This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Full name||Floreat Athena Football Club|
|Ground||E & D Litis Stadium|
|League||National Premier Leagues Western Australia|
Floreat Athena Football Club is an association football (soccer) club based in Perth, Western Australia. The club competes in the National Premier Leagues Western Australia. The club's founders were of Greek heritage.
Floreat Athena has been crowned the Western Australian State Champions four times, League Premiers seven times, State Cup Winners six times, and Night Series Champions six times.
In 1997, the club won all three trophies to claim its first ever treble.
The club was formed in 1951 as the Athena Club by Greek-Australians as place for the local Greek community to unite around football. The club entered the third division of WA's state league football in 1953.
In 1960 the club withdrew from the Western Australian Soccer Football Association (WASFA) to form WA's first official semi-professional league under the Western Australia Soccer Federation. It was also in 1960 that Athena played their first season in the state league's top tier, ending the season sixth and maintained its status in the top flight.
The 1960s were turbulent times for Athena on the pitch. The club finished third in 1961 and 1963, but declined to just avoid relegation in subsequent years before being relegated in 1966 after finishing 9th in the State Premier League. Athena finished second in the 1967 Second Division season, gaining promotion to the State League for the 1968 season. In 1968 they were relegated for the second time in three years after they finished last.
Athena remained in the First Division for five successive seasons (1969–1973). In 1973 Athena clinched the Second Division title and entered the top flight in 1974, finishing sixth. In the 1975 and 1976 seasons, Athena finished third. The club has finished no higher than third on four separate occasions since 1960.
In 1977, internal disputes at the committee level resulted in the sacking of coach Bill Dumbbell despite Athena claiming its first state league title. Athena maintained its status in the top flight until 1980 when the club was relegated for finishing tenth under coach Ulysses Kokkinos.
After being relegated in 1980, the club secured its second First Division title in 1981 and returned to the top flight of Western Australia football (soccer). Since 1982, Floreat Athena has not been relegated, remaining in the State Premier League for three decades.
Mid 1980s – early 1990s – The Golden Years
From 1984 until 1991 Floreat Athena entered into a "golden era" of Western Australian Premier League football. After winning the Top Four Cup in 1984 Athena proceeded to win the Night Series trophy in 1985. Then from 1986, Athena were placed no lower than third for six straight seasons. Having finished third in 1986 and 1987, Athena claimed only its second State Premier League title in 1988 under coach Ken Worden. Besides its great league achievements Athena also won the then State D'orsogna Cup three years in a row during these halcyon years.
Following the 1988 triumph, the Soccer Federation strangely decided that from the 1989 season onwards, the championship would be decided by a top four finals playoff, discarding the 'first past the post' format after nearly a century of Association Football. This was to imitate the Australian Rules code (AFL).
In the subsequent three years, 1989, 1990 and 1991, under coach Worden and then Alan Vest, Athena continually topped the State Premier League. The phenomenal 1990 team finished the season first with 17 wins, 1 draw and no losses with a goal difference of +55. A feat only three other teams have matched in going unbeaten, but never surpassed. However, Athena having achieved the top positions in all three seasons, lost in the top four play-off finals against rivals Perth SC (Perth Italia) and Stirling Macedonia. The Soccer Federation intelligently decided to revert to the more accepted and traditional 'first past the post' league championship format continually used around the world from 1992 onwards. If this rule had not changed, Floreat Athena would have seven league championships rather than the recorded four.
The Treble (1997)
In 1997, under coach Jim Pyraglios, the club won a record treble of titles winning the Night Series, League Championship and Association Cup.
In 1999, they finished runners up to Inglewood in the Association Cup Final. In 2000, Athena won their fourth Night Series trophy. In 2001, Athena finished runners up in both the Association Cup Final and the Night Series Final to arch rival Perth Italia. In 2002, Athena again finished runners up to Perth Italia, this time in the State Premier League Championship.
Undefeated season (2007)
In the newly formed Football West, Floreat Athena was competing for their fourth State Premier League title. In 2004, a young squad was assembled under former Floreat Athena players Michael Roki and Taki Nicolaidis. Both players had been part of that 1990 side that went through the entire season undefeated.
After finishing the 2004 season in ninth position, Athena finished fifth in 2005 and fourth in 2006, climbing the ladder. Athena signed former Perth Glory defender Ante Kovacevic who was to prove instrumental in the 2007 season. Jerry Karpeh scored 25 goals and Josip Magdic played the wing. Captain Bajo Savic played his last game for Athena against Cockburn in a match that helped seal the title for Athena. Savic suffered a serious knee injury and subsequently never played again.
In the 2007 Football West Premier League season, Athena clinched the title undefeated with a 15-point gap over second place. There were several notable events during the season:
- James Isaia's 94th minute long range goal to draw the match against Fremantle Spirit,
- the 4–1 victory over rivals Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens,
- the 4–0 win over the Stirling Lions at Litis Stadium,
- the bicycle kick goal by Garin Collins on debut, and
- the last round against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval, where Athena found itself down 2–0 in the first 10 minutes, but rallied to win the match 5–3.
Being the fourth side in Western Australian State Premier League history to go through an entire season undefeated places Michael Roki and Taki Nicolaidis in the elite category of having played and coached Floreat Athena sides through undefeated seasons.
Following the 2007 season, Floreat Athena dominated almost all opposition but failed to bring home the trophies. The team finished the 2008 season without a title, having lost the Night Series final to arch rival Perth SC on penalties. Athena was to finish Runners Up in the 2008 State Premier League to Sorrento whom they had beaten 9–3 on aggregate for the season. Floreat was gain defeated by Perth SC in the 2009 Night Series final.
Floreat Athena managed to avenge the defeat Inglewood had inflicted upon them in the 1999 Association (Boral) Cup final by defeating them a decade later in the 2009 Association Cup final. Following the 2010 Night Series, Michael Roki decided it was time to retire due to work and family commitments.
Floreat Athena was taken over by player-coach Ante Kovacevic for the beginning of the 2010 Football West Premier League season. Athena finished a respectable 4th in the league and finished Runners Up to the Stirling Lions in the 2010 Association Cup final.
It had been 11 years since Floreat Athena had been crowned Night Series champions. Ten players and management staff left at the end of the 2010 season. Coach Ante Kovacevic and assistant Taki Nicolaides assembled a fresh outfit that won the title in February 2011.
Floreat Athena finished the season at the top of their group, dispatching Armadale and Forrestdale 3–1, and drawing to Inglewood 2–2 with goals coming from Liam Boland, Garin Collins, James Isaia and Danny Trevisol. All three games being played at Alfred Skeet Reserve.
The quarter final against Sorrento was played at Athena's home ground, Litis Stadium. New recruit Dave Houston scored a goal in the 91st minute to set up a semi-final appearance.
The semi-final against Cockburn City was played at 6PR Stadium. Athena went a goal down in the early stages of the first half but Liam Boland scored a goal back. Cockburn defender Paul Natale was sent off in the first half and Floreat Athena took the lead. Early in the second half, Boland scored his second of the game. Garin Collins then added a further two goals to make the score 4–1 and put Athena into another Night Series Grand Final.
Saturday, 19 February 2011, Floreat Athena faced ECU Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens. In the 68th minute, a goal attempt by the right wing by Jack Allen was stopped by the ECU goalkeeper, however Liam Boland scored a goal from three yards. With 15 minutes remaining, a challenge on Athena goalkeeper Alex Dunn forced the no. 1 to leave the field with a head injury. Replacement goalkeeper Simon Madaschi took his place, making several saves in the remaining minutes to hold ECU at bay. The final score was 1–0.
Crest and colours
Club crest and the Goddess Athena
Both the club shield and the Goddess Athena feature on all Floreat Athena merchandise. Playing strips have always carried both emblems. The club shield has blue and white stripes and a football placed in the middle, signifying both the heritage and purpose of the club.
The Goddess is the club's original namesake and features heavily on its merchandise and uniforms. Unlike other clubs with an ethnic past, Athena is allowed to keep her name because it is essentially non-ethnic. The Goddess is not a nationality but an idea, a symbol of virtue required in football and in life.
Floreat Athena "home" colours are blue and white stripes. Away strips have generally tended to be all white. However, this current format was not the original strip. In 1953, Athena had a predominantly blue strip with a white block 'V' topped off with a blue collar. Floreat Athena used a replica heritage strip in the 2011 season as it is the club's 60th Anniversary. Blue and white has significance as the majority of people who founded the club came from Greece.
The club has played at Litis Stadium, formerly the Lake Monger Velodrome, in Mount Hawthorn since 1985. There are two grandstands, the Eleni grandstand and a more modern stand in front of the clubrooms which was built 20 years ago. A cycling tunnel has been left intact for players to use to and from the change rooms and is a feature of the ground. The tunnel was named after two famous Athena players: Stan Lazaridis and Vas Kalogeracos.
Proposed 'Home of Football'
In late 2008 Football West (the peak governing body for football in WA) approached a number of local governments to explore potential sites to establish their state headquarters. Litis Stadium was identified as a potential site to become the 'Home of Football'. The proposal has faced opposition from local residents.
Floreat Athena enjoys support from the Greek-Australian community though this has dropped in recent years. The current average attendance at Litis Stadium is between 300–500 people per match. This is a far cry from the 5,000 – 10,000 that would regularly attend matches in the early years. Local Greek-Australian businesses contribute in the form of sponsorship on an annual basis. Many affluent Greek-Australian families have donated to the club, helping Floreat Athena become a mainstay in top flight and junior football.
|President:||Mr. Emmanuel Takoniatis|
|Vice President:||Mr. Peter Kapsanis|
|Club Treasurer:||Mr. Nick Farrell|
|Club Secretary:||Mrs. Anna Caratozzolo|
|Committee Members:||Mr. Sam Albanis, Mr. Constantine Poulios, Mr. John Papadopoulos.|
|Junior Liaison Representative:||Mr. Constantine Poulis|
Club Coaching Staff
|Head Coach:||Mr. Ante Kovacevic|
|Assistant Coach First Team :||Mr. Vas Vujacic|
|Team Manager First Team:||Mr. Jimmy Campbell|
|Head of Football Analytics:||Dr. Emma Black|
|Sports Science & Video Analysis:||Mr. Jesse Deas|
|Rehabilitation/Strength & Conditioning:||Mr. Ethan Burke|
|Head Coach Under 20s:||Mr. Zack Morgan, Mr. Antony Benetti|
|Team Manager Under 20s:||Mr. Jimmy Campbell|
|Coach Under 18s:||Mr. Frank Mariano|
|Team Manager Under 18s:||TBA|
|Specialist Coach (GK):||Vas Vujacic|
|Technical Directors:||Dr. Fadi Ma'ayah|
|Club Team Manager:||Mr. Con Poulios|
|Senior Property Manager:||TBA|
|Head Club Physio:||Mr Fred Vanin|
|Match Day Physios:||| | ||
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Joined state league: 1960
Seasons in Semi-Professional State League: 1960–1966, 1968, 1974–1980, 1982–Current
State League Championships
Winners: 4 (1977, 1988, 1997, 2007)
Runners Up: 6 (1989, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2008, 2012)
Winners: 7 (1987, 1988, 1989, 1997, 2009, 2016, 2019)
Runners Up: 4 (1984, 1999, 2001, 2010)
League Night Series
Winners: 8 (1977, 1985, 1997, 2000, 2011, 2015, 2018, 2019)
Runners Up: 9 (1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2014)
Winners: 2 (1973, 1981)
Runners Up: 1 (1967)
League & Association Cup: 1 (1988)
League & Night Series: 1 (1977)
League, Association Cup & Night Series: 1 (1997)
Notable past players
Past players who have represented the national sides of other countries include:
- Greeks in English speaking countries. Hellenic Studies Forum. 1993.
- "HISTORY | Floreat Athena Football Club – Official Site". www.floreatathenafc.com.au. Retrieved 6 January 2016.[permanent dead link]
- "1960 Tables". footballwa.net. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "footballwa.net: 1961". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "footballwa.net: 1963". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "footballwa.net: 1966". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "footballwa.net: 1967". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "footballwa.net: 1968". members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "footballwa.net: 1973 Tables". iinet.net.au. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "footballwa.net: 1974 Tables". iinet.net.au. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "footballwa.net: 1975 Tables". iinet.net.au. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "footballwa.net: 1976 Tables". iinet.net.au. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "1977 Competition Review". footballwa.net. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "footballwa.net: 1980 Tables". iinet.net.au. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "Britannia Reserve Master Plan – Background". Town of Vincent. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- Peden, Lauren (23 November 2010). "Bid to block new home of football". Guardian Express. Perth: Community Newspaper Group. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "National Premier Leagues Football West". Football West. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- National Premier Leagues: Round 20 Match Program 2019. Football West. 17 August 2019.