Sydney Olympic have contested an NPL Grand Final on one previous occasion in 2014, when they narrowly lost to Blacktown City. On the bench for Olympic that day was a promising 19 year old Jason Madonis, who in the four years since that final has not only established himself as a key player for Olympic, but on Sunday will lead Olympic out to battle in another NSW NPL Grand Final, against major rival Apia Leichhardt.
“It’s probably the right grand final, if you’re going to talk on who have been the most consistent teams throughout the season,” Madonis told Neos Kosmos.
“There’s no doubt they (APIA) are a very strong team with quality players all over the park. They’ve got a good coach, a good following. There’s no doubt it’s going to be an extremely tough game. Probably the hardest of the year. But in saying that, to be the best you have to beat the best. We want them to bring their best. We want to have two full squads bringing their best. And we can settle who is the best of the best on Sunday.”
By winning both the Premiership and major semi final, Olympic have had a couple of weeks rest through the NSW NPL finals series. Madonis says coach Abbas Saad has pretty much a fully fit squad at his disposal bar one or two absences. Midfield stalwart Nicola Kuleski will miss the final through suspension, but on the plus side, midfielder Hagi Gligor is available after returning from long term injury.
Madonis, who considers himself as part of the furniture at Olympic, is in his 10th year, having started there as a 13 year old, playing for the Under 14s. This year may prove to be his most memorable yet, particularly if his team Olympic can not only achieve the elusive NPL Premiership- Championship double, but also win a possible third trophy.
A week after this Sunday’s grand final, they host Perth SC in a National NPL elimination final.
“The boys have been speaking about it,” says the team’s captain. “That’s the goal, that’s the aim. We’re going to try and shoot for the stars and hopefully we can do the treble.”