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Anzac Eve Battle for Testicular Cancer Awareness

In support of Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, a showpiece Table Football match will be hosted at South Melbourne Football Club’s Lakeside Stadium between Melbourne City Football Club captain Scott Jamieson and Football Federation Victoria (FFV) President Kimon Taliadoris on the 24th April.  Testicular cancer is dear to the hearts of the Table Football community, with the current President of the Australian Table Football Association (ATFA) Adrian Connolly presently undergoing chemotherapy as he battles the illness.

“Whilst it is the most common cancer for young men, testicular cancer is rarely spoken about”, says Adrian Connolly.  “To my surprise three of the top 50 Australian Table Football players have privately come forward to me to disclose they too have fought the cancer.  It reminded me how so many young men must go through this alone because guys simply don’t talk about their balls!”.

“I’m a pretty resilient guy, and at the age of 43 I’m on the old side for the cancer” Adrian goes on to say.  “I really don’t know how I would have coped if this happened to me in my 20s, which is more commonly the case for non-seminoma testicular cancer like I have been diagnosed with.  In fact, I’m not even sure I would have had the balls to act on it early enough had it happened back then.”

Throughout April ATFA are encouraging each Table Football Club in Australia to run a tournament with participating players to make a donation to Movember Foundation.  Adrian’s Oncologist has worked with the charity to create new resources under the banner “TRUENTH” to educate and support people throughout the testicular cancer journey, from detection to treatment to recovery.

Help stop men dying too young.

#awarenessdownunder

Melbourne City FC captain Scott Jamieson, left, with Australian Table Football Association President Adrian Connolly prior to his diagnosis.

Melbourne City FC captain Scott Jamieson, left, with Australian Table Football Association President Adrian Connolly.

Canberra Satellite trials Swiss format as Benny Ng claims top spot

Singapore’s Benny Ng (Western Flickers) claimed the first FISTF event staged in Canberra, the national capital of Australia, ahead of a strong field of 23 players.

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The Swiss format competition was staged over five rounds, with some dramatic matches and equally dramatic final rankings.
Northern Falcon’s young duo of Oli Ollnow and Torben Pfister claimed second and third places, while Canberra TFC’s Nick Brill finished fourth.

Top ranked Fabrizio Coco (Sydney TFC) fell 3-1 to Benny, and with two 1-1 draws (against Northern Phoenix Paul Mercer and Brisbane’s Giuseppe Tardiota), he fell to 8th place in the final ranking.

There was much discussion both before and after the tournament as to the pluses and minuses of the Swiss format, and ATFA will present a final report to FISTF on their views on the tournament.

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Results
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Table
Canberra-FISTF-Satellite_table

Fab claims another Falcons WASPA

Fabrizio Coco claimed the second Northern Falcons WASPA of the year, with a nerve wracking victory by shots over clubmate Tony Credentino.

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A healthy turnout of 12 players contested the event, with an early shock when Adrian Grunbach edged Eliot Kennedy 2-1.
Steve’s propensity to hit the post with chipped shots saw him dip out in the ‘group of death’, while Eliot recovered to beat Jonty and qualify with Adrian G from their group.
Hermann Kruse and Adrian Elmer advanced from Group C, while very little separated eternal rivals Oli Ollnow and Torben Pfister before they both advanced.
Fabrizio and Elion had convincing wins in their quarterfinals, while Tony edged Hermann 1-0. Oli Ollnow and Adrian G needed shots to decide their encounter, with Oli winning 2-0.

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In the semis, Eliot battled hard and had a golden opportunity with seconds left on the clock to equalise against Fab, but fluffed his lines, and Fab burst forward to snatch a late second. In the other, Tony continued his stirling form with a 1-0 win against Oli.

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The final was packed with drama. Tony scored early, and then had to battle against Fab’s intense pressure. With just over a minute remaining, Fab got his equaliser, taking the match to shots.
The pressure remained, with both players taking their chances, before Fab scored with the last of his five to win 3-2.

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Another great night at the Falcons’ Nest!!!

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Cedric Garnier claims top spot in Asian Open rankings

Cedric Garnier of Tokyo TFC took top spot on the Asian rankings for the first time since July 2018 on the back of the Yokohama Satellite.

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He leapfogged both Anas Rahamat (SGP, Jurong Central) and Antonio Carabillo (HKG Dragons).
The biggest mover was Rob Green (AUS, Northern Falcons) who leapt 15 places in the Asian rankings, into the top 10 for the first time. He also moved 103 places in the world ranking.
Among others who rose in Asia, were Fabrizio Coco (AUS, Sydney FC) who jumped 4 places, Steve Dettre (AUS, Northern Falcons) 6 places, Adrian Connolly (AUS, Western Flickers), Tony Credentino (AUS, Sydney TFC) 10, Adrian Elmer (AUS, Western Sydney) 8.
In the teams category, Juron edged ahead of their country rivals SG Lions to be ranked 1, while Sydney TFC rose to third in the rankings.
There was no activity and no changes in the Veteran category, U15 and U12.
In the U19 Top spot was retained by Benjamin Ng (AUS, Westrn Flickers), ahead of Isaac Lim (SGP, Lions), while Jonty Brener jumped two places into third in the ranking, ahead of clubmate Oli Olnow.
Falcons Torben Pfister moved up six places, as did Nicholas Carabillo (HKG Dragons), while Daniel Sirmai moved up five places to 15th.
Biggest mover was Liam Browne (AUS, Western Flickers), who leapt 10 places to 23rd.
In the women’s ranking Beth Eveleigh too top spot for the first time since January 2018, ahead of Kimi Wada (JPN, Yamato), while Charlotete Wright moved up one place to 4th, Æowyn Elmer rose two places to 6th and Juliette Brown jumped five places to 7th.

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Green takes Gold in Bondi

Open winner Rob Green, Women's winner Beth Eveleigh, and Junior winner Jonty Brenner

Open winner Rob Green, Women’s winner Beth Eveleigh, and Junior winner Jonty Brener

January 18-20th the 2019 Australian Grand Prix of Table Football was held in iconic Bondi, Sydney.  It was one of the largest events ever held in Asia with 38 entries in the Open category, 12 juniors, 6 women, and 6 club teams.

The festivities began on Friday 18th January with the dinner and draw, supported by DT38 Australia guest speaker Donna Giuffre to raise awareness for testicular cancer in what promises to be an ongoing relationship between DT38 and the Australian Table Football Association (ATFA).

The draw saw 2 groups of 3 players and 8 of 4 in the Open; 3 groups of 4 in the juniors, and 2 groups of 3 in the women’s, and in the Club teams there was one group of 3 and one group of 4 – the fourth being “Barbarians” composed of players without sufficient club numbers.  The Barbarians were not eligible to progress beyond the group stage.

As always seems to be the case there was a “group of death” in each individual category:

  • The juniors saw Hong Kong’s Nicholas Carabillo drawn with Charlotte Wright and Benjamin Ng in Group 1;
  • The women’s’ draw saw Melbourne IO finalists Beth Eveleigh and Juliette Browne drawn together in Group 1; and
  • In the Open event saw Raffaele Lombard drawn with 2018 World Cup representative Paul Mercer and Adrian Elmer.

Juniors

In the junior event, the first upset occurred when one of the favourites, Benjamin Ng, was an early casualty from the group of death.  Group 3 finished level, requiring a penalty shootout between Jonty Brener and Daniel Sirmai to separate the two at the top of the table, with Jonty prevailing.

In the Barrage, Northern Falcons’ Jonty Brener and Torben Pfister overcame Charlotte Wright and Daniel Sirmai to join Nicholas Carabillo and Gabriel Lombard in the semi-finals.

Both semi-finals were tight affairs, with Torben overcoming Nicholas 2-1 on shots after a pulsating 2-2 draw; whilst Jonty defeated Gabriel 1-0.

This made it an all-Northern Falcons final, demonstrating all the good work Hermann Kruse has done for the juniors of the club in recent years.  Hermann will be sorely missed when he departs Australia in a few months’ time.  In what would become the theme of the day, the finalists could not be separated in normal time.  Jonty scored the important golden goal in extra time to take the honours 2-1.

ATFA President Adrian Connolly presenting Jonty Brenner with his Junior title

ATFA President Adrian Connolly presenting Jonty Brener with his Junior title

Women’s

In the women’s event, Juliette took out Group 1 on goal difference, while Charlotte Wright topped Group 2.  In the semi finals, Beth defeated Charlotte 1-0, while it took penalties to break the deadlock in the other semi-final with Juliette ultimately prevailing to set up a repeat of the final of the Melbourne IO in October 2018.

The final was a typically tight contest between Beth and Juliette.  This time Beth held her nerve in the shootout of a major final to take the Australia Grand Prix title 1-0 on shots. the first FISTF title for her club Northern Phoenix TFC.

Women's AGP 2019 competitors

Women’s AGP 2019 competitors

Open

In Group 1 the games went largely as expected, though Adrian Connolly pushed top seed and 2018 Asian Cup runner up from Hong Kong Antonio Carabillo all the way in a 2-1 loss to make Antonio earn his top spot.  This would be the last goal the Antonio would concede until the final.

Group 2 was the “group of death”.  After a narrow 1-0 win by Raffaele Lombard over Paul Mercer, Adrian Elmer knew he was up against it.   Raffaele then won 2-0 over Adrian with a very late second goal.  Adrian needed to defeat Paul in the final game and did so 2-0 to deservedly qualify from the group.   Unfortunately for Paul, his game may have started to suffer from the distraction of the great work he had done with the fixturing and driving the schedule for the event. Many thanks go to Paul for his great work over the weekend and leading up to it.

Group 3 saw Eliot Kennedy top the group with an impressive 13 goals without reply.  Canberra’s only entrant Nicholas Brill progressed to the barrage in second place.

Group 4 was another tough group.  4th seed Benny Ng had drawn tournament dark horse Daniele Lombardi, fresh from his win in the inaugural Sydney Cup.  The clash of the two highest ranked players was one of the games of the tournament, finishing in an incredible 3-3 draw.  The group was then decided by goal difference, with Benny prevailing, to send Daniele into the barrage.

Group 5 saw Australian World Cup representative Fabrizio Coco top the group impressively with 14 goals from his 3 games.  Jonny Ball did well to take second place by defeating both Neil Brenner and Billy Wright, and also putting a goal past Fabrizio – one of the few players to do so over the weekend.

In Group 6, there was the only seeded player eliminate at this stage of the tournament.  Australian Veterans category World Cup representative Hugh Best found the going tough, finishing goalless on the bottom of the group.  Brisbane’s Giuseppe Tardiotta looked full of confidence, taking out the group comfortably with three wins and 13 goals.  Junior champion Jonty Brenner progressed with him in second place.

Group 7 had its first casualty of the event with Paul Magee who had to withdraw at the last minute due to the effects heat stroke from the scorching hot Sydney weather the previous day.  Thankfully he was in a group of 4 so as to not throw the draw into turmoil.

This presented a great opportunity for Kevin Grant to progress from his group again at a FISTF event and took this with both hands by comfortably defeating Louis Dettre.  Australian veterans category World Cup representative Rob Green, who had travelled all the way from Stockholm, Sweden to compete, topped the group without conceding to set up an exciting barrage clash with the winner of group 10 – Luke Radziminski.

Group 8 was a tight group from which the two Northern Falcons prevailed, Steve Dettre taking the group on goal difference from Adrian Grunbach thanks largely to his merciless 4-0 win over debutante Victoria Hampshire.

Group 9 went down to the wire.  Both Nicholas Carabillo and Tony Madiona went undefeated.  At half time of the final games, it was Tony and Geoff Sirmai who were set to progress.  However, a winner by Nicholas in the second half against Geoff saw him top the group, and sent Geoff out of the tournament despite just one narrow loss from his three group games.

Luke Radziminski started off Group 10 in ominous fashion with a 5-0 over Junior finalist Torben Pfister, and then an impressive 4-0 over Tony Credentino who rarely concedes many goals.  Tony, as expected, progressed in second place behind Luke in second place to enter the barrage.

The barrages saw comfortable victories for Nicholas Brill, Daniele Lombardi, and Tony Credentino over Kevin Grant, Adrian Grunbach, and Jonty Brenner, respectively.  The 4th barrage game was much tighter.  Tony Madiona was 1-0 up over Jonny Ball in the last minute, before giving away possession in attack.  Jonny capitalized and scored an equalizer with 10 seconds to go.  Jonny then took the momentum into extra time, scoring the winner to progress.

In the round of 16, top seed Antonio Carabillo needed extra time to break the deadlock against Tony Credentino and take out a narrow 1-0 win.  Steve Dettre and Fabrizio Coco both won 3-0, against Nicholas Carabillo and Adrian Elmer respectively.  Raffaele Lombard easily defeated Jonny Ball 4-0 and Benny Ng had a comfortable 5-1 win over Canberra’s Nicholas Brill.  Benny’s club mate Adrian Connolly had a shock 2-1 win over Guiseppe to see them both progress to the quarter finals.  In what many saw as a potential final prior to the draw, Rob Green overcame Luke Radziminski 3-2, the only time Rob conceded multiple goals in a game over the entire weekend.

The quarter finals saw 3 Northern Falcons in four of the games.  Steve Dettre was the only casualty, going down 2-0 to Antonio Carabillo.  Rob Green narrowly defeated Raffaele Lombard 1-0 after Raffaele failed to capitalize on long periods of pressure.  Eliot Kennedy repeated his 3-1 scoreline from the Melbouren IO 2018 semi-final over Adrian Connolly, although this clash was much tighter than their previous encounter.  Adrian could consider himself unlucky to be 2-1 down at half time, with time running out at the end of the first half following an accidental handball by Eliot just outside the box from a shot by Adrian.  In the remaining quarter final Fabrizio Coco needed to come from behind to defeat Benny Ng with a golden goal in extra time to see the last of the Victorian contingent eliminated.

The semi-final draw saw Northern Falcons stalwarts of the game Rob Green and Eliot Kennedy clash. Rob Green’s defiant defence again proved the difference, with Rob taking out his second consecutive 1-0.  The other game saw equally strong defensive play.  After a goalless game between Fabrizio Coco and Antonio Carabillo, Antonio prevailed 1-0 in extra time to see the top seed progress into the final.

In a final fitting of an international quality event, the two players who had travelled the furthest to compete were pitted against each other – Hong Kong’s Antonio Carabillo and Australia’s Stockholm resident Rob Green.  Rob looked in control for much of the game but only held a narrow 1-0 lead.  In the dying moments, with possession at a corner, Rob chose to attack rather than maintain possession.  With possession conceded, and seconds remaining, this gave Antonio one last chance.  With an incredible long pass and shot on the run he equalized with the last flick of normal time to raise the roof on the venue!  But Rob Green regained his composure in extra time and avoided too much regret for this error by scoring the important golden goal and take the Australian Grand Prix 2019 Open title 2-1.

Open winner Rob Green proudly raising hit title.

Open winner Rob Green proudly raising hit title.

Club Teams

Six teams entered the competition, Sydney TFC, Northern Pheonix TFC, two from Northern Falcons TFC and two from Western Flickers TFC.  To give other players more games, a team of “Barbarians” was also entered in to Group 2, but were not eligible to progress from the Group stage of this FISTF tournament.

In Sydney TFC topped Group 1 with wins over Northern Falcons B and Western Flickers B.  Norther Falcons B joined them after accounting for Western Flickers B.

In Group two, both Northern Falcons and Western Flickers accounted for Northern Phoenix.  Top place was decided with a narrow victory for the Northern Falcons over the vastly improved Western Flickers.

In the semi finals, the two seeds progressed.  Northern Falcons easily defeated their B team.  Whilst in the other semi, Sydney TFC was forced to throw on their “super sub” Raffaele Lombard to ensure they took out victory 2-1.  Again credit to Western Flickers’ improvement to be able to push this club much harder than they were able to at the Asian Cup in 2018.

The final was a local derby between Sydney TFC and Northern Falcons.  In a fitting finale, there were 2 wins apiece, meaning the result was determined by total goals scored, with Sydney TFC taking this out 5-4.

Club Team title winners Sydney TFC

Club Team title winners Sydney TFC

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In closing, a special thanks to all those involved in organizing and running the tournament, and the many players that travelled far and wide from all corners of Australia, and the world, to compete, referee, and generally have a great time at a fantastic event in a superb location.

Proposed 2020 Table Football Downunder Tour

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Hot on the heals of the success of the Australian Grand Prix of Table Football in Sydney last weekend, and in preparation for the imminent Expressions of Interest process for FISTF 2019/2020 season events in Australia, I have produced a proposal to create a “2020 Table Football Downunder Tour”.

This proposal is downloadable here:

2020 Table Football Downunder Tour

Note that whilst I am the President of ATFA, this is my personal proposal and is not yet sanctioned by ATFA.  I have released this with the hope of attracting international interest on top of that already received, as well as local support.

The aims are to:

– create a marketing opportunity for our game in Australia to continue the growth of the game.

– create even greater excitement for local players to attend these tournaments and improve their own game.

– attract overseas players, both for marketing but also for the benefit of local players who have not (or may never) travel to Europe to compete.

– support the awareness campaign for testicular cancer through a sustained period of two weeks.

– support the improvement of our leading players in the lead up to the 2020 World Cup of Table Football.

– avoid clashes with European major FISTF events

– avoid clashes with peak domestic travel cost periods such as the Australian Open Tennis in Melbourne for the AGP (benefitting both domestic and international travellers to Melbourne).

Not all cities of Australia could be accommodated within a tight timeline preferred by those in Europe that have expressed interest to date.  I have chosen locations to minimise the international and domestic airfares and domestic travel times of international players to attend events and see some of the many sites this large continent contains.

Adrian Connolly

2019 Sydney Cup

sydney premier leagueWith the Australian Grand Prix successfully completed, players are now invited to join in the second edition of the Sydney Cup. This is a Sydney wide knockout tournament which was first held in 2018. It will span the entire year with the grand final to be scheduled for late Nov/early Dec.

The tournament uses a double-elimination system, meaning that players are not knocked out until they lose for a second time. Players will be drawn randomly (there are no seedings at any stage of the tournament, meaning the big guns can sometimes knock each other out early, while some dark horses can make their way deep into the tournament) and given a month to play their game. Games are organised by each pairing, scheduled to suit their own availability. Games can be played at any of the club nights run by the various clubs in Sydney, or at any other time and venue that suits each pairing.

All players are invited to join, regardless of age, gender, ability or experience. The commitment required will be to play one game per month until you are knocked out. Players must be available to play their fixtures in Sydney throughout the tournament. Entry is free.

Please fill out the form below to register for the tournament. Entries close at midnight on Sunday, Feb 10, 2019.

Full tournament details can be found by reading 2019 Sydney Cup tournament guidelines pdf file.

Daniele Lombardi rattles the favourites pre-AGP19

Sydney TFC’s Daniele Lombardi caused an upset when he won the pre-AGP19 WASPA, organised by the Northern Falcons on Monday night.
A 10-man field including AGP19 3rd seed Eliot Kennedy (Nthn Falcons), 5th seed Fabrizio Coco (Sydney TFC) and 7th seed Robert Green was drawn into a four round Swiss competition.

Daniele started inauspiciously when he lost 1-0 to Greenie, but then amassed points and culminated in a 2-0 win over Fabrizio to win on goal difference.
“I’m not sure it’s a good thing to have won tonight,” said a surprised Daniele. “I hope I can keep the form going into the AGP.”

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Falcons’ Jonty Brener got in some good preparation for the AGP with wins over Adrian Elmer and his dad, while Adrian managed to shrug off his shooting woes, at least some of the time, to grab two precious wins.

Steve and Tony renewed their great rivalry, but this time it ended in a 1-1 draw, while it was great to see Jonny Ball in action, preparing for the AGP.

Great fun all around and in true camaraderie.

Results
Falcons PRE AGP