Our Men’s A Team had most of their players come back for another season in the red and white jersey. Some new additions included Lionel Mateo joining from the Mills Park Wednesday night team, and Rupen Akpinar joining permanently after being our super sub for the last few seasons. Two brand new players joining the club were the Velazquez brothers, Carlos and Josh.
Our first friendly showed that we had the potential to match any team in the comp, just needed time to get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. While we could beat the weaker teams in the competition, we struggled against the higher ranked teams in our first few weeks. After getting used to each other, we managed to grab some great results, and if it wasn’t for a few contentious referring decisions, our final placing of 5th would have been higher.
Some highlights of the season include a come from behind win in the “PASA derby” Round 5 friendly. Coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 was a great game for everyone involved and showed that we have that fighting spirit and determination. Our 12-3 win against Fat Mambas showed our potential when we are fully focused and play for the full 40 minutes. But more importantly, our 5-4 win against SlumdoggMignolet was a game where the true PASA spirit was shown. Having everything against us, and while playing with a man down, we came back to win 5-4 and it was a game for the ages.
Our players improved week by week, with Michael Abate staying solid as goalkeeper and making crucial saves at crucial times. The defensive pairing of Matt and Raffi was amazing, especially adding great go-forward. Our midfield rotation of Rupen, Lionel, Josh and Carlos made opponents second guess what options to take, with special mention to Lionel and Carlos who improved a great deal as the season went on, while the strike force of Enrique and Michael terrified defenders, with 23 goals scored between the two. Nico Klose was our super sub, whenever we needed an extra player and he did his job with great determination.
We ended up winning the White All Age Finals series. While it was a shame that no final was actually played as Manchesthair forfeited, it was a credit to be in that situation where we can win trophies and hopefully improve next year to keep on improving.
Here’s to an amazing season, and Vamos PASA!