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  • 1 Post By Keplar

Lawson Smart, The Young One

  1. Lawson Smart, The Young One

    All I remember was seeing Sydney FC striker Marc Janko jumping for two handed tackle at the ball. I couldn't move, I had planted my knee into the ground and the ball was touching my finger tips. Nothing was going to stop me from saving the final ball of game, the game to send Melbourne Victory to the top of the table. Then there was intense pain from my legs and I blacked out.

    I was with doctors and physios for the next 6 months. I was given the bad news from the start, I was never going to play football again. I worked with the coaching staff at the club to work towards a coaching job when I was older and therefore spent most of my recovery time working my way up to a National A license. The form of the team slumped ever since my injury with my replacement keeper being an absolute bad omen.

    We were at the bottom of the table when a final loss put us there permanently. I was sitting in my car contemplating the loss as I watched disappointed fans head towards their cars. My phone buzzed in my pocket and I grabbed it out to see that Anthony Di Pietro was giving me a call.

    "Hey boss, what can I do for you." I asked.

    "Hey mate, I just wanted to see you in my office if you aren't already on the road."

    "Nah, I'm just sitting here in my car. I'll be right up."

    I got out of my car and immediately a teenaged boy came up to me and asked for my autograph.

    "Yea sure mate." I said with a smile on my face. "What's your name mate?"

    "Stephen, I'm trying out for the U18 goalkeeper position next year." He said.]

    "Great choice, I'll see you there."

    I walked into the chairman's office and took a seat.

    "Hey mate, how you going?" He asked.

    "Good, good."

    "That's good. Look how are you going with your coaching training?"

    "Yea good, I got my National A's last month. What's this about?"

    I noticed that Anthony had more than three cups of coffee in his bin with a cup full of one still steaming on his desk. It was 9pm.

    "Look, Kevin Muscat has been sacked. When we went two nil down at half time I told the cleaning staff to pack his office up. He had a fit when I told him, but the board made its decision."

    "Shit, that's a bit rough."

    "Yea, he didn't take it very well." He cleared his throat. "We want you as the next manager. The board is tight on money and we need someone to come in cheap. This won't be permanent, but you'll have another job at the club."

    I was speechless, but a managed a few words. "Where do I sign?"
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  2. The Squad

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    I signed the contract alright. I'm aiming high. After a season or two here I might look for a job else where. Maybe a career in Europe?

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    A look at the squad at hand. Not a bad bunch, got a decent keeper with Lawrence Thomas looking to over take him within a year or so.I'm going to be using an offensive 4-2-3-1 Wide setup that has taken my like.

    My main right back looks to be 26 year old Danijel Georgievski from Macedonia, with a young Scott Galloway on the bench for him.

    My central defenders are looking to be new arrival last season Mathieu Delpierre, Nicholas Ansell and Mark Milligan. Milligan is a DM by trade but plays a good piece in the CB role. I will be rotating the three depending on their performances.

    Got Dylan Murnane in the LB with no other real back up. I'll look to my youth squad for one but he will do for now.

    My two CM's are Guilherme Finkler from Brazil and Carl Valeri both of whom are consider my best players. Jordan Brown is on the bench for them for now. They are both ageing and if I plan to stay I might move a few up from the youth side to have a go.

    Fahid Ben Khalfallah from Tunisia is a key player for the team and will be playing RW. He is also the main free-kick taker and corner taker. On the bench rotating with him is Kosta Barbarouses who doesn't look bad, but past saving at the age of 24.

    Playing AM is Jesse Makarounas with no natural rotation partner I will look to the youths once again. He seems alright for the league, but at the age of 20 can improve.

    Connor Pain will be bringing the Pain this season as our main main in the LW position, but once again no natural rotation partner will cause me to go asking the youth coach to lend me some of his talent.

    Finally up top playing ST will be Albanian Besart Berisha. At the age of 28 he may see himself spend some time on the bench to make way for 35 year old Archie Thompson and young 21 year old Andrew Nabbout who has the determination to go far.
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  3. FFA Cup First Round

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    An absolute ripper of a game!

    We smashed Adelaide into the ground.

    The first 10 minutes kept me on the edge of my seat as they got their only two shots on goal during this time.

    Then Berisha from a tight angle puts it past the keeper on his near post at the 30th minute. From then on we dominated the game. The first half ended 1 - 0.

    The second half looked to be a bit of a frustrating time as I pushed my team to increase our lead to avoid any sudden equaliser. The moment came during the 71st minute when a superb cross from Ben Khalfallah put the ball in the feet of Carl Valeri, a simple touch and from the penalty spot he put it into the corner of the net.

    I realised at this point that I hadn't made any substitutions. During the 75th minute I made all my 3 subs, Milligan in for Delpierre, Geria in for Ansell, Thompson for Berisha. The subs didn't really make a proper difference and weren't given a rating for the game.

    I was satisfied with the result and sat down back in the dug-out. I didn't expect much else from the boys, so I started going over the positives and negatives with my assistant manager De Marigny. 5 minutes later I see some of the boys stand up and then start shouting. I stood up to see the ball in the back of the net.

    Ben had pulled off a ripper shot into the far top corner with his left foot. I was shocked, it was so unexpected.

    I told De Marigny to put away the notes and to watch the match. 6 minutes later we rubbed salt into the wounds of Adelaide United. After a good bout of passing an moving Ben opened up on the edge of the box and was given a through ball. He took a touch backwards and dribbled in a slight bit before smashing it putting it into the top of the net.

    The stadium went off, the fans were screaming. The fans sitting at home watching it on the T.V were disappointed they didn't come see it in person. Ben was given man of the match for his assist and two goals.

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  4. FFA Cup Second Round

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    A good game from the boys to put us through to the next round.

    It started off very well for us with a goal in the 8th minute. It started from a long ball down the corner to Pain who put a strong cross into the pack, it found its target and Makarounas who popped it in neatly for the lead.

    The rest of the half was very dominate for us, but frustrating at the same time as we gave away so many chances for goals. We need to work on our finishing as many shots in the box have gone straight to the keepers hands.

    I was packing everything up to go into half time when the Wanderers won a corner. I thought we could handle it fine when they worked the ball into the top of the box and put it away with a fine curling ball into the top left corner. I was furious at the poor defensive work of Finkler who won the corner but gave it back to the Wanderer's winger.

    The half-time chat was a whirlwind of shouting and telling the players how it really was. I decided to make two substitutes at the start of the second half. I took off Finkler who gave away the goal and put in Leigh Broxham. Then striker Berisha came off becuase he just couldn't put the ball into the back of the net, he was replaced by Andrew Nabbout.

    The start of the second half was a bit shaky, but I gave a few player a stern telling off from the sideline and we picked up the momentum again. The defence seemed to be working very well, making tackles and not letting any ball through. The only problem is that they cannot finish off the tackle or interception with a simple pass. They seem to always give the ball back to the midfielders. I was getting frustrated again by the fact that we couldn't get the ball in the back of the damn net.

    Then on the 61st minute we were awarded a well-deserved penalty after a cheeky trip from Perkatis after a good dribble into the box by Makarounas. Valeri stepped up to the spot and put it into the corner.

    The rest of the game was a bit of back and forth, but we dominated the possession although they hit the post once or twice. I told the boys it was a good win after the game, but really on the inside I wanted to have a go at my forward line-up. Might make some changes for the up and coming friendlies?

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  5. FFA Cup Third Round

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    A poor effort from the boys today.

    The first half was a worry for the physio's as Delpierre and Finkler took knocks quite early. I wasn't ready to make any subs yet and encouraged them to push on. Finkler seemed to shrug his knock off and went on to have a fine game controlling the midfield, but Delpierre seemed to limp along with play. He gave his best shot but just couldn't keep up. I decided I would sub him at half-time.

    I was on my feet the whole game giving instructions and the break came in the 22nd minute. A well placed goal kick from Thomas found its way to the midfield and after a bit of tossing and turning we came out victorious. The players stayed true to their instructions and training to play the ball down the middle. It came to Vakitzis (who is playing AM as Makarounas recovers from a ankle injury) and he has quiet a bit of flair and decided to hand it off the wing with a beautiful lob. It found Georgievski who floated a cross in to find an open Berisha who neatly put it off the goalkeeper's head to score our first goal.

    I was estatic. I had a feeling that this was going to be good game for us. Yet come halftime the score remained the same and I had an injured Vakitzis to deal with. I replaced him with Nabbout and took off Delpierre as well putting in Ansell who was a star defender for the 45 minutes he played. I then took Pain off who wasn't really putting in any effort to make a difference and gave his spot to Ben, who had quiet a boring game.

    The second half was nerve bitting as Perth got a few breaks and our attack dropped off a cliff. We reasserted dominance for, but just couldn't make it into the box most of the time. A corner nearly gave us a 2 - 0 lead, but their defends dispatched the ball with ease.

    When the final whistle blew I took the boys into the changing rooms and with a low tone told them that even if they had won they needed to have better performances if we wanted to win anything. Most of the team agreed with me although a few boys seemed unhindered by my words.

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