Olympic FC on the rise

A club rich in tradition is hoping to add another slice of history to their record books as they aim for their first league title since 1979.

A club rich in tradition is hoping to add another slice of history to their record books as they aim for their first league title since 1979.

Olympic FC, Australia-s first club to take on the Olympic name, was founded in 1967 by Greek immigrants and joined the inaugural Queensland Premier League at the start of the current season.

The decision to be a part of the competition appears set to reap the greatest reward with the side setting up an eight point lead atop of the NPL ladder as the season draws to a close.

“The club is very happy with how the NPL side is going,” said Olympic FC President Peter Ioannisdis.

“With this being the first season of the NPL we wanted to do fairly well and play consistent football.

“We are currently out in front but don-t want to curse ourselves and fall away as we have done in other seasons. Fingers crossed we are still at the top at the end of the season.”

Despite the finals series also creeping up, the club-s sole focus is to get the title and give themselves a shot at playing the best NPL teams from around the country.

“Our main goal now is to win the league and have the opportunity to play in the NPL Champions League.

“The side have been working for seven months to get into the position to win the league and now we are in with a good shot of doing that.”

Despite what appears to be a dominant lead in the league there is no doubt the title is not won yet with the side stumbling over the weekend to a 6-3 loss against the Northern Fury in Townsville.

“Our goalkeeper was sent off in the opening 20 minutes so the plan was certainly disrupted.

“We know we cannot win every game but this has to be a character building moment for us.

“I know the boys are going to work on the training field this week and strive to ensure we are consistent over our last three games to finish the season.”

Averaging over four goals a game, the club features joint leading league scorer, and former Brisbane Roar player, Tim Smits and captain Daniel Byrne who have combined for 41 goals between them.

“Over the years the side has been good at building the play but we just couldn-t finish in the final third.

“Tim (Smits) has complimented the team and has brought his A-League experience to the club. He has been unstoppable with his great ball control and the ability to score with both feet and his head.

“Danny (Byrne) is our captain and has been with us since 2007 after coming over from England. He is a true professional and a fantastic club man.”

Having played in the Brisbane Premier League last season, Olympic FC made a submission to be a part of the NPL and believe the club is all the better for making the cut.

“The NPL has been great for us as a club and is definitely a much better structured league.

“The league is now much more sustainable especially with travel being capped which is absolutely necessary in a state like Queensland that is so spread out.

“It has also helped grow our club to over 800 players (up from 650) by tying junior representatives to the club. We are very happy to be a part of the competition.”

Much of the club-s success has been put down to football knowledge of Technical Director Gabor Ganzcer who was a match analyst for Lothar Matthaus during his time with the Hungarian national team.

“We jumped at the chance of getting Gabor on board and we are so lucky to have him.

“He is committed to bringing an even higher level of professionalism to the club and has big plans for Olympic heading into the future.”

With a strong Greek heritage the club remains proud of its history but admits it is also embraced the local multicultural community.

“We owe a lot to the Greek immigrants that built this club and we still have a lot of support amongst the Greek community, with Greek kids still coming from outside the area to play for the club.

“However we have become more of a multicultural and community based club and the ethnicity of Olympic players has no doubt diversified. We are a club for our area.”

With the title race reaching its crescendo there is another game that also has the locals excited.

“A combined NPL, U/18 and U/20 Olympic team will take on the USS George Washington XI on Thursday night.

“The USS George Washington carrier is in town and they were keen to play a game. One of the guys within our club knows someone in the American Embassy and after one call the game was on. The Greeks always have connections,” Ionnidis joked.

The game takes place on Thursday August 1 with kick-off at 6:45pm at Olympic FC-s home ground, Goodwin Park.