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2017 Sydney International Open Tournament Report

As far as can be seen from the current records available to us, the 2017 Sydney International Open was the second largest one-off Subbuteo tournament ever held in Australia, its 43 competitors falling just a couple short of the legendary 1988 Sydney Open. With two days of action and seven different competitions taking place, there was no shortage of competitive fun for all involved. A strong contingent from Melbourne made their way up, with others coming from Berry, Brisbane and Singapore.

The room in full swing - Women's tournament in the foreground, Teams to the back and Junior WASPA on the left.

The room in full swing – Women’s tournament in the foreground, Teams to the back and Junior WASPA on the left.

Saturday saw two FISTF tournaments take place, the Women’s tournament and the club Team’s Tournament. In the former, the Elmer sisters played out a goalless stalemate in their opening round game before Charlotte Wright from Melbourne lost one game to Æowyn and won the other against Imojjen. This was enough to set up a rematch between her and Æowyn in the final. However, Æowyn’s experience came through and she was able to take her first ever FISTF title with a 1-0 win in the grand final.

The Teams was a much more complex proposition. Top seeds, the Northern Falcons, were drawn against Sydney East’s Hipfingerz and a Barbarians team – players from a variety of clubs without their own team for the tournament who banded together. In the other group, Subbuteo Parramatta drew Sydney TFC (largely made of players who had helped earn Subbuteo Parramatta their 2nd seeding!) and the traveling Western Flickers from Melbourne. The group stages went according to the form guide, with the Falcons gliding past their opponents and Sydney TFC making similarly light work of Group Two. The Barbarians managed to edge Hipfingerz in Group One, but the Hipfingerz went through by virtue of the fact that, as an unrecognised FISTF outfit, the Barbarians were not permitted past the group stages. Which left the match between Subbuteo Parramatta and the Western Flickers as the main point of interest for the group stages. While Benny Ng snagged one point for the team from Melbourne, the other three games went the way of the hosts, giving them a berth against the Falcons in the semis.

Sydney TFC continued their whitewash record with another four wins over their Hipfingerz opponents in one of the semi finals. Subbuteo Parramatta went into their semi knowing they had a glimmer of hope if they could all perform at their best. However, only Paul Magee could follow through on the promise, the Falcons putting Subbuteo Parramatta to the sword, exemplified by a 3-1 victory by Adrian Grunbach over ex-team mate Richard Wilson in their first competitive match in 20 years, and a 6-0 master class by Steve Dettre against the hapless Adrian Elmer.

Teams finalists - Sydney TFC and Northern FAlcons TFC

Teams finalists – Sydney TFC and Northern FAlcons TFC

The final turned out to be the most evenly balanced in Australian Subbuteo history, going down as a final for the ages. With 5 minutes of the contest remaining, the Falcons had a 2-1 lead and one hand on the winners’ certificates. However, in a pulsating final few minutes, both Tony Credentino and Raffaele Lombard were able to put equalisers past their respective opponents, Hermann Kruse and Eliot Kennedy, to leave three of the four games as draws when the final whistle blew. This meant that Fabrizio Coco’s sole victory, against Adrian Grunbach, was enough to give Sydney TFC a 1-0 victory and the title!

The gang share a meal.

The gang share a meal.

While all this was taking place, the collected juniors and eliminated opens players all played respective WASPA tournaments, with Oliver Ollnow coming out on top in the Juniors and Benji Batten claiming his first title in some time in the Opens. The excellent day’s play concluded with a live broadcast draw for Sunday’s two FISTF tournaments, and then two thirds of the players heading out for a dinner together at Frango’s, a great time of catching up with old friends and establishing new friendships.

Sunday morning saw an eager crowd gathering early outside our venue – Good Games Bella Vista – for a bright and early beginning to the individual Opens and Juniors FISTF tournaments. In the Juniors, twelve competitors were split into 3 groups for the early rounds. These went to form with seeded players, Jonty Brener, Oliver Ollnow and Daniel Sirmai each topping their groups. Charlotte Wright backed up her performance from Saturday’s Women’s tournament with a solid showing, going down 1-0 to new player Thorben Pfister in the barrage. In the semi’s, Jonty put two past Thorben, while Daniel Sirmai and Oliver Ollnow played out a thrilling 2-2 draw, Oliver finally taking the tie with an extra time winner. So, the final pitted the two rivals from Saturday’s Junior WASPA final against each other yet again. This time, Jonty put up a far sterner fight and neither player could wrestle an advantage during either normal or extra time. So, as the players from the Opens tournament gathered around, the two went to a shootout. In the end, Jonty held his nerve to take an extremely close fought 3-2 shots victory and claim his second FISTF tournament win.

The Opens saw a large field split into 7 groups. Here, again, the seeded players all managed to take top spot in their groups though not without the occasional scare. Recently returning to the game, Stephen Wright from Western Flickers sent a few small shockwaves around the venue when he accounted for Steve Dettre in their group clash, the battle of the Lombardi brothers went down to the wire before Raffaele prevailed, and Adrian Elmer was almost able to eke out a draw against a nervous Benny Ng before Benny’s experience held out.

The barrage round is where the dust really settled, with each of the top seven seeds making their way to the quarter-finals, joined by the founder of Australia’s newest club, Northern Phoenix’s Christos Garagounis. The extremely tight field meant that predictions from here on were impossible. A rollercoaster game saw Benny Ng come from behind to defeat his old nemesis, Benji Batten; Raffaele Lombardi narrowly accounted for Eliot Kennedy in the latest chapter of their ongoing rivalry, needing an extra time winner; Fabrizio Coco began to stamp his authority on the tournament with a 4-0 win over Steve Dettre, while Bernard Lim was getting into the swing with a 2-0 win over Christos. In the semis, Bernard made a big statement with a clear 3-1 victory over Raffaele, while Fabrizio edged Benny 2-1. Which set up a grand final showdown between the tournament’s top two seeded players.

Bernard tips another of Fabrizio's shots wide in the grand final

Bernard tips another of Fabrizio’s shots wide in the grand final

The grand final, however, didn’t start out as the tight tussle most were expecting. In the 9th minute, Bernard scored his third unanswered goal, his complete domination meaning the game seemed over almost before it had begun. Collecting himself, however, Fabrizio managed to claw a goal back just before half time to give himself hope for the second half. After a five minute break the players came back out and things changed dramatically. Bernard struggled to get a touch and, when he did, could not mount any significant forays into Fabrizio’s territory. The entire half was completely dominated by Fabrizio who forced corner after corner from Bernard’s last line of staunch defence. Midway through the half, he finally broke and Fabrizio was within a single goal of drawing level. The same pattern continued, with Fabrizio battering Bernard and Bernard holding on tight – with his excellent defensive flicks and, when needed, the odd great save from his ‘keeper. In the end, the opening three minutes, where Bernard scored two goals, proved to be the telling segment of the game. Fabrizio could simply not get through for an equaliser and Bernard held on to claim victory, and the title, in a titanic grand final struggle, 3-2.

Most of the weekend's competitiors.

Most of the weekend’s competitiors.

Four tightly contested grand finals in the weekend’s FISTF tournaments were testament to the success of the tournament, where every player played with determination, balanced by an overwhelming spirit of fair play across the weekend. A huge thanks to all who turned out to make this one of the most successful tournaments in our game’s history in Australia, traveling from far and wide to be here, and an extra thanks to our host – Nathan at Good Games Bella Vista – for supplying us with an excellent venue and all the support he gave in setting up, running and packing down the tournament. With plans already afoot to make the next tournament at the venue even better, the only way is up for our great game.

For more photos, click here.

For full results, click here.

2017 September Cup Tournament Report

Steve Dettre and his 1966 flats

Steve Dettre and his 1966 flats

A field of 8 players, ranging from some of Australia’s most experienced table footballers to brand new players, gathered to contest the 2017 September Cup, the 13th edition of this annual tournament. The rules of The September Cup stipulate that only Subbuteo branded bases, goalkeepers, pitches and balls are to be used, so the event is always a fun one where players get to reminisce and pull out their old teams. This year, Steve Dettre went all out and used his original ‘flats’, purchased by his dad in 1966 and still going strong. Meanwhile Paul Magee used the Celtic team he’s had since 1969 – that’s over 100 years of Subbuteo history in those two teams, and players, alone!

Eliot and Adrian soak in the spring afternoon.

Eliot and Adrian soak in the spring afternoon.

Two groups were created for the initial stages. Adrian Elmer, using his hand painted España ’96 squad on 90s bases, faced Eliot Kennedy, using his 1970s heavyweights. Eliot took the lead but Adrian was able to peg back a goal to see the match end in a draw. Meanwhile, in the other group, Dave Sultana took the early initiative in the group of death with a 1-0 win over Paul Magee (a club league fixture between the two two days earlier had seen Paul get up by two goals to nil) while Tony Credentino scored a dramatic last minute equaliser in his match against Steve. In the second round of games, Eliot taught new player, Jason Potter, the ins and outs of the game – Jason using his billiards experience to quickly get on top of flicking angles. Costa Kamarados, playing with his early 80s lightweights, bought as part of a World Cup Edition box set at an Op Shop a year or so ago for just $2, went down 2-0 to Adrian, Paul and Tony played out a goalless stalemate and Dave continued his fine form with another 1-0 victory over Steve. In the third round of group games, Adrian saw off Jason 1-0 as Jason began to work out some solid tactical ploys, while Eliot put Costa to the sword. In the other group, Dave was already guaranteed of top spot but the other three all had a chance of progressing, depending on the results. Tony couldn’t get over Dave to force home his slight advantage, meaning Steve slipped past him with a slim victory over Paul. In a final catchup game, Costa finally found his touch, slotting three unanswered goals past Jason.

The Repechage Semi-Finals saw relatively comfortable wins for Tony and Paul, while the main Semi Finals were much tighter affairs. Adrian continued his unbeaten record over Dave, though the tight game could have gone either way. The other semi final, between, the two old sparring partners, Eliot and Steve, resulted in the tournament’s only shoot-out. Eliot put his shoot-out hoodoo to rest, finally taking the victory after seven shots each, to go to the Grand Final.

6 of the 8 starters.

6 of the 8 starters.

In the Repechage Grand Final, a goal from Tony finally managed to split he and Paul after their earlier goalless draw. In the Grand Final, Eliot and Adrian also faced each other for a second time, having met in the group stage. This time, Adrian scored the first goal towards the end of the second half. Eliot pressed hard for the equaliser in the second. The final few minutes saw him completely dominate possession, but an off-side figure that couldn’t be moved meant he was unable to enter the shooting area while Adrian kept his defence well organised. In the end, Adrian was able to hold on, in the process staging just the second successful title defence in the tournament’s long history.

An absolutely great afternoon played in the best spirits, with the different cloth and nylon pitches and the wild variety of curling and bobbling bases and figures adding an extra element of fun. See you all again next September!

for more photos, click here.

for full results, click here.

Subbuteo Parramatta Spring League 2017

subbuteo parramattaThe Subbuteo Parramatta Spring League is back for its fourth season. The league is open to all players of any age or experience level and new players are always welcome.

The league will begin in September and run weekly for 2-3 months, depending on the numbers of competitors.

Games will be played on alternating Tuesday and Thursday evenings (i.e. Tuesday one week, Thursday the next week). You do not need to be available every week. In most cases, you will be involved in two out of every three weeks, on average. The draw will be organised around your availability.

Entry into the league is free, though some small venue charges will apply for any games you play at our Club Home at Good Games, Bella Vista (this involves a $5 store credit which you can redeem on any in store purchases). Thursday evening games will be played at Good Games, while Tuesday evening games will be played at a few venues around the Parramatta/Blacktown area.

Playing in the league will also qualify you as a member of the Subbuteo Parramatta club for the 2017/18 season. Membership to the club is completely free.

Please fill in your details below to register for the league.

Sydney International Open 2017

click for full sized image

click for full sized image

Subbuteo Parramatta is proud to be hosting the 2017 Sydney International Open. The tournament will be held on the weekend of September 23 and 24 at Good Games, Bella Vista – Lower podium H143, 24-32 Lexington Drive, Bella Vista, NSW.

On Saturday, September 23, there will be a Teams Tournament. On Sunday, September 24, there will be an Individual Opens Tournament and an Individual Junior Tournament. Pending numbers, we may also run an Individual Ladies Tournament and possibly a Junior Teams Tournament.

Entry fees for the tournament is $12 per day for 18s and over, and $5 per day for Juniors (payable on the day of the event). All players are welcome to enter. All entrants must be ATFA Members (or members of their own international associations if from outside Australia). Membership can be obtained at the tournament or via our membership form online ($10 for 18+, free for Juniors).

We will also seek to organise a social dinner for the Saturday evening for any players interested in attending.

Please register for the tournament using the form below.

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.

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.

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Subbuteo Parramatta New Year’s WASPA Tournament

group shotAfter a holiday hiatus, Subbuteo Parramatta got back into the swing of things with a New Year’s WASPA Tournament on the evening of Monday, January 9, at the Subbuteo Parramatta clubhouse. With newly placed air-conditioning, the normally sweltering in summer clubhouse was cooled to just ‘warm’ and, from all reports, no perspiration was dropped onto any of the pitches. A field of 7 players, representing 4 of Sydney’s clubs, came together to battle it out.

In the opening games, Costa, struggling with strapped knee and elbow (a mix of the stresses and strains of Subbuteo and slot car racing) lost a hard fought match against David. Adrian took a 2 goal lead against Tony before Tony pegged a late one back to make the final couple of minutes uncomfortable. Fabrizio proved too experienced for the improving Heidi on the al fresco pitch in the summer breeze on the verandah.

Heidi and costa on the al fresco pitch

Heidi and costa on the al fresco pitch

By the time the pool games were finished, Fabrizio had come out on top of the larger group undefeated, followed by David, then Costa, then Heidi. Paul Magee also remained undefeated, topping the smaller group with wins over Adrian and Tony. So Fabrizio went to the first semi to face Adrian, Paul squared up against David, and Tony and Costa headed outdoors for the Consolation Final. Tony made light work of Costa who was, by now, flagging terribly under his body’s protests, taking the game 3-0. Meanwhile, the major semis went to form with Fabrizio putting 2 unanswered past Adrian and Paul edging David by the lone goal.

In the 3rd/4th play-off, David owned the first half and was finally rewarded with a swiftly moved goal in the dying seconds. In the second stanza, Adrian threw everything at David but he, with some help from the woodwork, stood firm to claim his first competitive victory over Adrian and 3rd place in the tournament. Meanwhile, the grand final proved to be one of the more open games of the evening with both players pushing for goals. At half time, Fabrizio held a 2-1 edge and, in a tighter second half, held on for the victory and his 2nd WASPA title in the space of a month.

Paul v Tony (foreground), Fabrizio v David (background)

Paul v Tony (foreground), Fabrizio v David (background)

An excellent evening of friendly play. Special mention to Heidi’s son Angus who came along and had his first introduction to the game with some friendly flicks with Paul. With the Australian Grand Prix fast approaching, most of the players will all be using the evening’s tournament as a starting point for their intensive training for the next month, while Costa will be heading for some intensive sessions on the physio couch.

For full results, click here.

Sydney Spring League Wrap Up

Match Day 10

main poster with figures

Players in each of the three divisions went into the final match day with the table permutations swirling around their brains. The title for each division was still up for grabs with jostling for the minor placings also still in the balance. And so 12 players headed to Good Games in Chatswood for the grand climax.

Unfortunately, Division Two turned into a non-event. Before the evening. Mat Barrie, with two games to play, was the only one who could overtake Steve Diasinos, should he win both fixtures, but he could also finish last if he lost them, such was the tightness of the division. But, alas, a last minute trip to Melbourne for work had him stranded out of the state. The matches were rescheduled for the following week but, again, this proved impossible due to life getting in the way so, with a heavy heart, Mat had to declare the fixtures forfeit. This meant that Steve did get his title, while Harley and Tony each glided past Mat on the table. A slight anti-climax to what, regardless, was an incredibly tight division, with 4 of its 8 completed games ending in draws. Many congratulations to Steve Diasinos.

In the Third Division, Hermann Kruse was in pole position. Only Costa Kamarados could catch him, but would need some favours from others to help him get there. Hermann was on song, though, slotting 4 past Paul Stockbridge before getting the job done in a tight 1-0 tussle with Simon Cole. Ultimately, this was all academic, though, as Costa was held to two draws by the same opponents, meaning Hermann took the title convincingly. Many congratulations to Hermann Kruse!

The First Division still had 3 players in the running. Daniele got off to the perfect start with a tight 1-0 victory over his nemesis, Fabrizio. This also gave Eliot the glimmer of hope he needed. This was dampened, somewhat, when Daniele, having the Subbuteo night of his life, slipped 2 goals past Eliot in their clash, with Eliot only able to find the back of the net once. With one round remaining, all three were still in with a chance for the title. Club league champions, Fabrizio and Eliot, faced each other, while Daniele had the, theoretically, simpler task of facing Adrian. In keeping with the evening’s them of tight, tense tussles, Eliot got the better of Fabrizio by 2 goals to 1. On the other table, Daniele got to a 2 goal lead against Adrian and seemed to be cruising to the title. Adrian, however, pulled a goal back midway through the second half and piled some pressure on for the remainder. But the nervous Daniele held out – 3 wins from 3 games, an unbeaten record in the division and victories against his two nearest rivals meaning he claimed the title emphatically in the end. Many congratulations to Daniele Lombardi.

And so a very successful Spring League, the biggest yet, drew to a close. With brand new players competing, experienced players fighting tight battles, and a middle tier that is growing in skill collectively and beginning to push the top players, the league had everything that could be hoped for. Many thanks to all the players, to those who opened their homes as venues, and to our two great friends in Good Games, Chatswood and The Games Cube, Parramatta, all of who made this the best league series in the 21st century era of the Australian Table Football Association.

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