THE seventh staging of the Wallace Cup and a glut of pre-season matches are top of the local soccer agenda.
The 2019 Wallace Cup will be hosted by Baxter and will take place on Saturday 2 February.
The annual event is a celebration of the local game and honours Stephen William Wallace, Langwarrin life-member and former club president, committeeman, coach, player and Bayside League referee who died on 19 July 2011 at the age of 54.
Event organiser and Langwarrin president Tanya Wallace was disappointed recently when Casey Comets told her they would not be competing but NPL2 West outfit Moreland Zebras, who were keen to play a friendly against Peninsula Strikers that weekend, will now take part in the tournament for the first time.
“I think Comets have arranged a friendly on the same day,” Wallace said.
Comets won the inaugural Wallace Cup (2013) and have featured in every subsequent staging of the tournament.
Somerville Eagles would have been a logical replacement for Comets but Dave Greening’s side had already arranged a training camp at Phillip Island for that first weekend in February.
The competing teams are Baxter, Frankston Pines, Langwarrin, Moreland Zebras, Mornington, Peninsula Strikers, Seaford United and Skye United.
Mornington has bossed the tournament since Comets’ initial success and Adam Jamieson’s men will be attempting to win their sixth straight Wallace Cup.
Organ Donation Australia is supporting the event which is a fundraiser for the emergency department at Frankston Hospital and competing clubs pay a $100 team fee with spectators charged $5 entry.
The Bayside Football Association will again supply the referees and the round-robin event kicks off at 10am.
Group matches will consist of two 15-minute halves and group winners will progress to the final which will kick-off at 2.30pm and consist of two 25-minutes halves.
If needed extra time of five minutes each way will be played and if scores are still tied then penalties will decide the outcome.
A runner-up play-off will kick-off at 2.15pm and will consist of two 20-minute halves.
The draw for the tournament will be held live on Langwarrin’s facebook page on Thursday 17 January at 8pm.
Langwarrin’s clash at Lawton Park with NPL powerhouse Oakleigh Cannons on Saturday headlines this weekend’s pre-season friendlies with the seniors kicking off at 10.30am and the under-20s at 12.30pm.
Langwarrin assistant coach Jamie Skelly was hopeful that key signings Wayne Wallace, David Stirton and Thomas Ahmadzai would all get some game time after missing December’s clash with Beaumaris.
“We’d like to get them back but we are likely to be missing Jordan Templin and one or two others who will be away,” Skelly said.
“That will probably give some of the younger lads a chance.”
Oakleigh Cannons gaffer Chris Taylor plans to use up to 20 players on a rotational basis.
“This is our first serious hit-out,” Taylor said.
“These games help with fitness and organisation but it’s early days still and you can’t read a lot into them.”
Langy is yet to finalise its senior squad and may make a couple more signings prior to the February deadline to submit squads to Football Victoria.
Meanwhile Peninsula Strikers take on Essendon Royals at Centenary Park at 3pm and 5pm on Saturday and Knox signings Michael Hoogendyk, Jordan Avraham, Adam Crabb and Julian Malander are all expected to play.
This is the first match since Strikers announced Danny Verdun’s appointment as head coach and with Michael Curcija and Mick Giacomi again in charge the State 1 North-West visitors are expected to provide first-class opposition.
In State 1 South-East news Mornington plans to open the season with a Saturday night home fixture to showcase its new $80,000 floodlights.
Thanks to the hard work of Shalee Cameron the club also received a $150,000 grant through the state government’s PickMyProject community grants initiative and a wet-weather verandah will be a welcome addition to the Dallas Brooks Park facilities.
In NPLW news Southern United’s under-16s are keen to add two outfield players and a goalkeeper to their 2019 squad.
This group is coached by Debbie Nichols and Emma Bracken and has proven to be one of the best underage sides in Victoria with an under-13 championship and Grand Final double in 2017 and a repeat championship triumph last season as under-14s along with a losing Grand Final appearance.
Star midfielder Alessandra Davis and striker Candy Kilderry have joined the NTC program, goalkeeper Cadi Vakacavu has stopped playing, Rhianna Cousens is believed to have joined Bayside United, Holly Wakker didn’t attend the pre-season trials while Shanece Dias, Macey Butler and Erica-Derrick Sarfo-Sarpong have remained with the under-14 squad.
Midfielders Sydney James and MacKenzie Hicks remain from last season’s under-16s while midfielder or forward Nooria Mohammad Ziaa has joined from South Melbourne.
Here is a list of pre-season games:
v. Endeavour Utd, Reema Reserve, Saturday 19 January, times TBC; v. Dingley Stars, Saturday 2 February, venue & times TBC; v. Seaford Utd, North Seaford Reserve, Sunday 10 February, 1pm & 3pm.
v. Mooroolbark, Baxter Park, Saturday 16 February, 1pm & 3pm; v. Westside Strikers, Baxter Park, Saturday 9 March, 1pm & 3pm; v. Old Trinity Grammar, Baxter Park, Saturday 16 March, 1pm & 3pm.
v. Dingley Stars, Monterey Reserve, Saturday 19 January, 4pm & 6pm; v. Myrtleford, away, Saturday 26 January times TB; v. Somerville, Monterey Reserve, Tuesday 29 January, 7pm; v. East Bentleigh, Monterey Reserve, Saturday 9 February, 4pm & 6pm; v. Mornington, Dallas Brooks Park, Saturday 16 February times TBC.
v. Oakleigh Cannons, Lawton Park, Saturday 12 January, seniors 10.30am & reserves 12.30pm; v. Brunswick City, Lawton Park, Saturday 19 January, 1pm & 3pm; v. Kingston City, Lawton Park, Saturday 26 January, times TBC; v. Doveton, Lawton Park, Thursday 7 February, 7pm.
v. Peninsula Strikers, Dallas Brooks Park, Thursday 14 February, times TBC; v. Frankston Pines, Dallas Brooks Park, Saturday 16 February, times TBC; v. Berwick City, Dallas Brooks Park, Saturday 23 February, times TBC; v. Clifton Hill, Dallas Brooks Park, Saturday 16 March, times TBC.
v. Essendon Royals, Centenary Park, Saturday 12 January, 3pm & 5pm; v. Skye Utd, Centenary Park, Sunday 20 January, 3pm & 5pm; v. Oakleigh Cannons, Centenary Park, Tuesday 22 January, 7pm; v. Eastern Lions, Gardiner’s Creek Reserve, Tuesday 5 February, 7pm; v. Collingwood City, Centenary Park, Sunday 10 February, 3pm & 5pm; v. Mornington, Dallas Brooks Park, Thursday 14 February, 7pm; v. South Yarra, Centenary Park, Saturday 16 February, 3pm & 5pm; v. Mazenod Victory, Centenary Park, Saturday 23 February, 4pm & 6pm.
v. Aspendale Stingrays, North Seaford Reserve, Sunday 10 February, 1pm & 3pm; v. Elwood, North Seaford Reserve, Saturday 23 February, 1pm & 3pm; v. Westside Strikers, North Seaford Reserve, Saturday 9 March, 1pm & 3pm.
v. Langwarrin U20s, John Paul College, Thursday 17 January, 7pm; v. Peninsula Strikers, Centenary Park, Sunday 20 January, 3pm & 5pm; v. Pakenham Utd, IYU Recreation Reserve, Thursday 24 January, 7pm; v. Endeavour Utd, Reema Reserve, Sunday 10 February, times TBC; v. Old Scotch, John Paul College, Saturday 16 February, times TBC.
v. Frankston Pines, Monterey Reserve, Tuesday 29 January, 7pm; v. Phillip Island, Newhaven Recreation Reserve, Saturday 2 February, 5pm & 7pm; v. Chelsea, Somerville Secondary College, Saturday 9 February, 1pm & 3pm; v. Mount Lilydale, Somerville Secondary College, Saturday 2 March, 1pm & 3pm; v. Albert Park, Somerville Secondary College, Saturday 9 March, 1pm & 3pm; v. Boronia, Somerville Secondary College, Saturday 16 March, 1pm & 3pm.