JASON Symonds is the new senior coach of State 5 outfit Rosebud and Stan Packer is his assistant. They replace Paul Truman who suddenly stepped down as head coach just over a week ago. Rosebud was second on the ladder when Truman quit. He told the club of his decision after the shock 3-2 home loss to second-bottom Pakenham United on 10 June. Rosebud spent the next 72 hours trying to convince Truman to reconsider but his mind was made up. “Over the past five or six weeks – probably after the loss to Hampton Park and the draw with Seaford –the players started questioning the way we were playing and performances weren’t as good after that,” Truman said.
“I felt there was a mistranslation of what I was trying to get across and in the end I felt I needed to do something not the players. “Maybe part of the problem is dealing with a generation that doesn’t always handle the truth very well but in the end it was purely my decision (to quit). “Nobody at the club wanted me to leave and I’d like to think that in some small way I contributed to where we’d got to (on the ladder).” Truman’s assistant Peter McLoughlin will continue in that role under new head coach Symonds.
Both Symonds and Packer are life members of Rosebud and have been welcomed back with open arms. “It’s nice to come back to the club where I started as a kid in 1974,” Symonds said. “There’s some good young talent to work with which gives the club a lot of hope for the future. “We also need to ensure that our senior experienced lads stay as they are so important in organising and encouraging the younger players on the pitch. “We’ve also signed two young guys in Reilly Saffin, a right winger from Somerville and Gianluca Avian, a defender or midfielder from Mornington.”
Packer had been assisting Bryce Ruthven at State 5 rival Mount Eliza but major ankle surgery meant he had been unable to attend most training sessions and wasn’t at many matches. After meeting with Symonds and Rosebud last Tuesday Packer phoned Ruthven to tell him of his decision. “Gary Talbot the junior TD has been assisting me so I’ll likely just keep it that way for the remainder of the season,” Ruthven said.
The Symonds-Packer era got off to a positive start with a 2-1 victory over Mentone at Olympic Park on Saturday evening. It was a tight and tough contest in slippery conditions with Jakob Markulin starring for a young Rosebud side with a goal in each half.
In other State 5 fixtures league leader Hampton Park United snatched a late equaliser in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Mount Martha at Civic Reserve. Hampton Park led 1-0 at half-time but Mount Martha captain Howie Anderson equalised two minutes into the second half when Hampton keeper Jack Lindsay dropped the ball. Jaden Tabener slid in at back post to meet a Mitch Hawkins cross in the 74th minute to give the home side the lead but Munib Mohamed grabbed a scrappy equaliser right on full-time.
Second-placed Aspendale proved too strong for a depleted Mount Eliza running out a comfortable 5-0 victor at home on Saturday. Dom Paul (4) and Noah Berends scored for the home side to maintain its promotion push.
Sam Luxford and Michael Nobbs debuted for Seaford United in a 7-1 hammering of Pakenham United at North Seaford Reserve on Saturday. Both midfielders signed last week from Casey Comets. Seaford’s scorers were Josh Vega (2), Esmat Ehsani (2), Luke Murray, Corey Osorio and Brahian Valdez.
In NPL2 news Langwarrin had a convincing 4-2 win over visitors Brunswick City on Friday night. Archie Macphee’s penalty and a sliding near post touch from Brad Blumenthal to a cross from the right gave the Lawton Park outfit a 2-0 half-time lead. Lisandro Paz finished well from a ball over the top of the Langy defence in the 61st minute but 10 minutes later the goal of the match from Tom Youngs let home fans breathe easier.
One-touch football ended with Blumenthal volleying the ball to Youngs whose pinpoint strike after cutting inside an opponent gave Brunswick keeper Nikola Kostadinoski no chance. A Macphee free kick in the 79th minute ended Brunswick’s fading hopes and although Lucas Oliviera made it 4-2 in the 86th minute Langwarrin remained in control.
In State 1 news Mornington strolled to a 6-0 home win over a depleted Casey Comets at Dallas Brooks Park on Saturday. A mass player exodus prompted by problems with match payments forced the visitors into a heavily revamped line-up. The Seagulls led 1-0 at half-time thanks to a Shaun Kenny goal but overran their opponent in the second half with an own goal from Casey’s Jaweed Ahmadi, a brace for Rory Currie, an Adam Hester headed goal and a David Stirton strike.
In State 2 news Skye United lost 1-0 at home to Frankston Pines in Friday night’s derby. Kaspar Fry’s penalty in the 31st minute settled the issue but the decision was controversial and Pines coach Kevin “Squizzy” Taylor described it as “very, very soft”. Skye made seven changes from the previous match while Pines featured two debutants in US midfielder Nick Santhiago and goalkeeper Ryan Ramsden. Regular Pines keeper Colby Jones had surgery last week after suffering a finger injury but should be back in action shortly.
Ex-Seaford United custodian Ramsden was signed from Queensland club Caboolture and was in the thick of the action against Skye especially in the second half while Santhiago’s class was evident. Pines also have signed midfielder Masaki Shimazaki from Beaumaris and he will be available this week.
Peninsula Strikers moved into the top half of the table with a 4-1 away win against Mooroolbark on Saturday. Two minutes in and an Andy McIntyre volley following a Huss Chehimi corner put the visitors ahead but the Barkers levelled just before half-time. Two minutes after the break an Ahmed Tabbara cross found Cooper Andrews whose initial volley struck a defender but Andrews buried the rebound to make it 2-1. The Tabbara-Andrews combination struck again in the 55th minute when Andrews’ side-footed volley connected with a low Tabbara cross to make it 3-1. The emphatic away win was sealed in the 65th minute when Huss Chehimi set up Riley Anderton and the Kiwi striker made no mistake from close range.
In State 4 news both Somerville and Baxter lost ground to league leader White Star Dandenong last weekend. White Star beat Somerville 3-1 at Tyabb while Baxter left Spring Street Reserve with a 2-0 loss at the hands of a well-organised Sandringham. Conor Mcfall’s 23rd minute free-kick gave Somerville a 1-0 half-time lead but White Star’s class shone through in the second half.
Chelsea lost 4-2 at home against Endeavour United on Friday night. Poor defending allowed the visitors to go 3-0 up after 21 minutes. But Chelsea hit back through Piers Brelsford’s free-kick in the 39th minute and when Diego Herrera made it 3-2 in the 77th minute it was game on. Chelsea bossed the second half and Harry Parker missed a gilt-edged chance to level late in the match only for Endeavour to break forward and seal the deal in the 93rd minute.
NEXT WEEK’S GAMES
Friday 3 June, 8.30pm:
Frankston Pines v Hampton East Brighton, Monterey Reserve
Pakenham Utd v Aspendale, IYU Recreation Reserve
Saturday 24 June, 3pm:
Langwarrin v Pascoe Vale, Lawton Park
Bentleigh Utd Cobras v Mornington, Victory Park
Skye Utd v Brandon Park, Skye Recreation Reserve
Mazenod v Peninsula Strikers, Brandon Park Reserve
Baxter v White Star Dandenong, Baxter Park
Noble Park v Somerville Eagles, Norman Luth Reserve
Lyndale Utd v Chelsea, Lyndale Secondary College
Mentone v Seaford Utd, Mentone Grammar
Casey Panthers v Rosebud, Prospect Hill Reserve
Bunyip District v Mount Eliza, Heatherbrae Recreation Reserve
Mount Martha BYE