Thursday, November 17, 2022

George Verrios disappointed but still upbeat about Olympia Warriors' future

Photo:  Olympia Warriors president George Verrios, a former Lacrosse player and football goalkeeper, can still manage a smile. [PlessPix] 

Olympia Warriors president George Verrios has released a statement concerning the club’s exclusion from the NPL Tasmania competition.

He said there was no avenue for appeal but that the club was intent on working towards being readmitted to the NPL within the next couple of seasons.

He said 26 players had attended the start of pre-season training this week under newly appointed coach, Kurt Reynolds, a former captain of the Young Socceroos.

Verrios said he had hoped that Football Tasmania would have allowed the club to continue in the Women’s Super League as it still had one year of its licence remaining.

The club had lost nine senior players from its WSL roster and that had meant a very difficult season in 2022.

The club was hoping to have certification tests done on its artificial pitch, but with only two companies able to conduct such tests it might take some time.

The artificial pitch was installed in 2010 and it would probably cost in excess of $1m to replace it.

Establishing a full-size grass pitch where the current warm-up area is was another option the club would explore.

Verrios appeared to have accepted Football Tasmania’s decision to demote the club but he said he wished FT had approached Olympia earlier to discuss the areas where the club had not complied with Football Australia criteria for NPL clubs.

He was keen to work with Football Tasmania and the Clarence City Council to rectify things and get the club back into the NPL as soon as possible.

The letter the club has issued to supporters is published here in full.

Dear Olympia Family,

We wanted to write to keep you all informed of the current situation after the disappointing decision made by Football Tasmania last week.

That is, that Olympia FC was advised that it was unsuccessful in the renewal of our Senior Men’s NPL licence and subsequently was also informed that our Senior Women’s WSL licence with one year remaining was revoked. This was devastating and we were bitterly disappointed to have been advised of this decision in the manner it was, just a mere five minutes before the rest of the Tasmanian Football Community.

An appeal was immediately lodged regarding this decision, as we believed that was the due process. We have since met with representatives of Football Tasmania and its Board. It was made clear to us at this meeting, that there was no appeal process, and that the ultimate decision is at the discretion of the Board of Football Tasmania, as they own the licencing/brand. They may own the brand, but the fact is that the Clubs are the product, without all the Clubs, without you, there is no brand.

In times of adversity a family must stand together firm to rise above all obstacles. Together we can achieve success and kick the goals needed to be back where we belong. 

We are so proud and grateful for the support from coaches, players, volunteers, and sponsors. We are thankful that together they are standing by and fully committing Olympia FC.

We will continue to work with Clarence City Council and Football Tasmania to ensure that the areas relating to our current facilities at Empire Couriers Park, highlighted by them that was deemed lacking within the current Football Australia criteria are met to ensure that we are returned to the NPL/WSL in the very near future.

Football Tasmanian has assured the Club they will do whatever it takes to ensure Olympia is re-instated to the top tier of Football in the State, with the 2024 given as an indicative time-frame for re-entry. The Olympia FC board is committed to reinstating our places in both the men’s and women’s premier NPL/WSL competitions

Moving forward, Olympia will focus on the continued development of our whole Football family and will field teams in both the Men’s and Women’s Championship competition for the 2023 season.

Olympia will continue to provide to all our Junior/Youth male/female players the best coaching and pathways available to nurture their personnel growth and development in the game.

We as a Club will stand firm, stand together, and be proud.

Go Warriors!

On behalf of the Club and the board,

George Verrios


Olympia FC Warriors


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Vale Anthony (Tony) Michael Chaffey

Photo:  Tony Chaffey at the Governor's reception for South Hobart FC's centenary in 2010. [PlessPix] 

The sudden death occurred in Hobart last week of football icon Tony Chaffey, who was 77 years of age.

Tony was inextricably linked with the South Hobart club, starting in the 1960s, and also with Central Region Junior Football Association, and the refereeing fraternity.

A chemist by profession, Tony earlier worked at Australian Newsprint Mills at Boyer, and also for the Tasmanian Government Food Laboratories at Kingston and St John’s Avenue in New Town.

He took early retirement and was an active lawn bowler for the past two decades.

Tony played as a youth for the Goodwood team that was founded by his father, but the club lasted only a couple of seasons.

He then played for South Hobart in the late 1960s and early 1970s before turning his attention to coaching juniors.

He coached juniors at the South Hobart Primary School, many of whom later joined South Hobart, ensuring that the club became a powerhouse of youth football.

On Thursday nights, Tony would conduct a meat raffle at the Cascade Hotel in South Hobart and the proceeds provided invaluable funds for the purchase of equipment for South Hobart Primary School and South Hobart junior teams.

Tony personified the word ‘altruism’ in all he did for football.

He was secretary of Central Region Junior Football Association for more than a decade and was a mentor for prominent personalities involved with the South Hobart club such as Les Richardson and ‘Spinner’ Adkins.

Tony was a Life Member of South Hobart FC.

He will be missed by so many. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Western United set to expand their presence in Tasmania

Photo:  Western United CEO Chris Pehlivanis (left) and Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley at yesterday's announcement at North Hobart Oval. [PlessPix] 

The A-League will be back in Hobart in January after a long absence.

A-League champions Western United, who have made Tasmania their second home, will play Sydney FC at North Hobart Oval on 21 January 2023.

The match will be preceded by a W-League game between Western United and Brisbane Roar, which will be the first W-League game ever in Tasmania.

The game was announced yesterday at North Hobart Oval by Western United’s CEO, Chris Chris Pehlivanis and Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley.

Western United will also play another A-League match, against Wellington Phoenix, at Launceston’s UTAS Stadium on Friday 17 February 2023 at 7.45pm.

Western United have played in Launceston now for three years running (four games for three wins and a draw) and this will be their first trip south to the capital.

Photo:  Former Tasmanian David Clarkson poses with excited Western United youngsters at North Hobart Oval. [PlessPix]  

Pehlivanis said his club was keen to promote the A-league in Tasmania and also fully supported Tasmania having its own A-League team, which would provide a great opportunity for a regular ‘derby’ between Western United and a Tassie A-League side.

“After fantastic experiences in Tasmania over the last two years, it was crucial for us to bring even more elite football to the football community in Tasmania,” Pehlivanis said.


“We are very excited to bring professional men’s and women’s football to new fans in Hobart, but we also wanted to make sure we continue to thank our supporters in Launceston and provide them with more opportunity to feel part of the Green and Black.


“A big thank you to Football Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government for all of their support.

“We can’t wait to be back next year and look forward to seeing all of our fans across the two venues.”

Football Tasmania CEO, Matt Bulkeley, was excited by the prospect of Western United playing games again in Tasmania.

“Western United’s presence in Tasmania has provided a great boost for football in the state, giving fans a taste of top-flight competition,” Bulkeley said.

“It’s fantastic to, not only have them return to Tasmania, but to be also coming to North Hobart Oval for a men’s and women’s double-header in January which promises to be a huge day for Tasmanian football.”

Photo (L-R):  Western United FC CEO Chris Pehlivanis, Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley, Football Tasmania Coach Development Manager David Smith and Western United General Manager Community and Government Relations Darren Harris. [PlessPix]
Photo:  Darren Harris (left), Western United's General Manager Community and Government Relations, pictured with former Tasmanian, David Clarkson, who is Western United's Community Football Ambassador, at North Hobart Oval. [PlessPix]