Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Brayden Mann scores winner in final of Australian Croatian Soccer Tournament

Photo:  Brayden Mann poses with the Glenorchy Knights contingent at the annual tournament's gala dinner [Photo courtesy of Glenorchy Knights]

Dandenong City won the Division One final at the 45th Croatian Australian Soccer Tournament last week 1-0 against Gold Coast Knights and former Devonport City striker Brayden Mann scored the goal.

The annual tournament was held this year over four days at Endeavour Hills in Victoria.

There were 125 matches played involving 24 clubs which entered 58 teams in 5 divisions.

Glenorchy Knights reached the quarterfinals, where they were beaten by the eventual Division 2 winners Edensor Park.

The Glenorchy Knights squad was accompanied by coaches, support staff and supporters.

In the women’s section of the tournament, Canberra Croatia beat Auckland Croatia.

HNK Edensor Park beat Auckland Croatia in the Men’s Division 2 final, while the Masters Section saw Dandenong City overcome Gospic Bears.

The Men’s Over-45s Veterans section was won by Gold Coast Knights, who beat Hurstville Zagreb.

Photo:  Anita Furjanic (centre) with the Miss Croatia Australia entrants  [Photo courtesy of Glenorchy Knights]

Anita Furjanic, who was one of three judges for the Miss Croatia Australia contest, which was initiated by her late father, Michael Furjanic, said:  “The tournament is a celebration of all things Croatian  -  football, music, food and dance.

“The crowd each day numbered 5,000 and the event attracted past players and also A-League coaches such as Tony Popovic, Mark Rudan, Josip Skoko and Zeljko Kalac.

“Congratulations to our Life Member, Paul Woodham, who was elected to the Board of the Croatian Soccer Association of Australia and New Zealand.”

The contribution of the late Michael Furjanic, an Honorary President and a CSAA Hall of Fame member, was acknowledged at the gala dinner on the eve of the tournament’s finals.

Photo:  Robert Furjanic delivers his speech at the gala dinner [Photograph taken by Mikko Robles and provided by Glenorchy Knights

Robert Furjanic addressed the gathering on behalf of the Furjanic family.

“Dad had an amazing 2018 and he witnesses Croatia playing in the World Cup Final in Russia against France,” Robert Furjanic said.

“He also saw his beloved Croatia-Glenorchy win their way back into the NPL Tasmania competition.

“He enjoyed last year’s tournament on the Gold Coast and had an amazing time there.

“Dad saw an opportunity to start this tournament in 1977, 42 years ago, and it is now bigger and stronger than ever.

“This is an amazing football event and everybody should be proud of what it has become  -  a celebration of Croatian achievement.

“Well done to Dandenong this year and may the best teams win tomorrow.  Good luck to you all.

“Thank you, Jure, thank you to Savez and to all the clubs that have sent their condolences to the Furjanic family on the loss of Michael.”

Photo:  The Glenorchy Knights and North Geelong Warriors teams [Photo courtesy of Glenorchy Knights]

Next year’s tournament (2020) will be held in North Geelong.

Glenorchy Knights beat Hurstville Zagreb 1-0, drew 0-0 with North Geelong, and lost 2-1 to Auckland before losing the quarterfinal 2-0 to Edensor Park.

Photo:  The Glenorchy Knights squad at the tournament [Photo courtesy of Glenorchy Knights]

Photo:  Anita, Robert, Nicholas and Charlie Bonnitcha with HNK Edensor Park, the Division 2 winners of the Michael Furjanic Cup [Photo courtesy of Glenorchy Knights]

Photo:  Dandenong City's ground [Photo courtesy of Glenorchy Knights]

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