Tuesday 27 June, 2023

The Hon. V.A. TARZIA (Hartley) (15:07): Today, I rise to talk about two powerhouse clubs that met at the weekend in the Federation Cup: Metro Stars and my beloved Campbelltown City Soccer Club. I have to say, what an absolutely fantastic game that it was.

It was, of course, also the same day that Campbelltown City Soccer Club celebrated its 60th anniversary, so it was a big day. That night, at the National Wine Centre, we celebrated the 60th year celebration of Campbelltown City Soccer Club. I want to take this opportunity to thank Don Leombruno, as Chairman of Campbelltown City Soccer Club, and all who assisted in putting together the Golden Decade booklet I have in front of me.

I start with Orazio Di Carlo and the various people who were involved in putting this together. Many were responsible for things like facts and stats: Aldo Perilli OAM and Ken Carter, the club
photographer. I also thank Michael Menechella, junior director; Julie Ciccocioppo, secretary; Joe Rechicchi, the women's coaching team, past player and member; Keith Puyenbroek, the FSA Awards and Honours Committee Vice Chairman and leader of the museum group; Andrew Butler, the women's subcommittee and women's sponsor; Andrea Castello, board member as director of women's football and coach; and, of course, Vince Ruotolo, also the junior director. Thanks especially go to Don Leombruno and also Aldo Perilli and Orazio Di Carlo for the research and preparation of these various records. What a great job they have done to capture the club's history.

Office bearers, committee members, captains, leading goal scorers, senior coaches, assistant coaches, support staff, club B&Fs, player of the year awards, and it goes on—over 400 people must have been present at the National Wine Centre celebrating Campbelltown's rich 60-year history. It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved with the club in my now over nine years as the member for Hartley. Of course, we will do everything possible to ensure that we can continue to invest in that club to make sure that it is the best that it can be not only for our local residents but also for people right across the state.

As I mentioned, two powerhouse clubs came together to take on each other at the Federation Cup Final at ServiceFM Stadium. Only three points separated NPL SA leaders MetroStars from second placed Campbelltown, and it was always going to be an enthralling encounter. Despite their proximity geographically and also on the ladder, the recent meeting between the two teams was not as close as we expected. Coming into that big game, MetroStars had defeated Campbelltown in each of their last five encounters, and this was a game that was fought absolutely ferociously.

We know that Campbelltown obviously hit the board first, but it was very much back and forth for most of the game. I have to say, unfortunately for me, I saw one of the best goals I have ever seen in this league when Hamish Gow sent fans wild as he kicked the ball with quite a smashing effort, bulleting it into the top corner to give MetroStars the lead in a half when he definitely did not play his best football, but it was definitely a turning point in the game. Instead of feeling down on finding themselves behind after a strong half of football, Campbelltown came back for the second half with certainly a renewed sense of determination and once again put MetroStars on the back foot.

In the 64th minute, unfortunately Campbelltown went a man down, so they actually had to defend for most of the game with 10 players on the field, which of course is a mighty, mighty effort. I thought they were going to hang on; they managed to hang on. Michael Matricciani, coach, is an old Rostrevor boy who used to play with me in the schoolyard—obviously he was much better than me. He coached extremely well and they almost managed to pull off the impossible. It almost went to penalties; I think there were only about two or three minutes to go and of course MetroStars scored this miraculous goal to win their first bit of silverware for some time.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Campbelltown City Soccer Club on 60 fantastic years, and I wish them all the very best for the next 60 ahead as well.