2016 heralded the most successful year in the history of Coogee United FC. Out of the 15 competing teams across all competitions, the mighty black and white won 6 league titles, 5 grand finals with runners up in another 2; and won the first ever ESFA Cup in the women’s competition.
It has been an exciting year for the club with the additional of a team into the Over 45 competition for the first time in the clubs history. The lads finished their debut season in a very respectable 5th spot on the ladder, and are motivated to build on this year’s success in 2017.
Records were also broken in 2016 with the club’s first ever ESFA treble won by the AAW2s, including the Club’s maiden ESFA Cup victory and our AA6s winning the double whilst going undefeated in 2016. Four grand final victories in a row for our AA1s also has to be some kind of record, after doing a treble of doubles from 2013-15.
In the Men’s Championship, our first grade side narrowly missed out on a grand final berth, finishing 3rd in the league and knocked out by the eventual winners Dunbar Rovers in the semi final. The Ressies had a successful season finishing as League Champions, but sadly going down in the Grand Final in a closely fought contest 2-1.
#SUPERSUNDAY rained silverware for the Club at Hensley Athletic Field on the first Sunday in September. Coogee United’s top 2 men’s and women’s teams in Sunday competitions played Grand Finals back to back which had fans camped out all day making the stadium a Coogee United Fortress.
Our AA2s, one of the first teams to be crowned League Champions, were up first against Redfern Raiders. A tight game looked like it was going to extra time before a tidy finish on the 80 minute mark put the black and white ahead and the scores stayed that way at full time. 1-0 Coogee and our AA2s were crowned League and Grand Final double winners.
Next up our AAW2s were facing a tough proposition against an unpredictable Maccabi side. Needing one win to cap off an unprecedented treble for the club, the pressure was on. After a sluggish start the girls stepped into gear and were unlucky to go into the sheds at half time with scores level. Some chances both ways in the second half were not converted so the game entered extra time. A rousing team talk fired up the ladies who came out determined to finish off the job. Goals from Rosie Ellis and Ash Nolan in the first 10 minutes put the girls well in control, and the victory sealed with a close range finish from Angela Goodridge just after half time to bring home the Grand Final trophy for the second year in a row. This added to the League Champions and ESFA Cup champions trophies wrapped up a sensational season for the Clams. 3-0 Coogee.
Games don’t get much tougher than taking on a team that hadn’t lost a match and only dropped 2 points in over 2 years; this was the prospect faced by our AAW1 Women’s Championship side. Finishing a respectable second in the league to their opponents Dunbar Rovers, the girls knew they would need to bring something special if they were to reverse the trend. Chances were hard to come by for both sides with a tight battle being played in the centre of the part. The deadlock was broken early in the second half by Rachel Lawler who chanced an early shot from the edge of the box which placed brilliantly in the top corner. Tireless work held the Dunbar threat out for the remainder of the game and the girls scored a massive upset and a crucial win against major club rivals. 1-0 Coogee.
No pressure on the AA1s to finish off #SUPERSUNDAY with a 4th consecutive Grand Final win and to maintain the club’s clean sheet record for the day. Our AA1s finished a close second in the league and were keen to make it 2 from 2 against Dunbar for the day. Always a tough encounter, our lads have had the run of results towards the back end of the season against Dunbar and the game started strongly for the black and white. A goal in each half sealed the victory for Coogee who recorded their 4th Grand Final victory of the day, and the 4th in a row for the AA1s. 2-0 Coogee.
Trophies were not all won at Hensley, with our undefeated AA6s looking to add to their league title with a Grand Final win over Lokomotiv Cove at Heffron Park on Saturday afternoon. A blustery day made things challenging for both sides who had to adapt well to the conditions. Mid way through the first half things weren’t going to plan with Loko scoring a well taken chance and went into the interval 1-0 up. Coogee were well aware of their ability though, and came out with renewed determination to take control of the game. Some strong pressure from the black and white saw Matt Borg convert from a corner to level the scores. Extra time was called and the lads dug deep after losing crucial players to injuries during the game. A great strike from Joel Eve eventually separated the 2 teams after curling a left footer in from outside the box. Exhausted, but victorious, our AA6s were crowned League and Grand Final double winners. 2-1 Coogee.
Our O35bs also brought home some silverware winning Division 2 of the O35 competition for the first time in their history. A wet and windy Moore Park was the venue for the Friday night blockbuster for the veterans of our Club who were taking on a strong Redfern Raiders side. It was a tough encounter and hard work for both goal keepers with weather conditions not favourable to hanging onto the ball. The lads took the lead in the first half, however were pegged back soon after. The game could have gone either way but the lads were denied by some heroics from the Redfern ‘keeper and unfortunately conceded twice to finish 3-1 runners up.
The fighting AA4s had a successful second season in the division after finishing close runners up last year. This year saw them go one better being crowned League Champions in what was a very competitive division. Sadly the gents missed out on a Grand Final after some controversy in the first semi final and were unable to defeat an in-form Heffron Hawks in the second semi. Great season lads and well done on the League Championship.
Around the rest of the competitions our newly promoted AA5s finished an impressive 3rd in their league, narrowly missing out on a Grand Final spot. AA7 finished an agonising point out of finals contention after a strong run in the back end of the season. 5th spot was also where our O35As finished in a tough top level over age competition.
Well done to all 15 teams on your achievements in 2016. A massive thank you to all sponsors, supporters and the hard working committee on making the season happen.
Let’s make 2017 even better.
UP THE BLACK AND WHITE