Almanac Soccer: Geelong 1 – 1 Western United



Geelong on left and Western United preparing for action at Stead Park



Geelong and Western United played out a one-all draw in Division 3 of the Victorian National Premier League on Friday night at Stead Park. Stead Park has been a central venue for the game in Geelong since the Second World War. Chris van Beek, player and car salesman, tells how he managed to get dressing sheds erected by the local authority after an inspired letter to the Geelong Advertiser relating complaints from female hockey players about male soccer players changing in the open after they arrived at the ground. Now there are four pitches, modern clubrooms, floodlights and a press box. The current one is set so low that the crowd restricts the view of the pitch, so I spend my time at the half-way line, catching up with old friends from the days when I played locally and wrote for the Geelong Advertiser.


The Geelong club has gone through many iterations. In the 1950s it reached the State League with a largely Italian team, even playing as IAMA (Italian Australian Migrants Association) for a couple of seasons. Then the British (Scots, Irish and English) took over and now the club is backed by Geelong’s Macedonian community and attracts a modern multicultural mixture of players and supporters.


The first half of the match was played at high speed with lots of chances at both ends but no goals. Western won a series of corners but could not convert them and Geelong often proved most dangerous on the rebound.


From the restart Geelong went straight into attack and within a minute Alan Gerez was brought down in the penalty area. He picked himself up and fired the spot kick into the bottom right-hand corner of Charlie Emery’s goal. The visitors tried to hit back right away and won another corner on the left and Ajak Deu headed Sebastian Pasquali’s cross just over the bar.


Action from Geelong v Western United


Western got on terms after 72 minutes when Manyluak Aguek rounded his marker and fired in a grounder that the Geelong keeper could only get a hand to and in squirmed past him into the corner of the net. Three minutes later a Western United corner was cleared to Geelong’s Michael Joseski who sprinted away from his markers only to shoot straight at keeper Emery. Rhys Bozinovski of Western got free for a moment at the other end but his shot cannoned back into play after hitting the post. Aguek had the ball in the net again for Western but was well offside when he received the ball. At the other end Deu saved his side with another clearance as Geelong went in search of a late winner. Both teams had chances with corner kicks in the last minute or so, but the match ended with no further scoring.


Geelong coach Jamie Monteith felt that there were key moments in the game that Geelong did not quite manage to exploit, but I got the sense that he was pleased with the effort and commitment of his squad at this stage of the season. There certainly seems to be great potential in this young side.


Western United youth coach Ante Moric was a youth himself when I was writing about his exploits with Sydney United and the Young Socceroos. Now he has the responsibility for the next generation of players. Sebastian Pasquali, Ivan Vujica and Jerry Skodatis have already had senior appearances and they contributed well.



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  1. Any Western United fans attend this game out of curiosity? Just thinking back to when I visited Preston Lions with Melbourne City, followed by Victory lads attending their venue weeks later, I’ve wondered if it sparked a small hype with the A-league fans to momentarily have a crack at supporting their NPL team.

    And considering WU’s attempts to capture the Geelong demographic by playing at Cardinia Park, I’d like to think a handful of eager fans may have come down for this game if they lived locally

  2. They did, in good numbers, and cheered their team on. Some of them would have brought members of youth team/reserves for the first game and stayed on for the seniors. So there was a great atmosphere. As for local Western members, some of them would be Geelong Soccer Club supporters as well, so would have been barracking for the home team or both—in which case they could not lose! So a draw would have been a perfect result. Because I have been out of the soccer loop for the last three years I’ve got to relearn what is going on and I really appreciate your perceptive comment and question. I’m planning the North Geelong game on Saturday. They are playing Bulleen.

  3. North Geelong do still have a core, loyal following. That game should be fun

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