnulty faced Richard Wilson and his ever dangerous Tokas and after a fine quick counter attack a shot was placed into the top corner from the right too put him 1 up at half time. Wilson really went for it in the 2nd half and duly snatched a deserved equalizer with minutes left on the clock after a great strike. Into extra time and again it remained deadlocked at 1-1 and so the 2nd Semi Final was to be decided on penalties. At 2-2 after 4 penalties each Mcnulty tucked away his 5th and Wilson missed to go out after such a terrific display in the tournament.

The Final was a game littered with quick break aways and tight defensive discipline between Mcnulty & Koutzas but ultimately Mcnulty began to break down The Sydney TFC player and went in 1 up at the break. In the 2nd half Koutzas attempted to get back on level terms but a second and final killer goal landed Mcnulty his first title away from Perth.

report by Ross Mcnulty

SYDNEY AGP2017 WASPA TOURNAMENT

ELIMINATION PLAY OFFS :

3 Chris Thorn *
0 Andrew Kuany

3 Yago Dzelalija *
0 Othniel

QUARTER FINALS

3 Ross Mcnulty *
0 Jeremy Simpson

2 Chris Thorn *
0 Kostas Barbaris

1 Terry Koutzas *
0 Beth Eveleigh

1 Richard Wilson *
0 Yago Dzelalija

SEMI FINALS:

0 Terry Koutzas *
0 Chris Thorn
(Koutzas wins 6-5 on Pens)

1 Ross Mcnulty *
1 Richard Wilson
(Mcnulty wins 3-2 on Pens)

FINAL:

2 Ross Mcnulty *
0 Terry Koutzas