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September Cup 2016

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The days have started to get longer, footballers are becoming either nervous about their upcoming semi-finals or disappointed to have missed out this season. The grass is starting to grow again after hibernation and temperatures are starting to warm up. That can only mean one thing – the September Cup is just around the corner, signalling the start of the new Subbuteo season!

The September Cup was first played in 2003 and is now Australia’s longest running annual Subbuteo Tournament. This year, it returns to its spiritual home date of September 3, the 13th anniversary of the first edition. The September Cup is also unique in the Australian Table Football landscape as it is the only tournament where only Subbuteo brand equipment is used – balls, pitches, figures and ‘keepers. See the golden oldies’ eyes mist over as their figures curl gracefully. Hear the younger players curse as they struggle to stop anything with ‘keepers half the size they’re used to wielding. Feel the warmth and idiosyncrasies of traditional cloth and nylon Subbuteo pitches.

The tournament will be held at the Subbuteo Parramatta Clubhouse, starting at 12:30. Entry is $5 to cover the cost of drinks and nibblies. All players are welcome, regardless of age, gender or Subbuteo experience. New players are always welcome and all equipment is provided if you don’t have any of your own. The tournament will also double as the first round of the newly rebranded Sydney Subbuteo Circuit – a series of 8 tournaments over the season to help determine Sydney’s champion players.

The Paella and The Plate

panoramaThe extra long weekend saw the opportunity to sneak in some extra Subbuteo and 11 players turned out to take advantage. With players competing for The Paella Plate, a Spanish theme was used for the tournament, with play preceded by lunch of paella, tortilla and vino, then players each choosing a Spanish club to represent in the Swiss format competition. 10 players competed, while newcomer, Bay, elected to watch and play a few friendly games to get himself acquainted with the rules and techniques.

Highlights of the day’s play included AGP U/15 champion, Jonty Brener (Villarreal), win one of his first senior matches in the first round, Harley Ullrich (Espanyol) scoring one of the goals of the day with a low, drilled far-post rocket from a tight angle, Adrian Elmer (Hércules) picking up his first competitive points against Fabrizio Coco (Athletic de Bilbao) in 18 months and Dave Sultana (Celta de Vigo) firstly scoring his first competitive goal, then picking up his first competitive points with another goal in a 1-1 draw in the following match.

final standings

final standings

After 3 rounds, 3 players were level on 7 points. So, heading into the 4th and final round, Daniele Lombardi (Atletico de Madrid) was ahead on goal difference from Steve Dettre (Valencia), who he would face, and Eliot Kennedy (Barça) who was paired with Neil Brener (Málaga). Daniele came out victorious in the first of those match-ups 2-0, including a trademark goal on the run to finally settle the very tight match, while Neil’s ‘keeper was in inspired form, keeping Eliot out for large swathes of the match. While Eliot picked up the result to keep him level with Daniele, he was unable to beat Neil’s ‘keeper enough times to rein in Daniele’s superior goal difference. Meanwhile, both Tony Credentino (Deportivo de La Coruña) and Adrian, hoping to slip past Steve into a minor placing, cancelled each other out in their tight 0-0 draw, relegating them both to mid-table obscurity.

Maybe it was the food, maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the holiday, but the afternoon was one of the most relaxed tournaments in recent memory, with all players competing sportingly in great spirits. Many thanks to those who played, making it a great afternoon.

group photoFor full results, click here.
For more photos, click here.

Subbuteo Parramatta – The Paella Plate

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click image to see full size

Subbuteo Parramatta is proud to host a Spanish themed tournament to be held on Easter Saturday – March 26, 2016. The day’s festivities will begin with a lunch of paella, tortilla and other Spanish delicacies from midday. The Subbuteo playing will begin at 1pm and we’ll be finished by 5pm. The tournament is particularly geared towards introducing new players to the game, so come and learn how to play, guided by some of Australia’s most experienced table footballers. If you don’t have your own gear there will be plenty available for you to borrow. All players are welcome, regardless of experience, age, gender or any other differentiating characteristic.

Bring along something to drink and $5 to cover food costs. Register via the form below – knowing numbers beforehand will help immensely with catering. But also feel free to bring long a friend at the last minute – the more players, the better!

World Rankings – March 2016

fistf-waspaThe WASPA World Ranking updates are in, while FISTF updated theirs in mid-February. With a handful of FISTF tournaments now completed in Australia, the charts are starting to look a little settled, and we also have a number of players in the various junior sections, and a teams update.

In the WASPA rankings, Melbourne TFC still have a stranglehold on the top few spots, but their grip has loosened just a little, with players from Sydney and Brisbane closing in.

Click here to see the full FISTF and WASPA rankings

Sydney Premier League Rd 6

The Games Cube in Parramatta was heaving on Saturday, February 27. With more people turning up for a miniatures tournament than the owners had been counting on, the Subbuteo pitches got moved from their usual spot in the gaming area right into the middle of the shop floor. This was a great bonus, as the air-conditioning on the sweltering day was much better here, and the game was on clear display for everyone in the packed store to see.

Three tables in action.

Three tables in action.

The Lombardi father and son duo had traveled up from Berry on the morning, Dave Sultana had thrown his wicket away at the end of play the previous Saturday and called in the 12th man for fielding duties so that he could be part of the Subbuteo action, while Eliot Kennedy returned from his sojourn to the US to resume his rivalry at the top of the Sydney Premier League table against Daniele Lombardi.

The tournament was played in a 4 round Swiss System, with the first round drawn randomly. Harley Ullrich surprised Daniele after going down early, scoring an equaliser with a flying counterattack. Daniele was roused from his lethargy and ended with a hard earned 2-1 victory by full-time. Eliot dominated possession but had trouble getting through Adrian Elmer’s ‘keeper and found himself susceptible to the odd counter attack but was able to settle his nerves midway through the second half to take a 1-0 victory. Steve Dettre slipped 3 past Dave, while Mat conceded 2 to Raffaele Lombardi.

Hermann lines up against Gabriel.

Hermann lines up against Gabriel.

Because not enough juniors were able to enter the tournament, 6 year old Gabriel Lombardi had to play in the main competition, where he performed very admirably, earning sporting draws against Hermann Kruse and Adrian. Raffaele put another 2 past Steve, while Dave’s defense improved considerably, keeping Mat to a hard won 1-0 scoreline. In the shock result of the day, Eliot shipped 3 goals against Daniele, their normal tight tussle nowhere to be seen, as Eliot continued to struggle in front of goal while Daniele found every shot was turning to gold.

By the final round, Eliot needed to beat Raffaele by 2 clear goals and hope Adrian could hold Daniele at bay if he were to take the tournament title. Unfortunately for him, Daniele blitzed Adrian in their match opening and it was 3-0 before Adrian could even get a look in. In the end, it mattered little as Raffaele held off Eliot with a 0-0 result that gave Raffaele his first Sydney Premier League title. Meanwhile, in the lower placings, Hermann made a large jump on the table with a 1-0 win over Dave. Dave did manage to score his first goal of the day – a beautiful manoeuvre through a packed box with a shot on the run. Unfortunately, one of his figures was in an off-side position! Still, for only his second ever tournament he is showing signs that it won’t take long before he is a contender.

IMG_8392editA great day’s play with all competitors playing with great sportsmanship. A number of interested onlookers got an introduction to the game, including the owner of The Games Cube, Lindsay who, having supported us wonderfully for almost 2 years now, finally got to play his first game. And, most pleasingly for this organiser, the entire tournament ran exactly to schedule! Thanks all.

For full results, click here.
For more photographs, click here.

2015/16 Sydney Premier League Table after 6 rounds (note: competitors must play a minimum of 4 tournaments to be eligible for final placings)

click on image to enlarge to full scale

click on image to enlarge to full scale

WASPA World Rankings

The monthly WASPA rankings have been released with some big movements from players who got a large number of WASPA tournaments under their belt over January. Unfortunately, FISTF rankings are a little less reliable in being updated so none of the results from the recent Australian Grand Prix have yet been added to their rankings (the last FISTF update was January 6) so look for next month’s rankings to see how things have moved in the world of FISTF.

To see the February WASPA world rankings, click here.

A Flurry of WASPAs

Sydney played host to three WASPA events in the lead-up and then during the Australian Grand Prix.
On the Tuesday before the event, we tested out a few of the new boards, with a WASPA featuring local boy Robert Green, back on home shores for the first time in a year, as well as Antonio Carabillo from Hong Kong.
In the semi-finals, Green overcame returnee Tony Credentino, who had played in the first ‘reformation’ event back in 2010, while Fabrizio beat Antonio, before losing to Green in the final.

Rob Green and Tony Credentino

Rob Green and Tony Credentino

Greenie

Greenie

Antonio Carabillo and Fabrizio Coco

Antonio Carabillo and Fabrizio Coco

After the first phase of the AGP16, a straight knock out WASPA was staged, with a few upsets in the first round.
Simon Cole upset Northern Falcons club mate Steve Dettre 2-0, while Matt Barrie of Subbuteo Parramatta beat Benny Ng of Melbourne TFC 2-0. New player Jason Lockard (having played in the 90s), beat Geoff Sirmai on shots, while Adelaide’s Jez Simpson also edged through on shots against Northern Falcons’ Todd Giles.
In the quarter finals, Giuseppe Tardiota of Brisbane hit his straps in a 3-1 win against Matt, while Jez’ shootout luck held as he beat Jason.
In the semis, Giuseppe beat Mike Newton, while Tony Credentino showed he was getting back into form with a 1-0 win against Jez.
In the final, after 1-1 at the end of regulation time, Giuseppe claimed the title on shots, his first WASPA victory at a FISTF event after three previous losing finals!

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On the Sunday, a few players who were not in a team conducted their own WASPA, with Matt Barrie, Paul Magee, Giuseppe and Tony fighting it out over two rounds of group matches before Matt grabbed a 2-0 win against Paul in the final.
Once again, the WASPA events proved invaluable as warm up competitions, and also to provide players with as many matches as possible over the course of the weekend!!

Full results of Northern Falcons’ AGP Warm-Up WASPA Tournament – click here
Full results of AGP Consolation WASPA Tournament – click here
Full Results of AGP Non-Teams Players’ WASPA Tournament – click here

Tournament Report – Subbuteo Parramatta January WASPA (Sydney Premier League Rd 5)

Following the December break, the Sydney Premier League picked back up again with an early January tournament. Big Steve Dettre was flying in from Las Vegas just for the tournament, but his flight was delayed in LA, leaving the door ajar for a few players to possibly go ahead of him on the SPL table. Dave Sultana was on hand to play in his first ever tournament, having first picked the game up a couple of months ago, while Dave Rudd made his SPL début following his return to the game in the Spring League and Tony Credentino added to the Italian flavour of the Sydney Subbuteo world, having played sporadically over the last few years but returning in earnest this month. And, in a Sydney first, a Junior competition was also played. Though small, as with the game in general over the last few years, these first steps will hopefully lead to strengthening the junior game in the long term.

Lucas pushes forward against Æowyn in the Juniors Division.

Lucas pushes forward against Æowyn in the Juniors Division.

That Junior competition saw Lucas Butterfield and the Elmer sisters, Imojjen and Æowyn, play each other in a round robin. The first game saw Imojjen take on Lucas. While neither dominated overall, it was Imojjen who created the better chances. Lucas made a couple of excellent saves but Imojjen squeezed one through with a nice chip in the second half. The next game saw the sisters face each other, where the quality dropped as both Æowyn and Imojjen played nervously, each trying not to concede as the sibling rivalry kicked in. A goalless draw was the result. In the final match, Æowyn lifted her game while Lucas had grown more accustomed to his new figures and also played well. A very tight game saw few chances. The goalless outcome meant Imojjen took the title, though all three players picked up points, enjoying playing even games rather than being hammered by the more experienced players, and then retired to play a few other board games while the Opens players headed into their knockout stages.

The clash of the Italians - Tony (l) vs Daniele (r).

The clash of the Italians – Tony (l) vs Daniele (r).

The two players at the top of the Sydney Premier League table, Eliot Kennedy and Daniele Lombardi were the two seeded players. Daniele made short work of Dave Rudd with Dave even being so generous as to score an own goal for Daniele’s benefit. Tony had a solid start, creating some chances for himself, but Mat Barrie’s experience was the difference in the end as he eased to a 3-0 win. Mat followed this up with a hard fought victory against Dave Rudd with a solitary goal being all that divided them. Eliot blew out both his own cobwebs and Adrian’s, storming to a 3-0 lead by the break. Adrian was much tighter in defense in the second half, neither player troubling the scoreboard in that period. The two Italians (who had earlier discovered that they coincidently had family connections dating back 35 years) faced each other. For a player who was on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline, Tony did a surprising amount of attacking, frequently putting pressure on Daniele’s goal. However, he was unable to breach the defence and Daniele eventually eased to the victory.
Eliot (l) and Dave Sultana (r) enjoy the alfresco pitch.

Eliot (l) and Dave Sultana (r) enjoy the alfresco pitch.

Meanwhile, Dave Sultana faced a baptism of fire, his first ever competitive game against one of Australia’s best in Eliot. He was not disgraced, though, showing good touch for such a new player. Eliot’s class was evident, though, scoring four. Both players enjoyed the cooler outdoor pitch as the main clubhouse room began to swelter in the heat and humidity. Dave then backed up with a strong showing against Adrian. Adrian could only break Dave’s stout defense once, finding the goal with a long distance shot through a small gap in the first half Dave hit the crossbar himself in the second half, unlucky not to draw level. Tony managed his first victory with a hard fought 1-0 win over Dave Rudd, both players enjoying the tight tussle. In the final group game, Mat and Daniele were fighting for first place in their group. Mat took the lead in the first half and then defended well. With four minutes left it looked like he might be able to stitch up 1st place. Daniele had other ideas and, in a late blitz, put two goals past Mat’s ‘keeper to take the group.

A barrage stage saw the 2nd and 3rd placed players face each other. Again, Dave Sultana put on a good show but Mat was calm in taking the game 2-0. Adrian won his game against Tony via the same scoreline, Tony unfortunately conceding with a stranded ‘keeper to make it comfortable for Adrian. To the Semi-Finals, then, where Eliot’s earlier free-scoring ways were dried up by Mat. In the end, Eliot could only squeeze one goal, seeing off Mat with a sigh of relief. Daniele and Adrian fought out an equally tense game. A first half goal gave Daniele an early cushion. However, Adrian pushed hard for an equaliser. With time running down, Adrian pushed hard and had Daniele under pressure but a swift counterattack saw Daniele finally seal the win with the last flick of the match. Meanwhile, in the consolation game, the two Dave’s went head-to-head. Neither could find the goal in normal time, or extra time, so the game went to shots. After 5 shots each, the scores were still level at 3-3 and it went to the 3rd shot of sudden death for Little Dave (given the title due to age differential rather than size differential as with the Steves) to finally take the advantage and the ‘Dave’ bragging rights.

In the 3rd and 4th Play-Off, Adrian had home ground and home strip advantage over Mat and made full use of it. For the second game in a row, Adrian was able to score via a stranded travelling ‘keeper mistake from his opponent. He gave himself some breathing space with a second goal and was able to hold that scoreline until full time. Meanwhile, the Grand Final was a true thriller. A tight tussle stalled midway through the first half as a refereeing matter was discussed at length and then cleared up to everyone’s satisfaction. Things looked like they would head to a half-time stalemate until, with the last flick of the half and literally one second left on the clock, Daniele scored to excitedly take the lead, Eliot devastated that he hadn’t held out for that one more moment. In the second half, Eliot piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser, but Daniele looked dangerous every time he surged forward. With a few minutes left, the game was placed on a knife-edge as Eliot finally broke through. Then, as Daniele had done in the first half, Eliot surged forward in the final seconds. With the last flick of the game he shot…and the ball crashed into the crossbar where it meets the upright, ricocheting out of ply to leave the result at 1-1. After a brief interlude (a chance for both players to get some much needed fresh air and for a group photo opportunity), the two went at each other again for extra time. With just a couple of minutes to go Eliot found the back of the net with a deadly chip – only to find one of his figures was off-side. And so the score remained 1-1 at the end of the extra period.

Daniele chips Eliot's 'keeper with his first in the shootout.

Daniele chips Eliot’s ‘keeper with his first in the shootout.

And so to Shots. Eliot shot first and missed, but Daniele was in fine form and, after 3 shots each, had a 3-1 advantage. Eliot managed to bury his 4th, but Daniele needed only to score to take the title. He adjusted the order of figures he used, bringing his beloved Maradona in to take the winning shot. Except he didn’t. Maradona missed, Eliot scored his 5th to tie the scores and then kept Daniele’s final shot out to send the shootout to sudden death. Both players missed their first, then Eliot took the decisive lead with his 2nd. Daniele was unable to respond in kind and so Eliot grasped victory from the jaws of defeat in one of the more thrilling encounters of recent times.

And so Eliot extends his lead at the top of the Sydney Premier League Table, though Daniele is keeping him within striking distance. A great afternoon’s Subbuteo. Great to have some new players along, great to see the sportsmanship we’ve all come to expect, great to see the juniors finally up and running and great to enjoy some quality play across the afternoon.

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For full results and tables, CLICK HERE