Sydney Satellite Report
Report written by Luke Radziminski from the Melbourne Table Football Club:
3am is not your typical wake-up time to travel to a Table Football tournament. But so it was for this tournament, where I undertook the unorthodox journey of pulling a one day trip to and from Sydney to play in the FISTF Satellite in Leichhardt.
4 hours of sleep and functioning for the entire day may be my new record. Sleep deprived and worried I might develop some sort of sleep-onset insomnia through a vicious reconfiguration of my body clock, I managed to drag myself into the car and begin the trip to the Sydney which involved three car legs and a 6:45 am flight.
By 9:30, all of the mornings travels were quickly forgotten as play commenced on the extremepitches at the Associazione Napoletana in Leichhardt. The Open category consisted of 20 entrants- a record for an Australian Satellite event, which included travelling players from Melbourne (2) Canberra (2) and Singapore (1). In addition 5 Juniors contested the U19 Event.
Commiserations to Benji who was runner up in the final after narrowly scraping through first place in his group and having to go head to head with the likes of Jonty Brener and Fabrizio Coco in the knockout stage. His match against Fabrizio was a fierce battle where blood was literally shed (albeit just a minor finger cut from Benji). A goal from Benji in the 1st minute of the game was enough as he progressed with a 1-0 win.
Eliot Kennedy of the Northern Flacons came out as the victor after being placed in a ‘group of death’ and battled through the quarters and semis against the likes of Vikas (Singapore) and Raffaele of Sydney TFC. The final against Benji was a tight affair with the scored locked at 1-1 at the break, however two clinical finishes in the second half saw Eliot win his first ever FISTF tournament.
Gabriel Lombardi of Sydney TFC took out the junior title defeating Jonas Hahn 1-0 in the final in sudden death extra-time. Gabriel won all four of his group games and held his nerve in the tense final to win his first FISTF title.
Consolation WASPA Tournament
The Consolation WASPA tournament was designed for those players who did not make it out of the group stage. Even though I had not lost a game in the group stage, literally pulling off a 2010 New Zealand result by drawing all the games, including one against the eventual winner, I finished in third place which sent me to the WASPA tournament. I found myself up against Oliver Ollnow, a junior player of the Northern Falcons in the final. But to my surprise he employed a unique defensive play style and was well disciplined between each flick and decision, which threw me off completely as I have not come across his style of tactics before. Thus, I forced myself to exercise quick-fire shots through the gaps of his defensive line to score two goals as chances were rare. Oliver managed to pull one back on the quick counter but could not find a second goal and I managed to take a 2-1 victory.
Credit for the tournament organisation goes to Fabrizio Coco, Tony Credentino and the Sydney Table Football Club for organising the venue and running the fixtures throughout the day and of course the exceptional Neapolitan Hospitality provided.
We look forward to seeing you all at our final FISTF event for season 2017-18, the Perth International Open to be hosted on July 28-19, 2018. Check out the Facebook event here: www.facebook.com/events/233484734059485/