Wellington Olympic have confirmed their third consecutive Central League title with a 6-3 win against Stop Out.
With two rounds to go, the result gives Olympic an unassailable lead, helped also by a 4-1 loss by their nearest rivals, the Wellington Phoenix reserves.
Victory against Stop Out also ensured the O’Brien Shield remains with Olympic, as they successfully made their first defence of the trophy.
Main photo: Wellington Olympic’s captain Ben Mata celebrates scoring from the penalty spot in March’s OFC Champions League play-off against Auckland City. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Writing in Olympic’s matchday magazine, club chair Paul Kotrotsos acknowledge the commitment of the coaching staff and players in their league campaign.
“We want our lads to know how much we appreciate everything they give up and do for the club,” Kotrotsos said.
“It’s a big ask every week to perform at the bar they have set, and the fact that Olympic is looking in good shape to
make it No. 3 for the title, is an incredible feat. And as records keep breaking, for a little club with a whole lot of Greek passion, pride and heart, this squad has taken Olympic to heights not even dreamed of, let alone hoped for, and made our flag fly so much higher.”
Of the side’s qualification for the Men’s National League, Kotrotso said:
“Congratulations to Rupert (Kerneys), Taylor (Hall-Jones) and all the coaching staff, and to all the players. It has been an extremely long two years for them, as they have gone year-round with trainings and games.
‘Last December, they barely had time to hang up their boots after their National League Grand Final in Auckland when they were back in training mode in early January readying themselves for the OFC National League Playoffs against eventual OFC Champions, Auckland City, Olympic being the first local Club to ever do so.
“By the time that final whistle blew, the team geared themselves up for the beginning of the Central League season.”
Olympic’s title-winning squad
Scott Basalaj, Jacob Daly, Jack Cawley. Joe Hopper, Dylan Wood, Justin Gulley, Tor Davenport Petersen, Kailan Gould, Joel Stevens, Hamish Watson, Nathanael Hailemariam, Jack-Henry Sinclair, Ben Mata (captain), Devon Thurston, Theo Ettema, Samuel Mitrakas, Tamupiwa Dimairo, Gavin Hoy, Oliver Davies, Leo Gunn, Will Vincent.
Head coach: Rupert Kemeys
Assistant coach: Scoota Roche
Goalkeeper coach: Steve Dimakis
Strength and conditioning coach: James Mac Aodagain
Physio: Brogan Treanor
Team manager: Matt Kolic
Gear manager: Dave Graham
Games played on Saturday August 12, 2023
Wellington Phoenix Reserves 1 (Anaru Cassidy 82′)
Napier City Rovers 4 (Deri Corfe 51′ pen, Alex Mort 75′, 90+4′, Christian Leopard 83′)
Waterside Karori 1 (Stefan Cordwell 10′)
Miramar Rangers 2 (Jonty Roubos 15′, Blake Inder 35′)
Whanganui Athletic 1 (Zachary Farmer 60′)
Western Suburbs 1 (Reilly Marlow-Jones 66′)
Petone 3 (Kieran McMinn 19′, Matthew Brazier 38′, Jamaya Shearer 89′)
North Wellington 0
Wellington Olympic 6 (Kailan Gould 7′, Gavin Hoy 32′, 51′, Jack-Henry Sinclair 67′, Ben Mata 76′ pen, Hamish Watson 90+2′)
Stop Out 3 (Connor Gaul 34′ pen, 45+3′ pen, Xavier Coleman 40′)