Lurnea Soccer Glory
The 2010 Lurnea High School Open Boys Soccer team, the most successful soccer team ever fielded by the school, proudly represented their school and the South West Metropolitan Region at the State Championships in Albury this year.
Their meteoric rise to fame in the NSW Combined High Schools Soccer knockout competition, characterised by determination, great skill, discipline, team work, a positive attitude and a belief in their ability to succeed, has been a remarkable achievement.
Game 1: Lurnea High School vs Leumeah High School Wednesday, 14th of April
In its first game of the knock out tournament, Lurnea came up against Leumeah High School and in a dominant performance was ahead 2 - 0 at half time. A second half fight back saw Leumeah equalise and the game hung in the balance. With 3 minutes remaining in the match, a magnificent goal by team captain Ibrahim Hameed saw the team progress to the next stage of the competition.
Game 2: Lurnea High School vs Fairvale High School Thursday, 6th of May
Following their victory in the first round, our boys came up against the might of Fairvale High School, local champions in the Fairfield area. Both teams approached the game defensively in the opening 20 minutes of the game and before long an intense tussle developed with both teams stretched to the limit on a hot Autum day. Rock solid defence from both teams ensured that attempts at goal were few and far between. The close encounter resulted in a nil all result at full time.
The game went into extra time as both teams looked for any opportunity to penetrate the goal line defence of the opposing team. In the second half of extra time, and with the prospect of a penalty shoot out looming, luck went the way of Lurnea, earning a penalty in the box. Excellent execution by centre forward Gustavo Maya saw the ball into the back of net and Lurnea victorious once again.
Victory over Fairvale high school meant that Lurnea had progressed into the top 32 schools in NSW and were now privileged to compete at the Central Venue – a regional round robin to determine which two schools from the Region would represent Sydney's South West at the State championships.
The next game was to be the real test for our boys as no team from Lurnea High School had ever progressed past this stage.
Game 3: Lurnea High School vs East Hills Boys' High School Tuesday, 25th of May
The talented students of Lurnea High School came up against the highly fancied East Hills Boys' High School. With a long tradition of sporting excellence, East Hills had demolished their opponents (including Casula High) in the lead up to this epic encounter.
East Hills attacked our goal line from the very start of the match, placing tremendous pressure on our defence. Within the first 12 minutes, East Hills had shown their strength, penetrating our goal line. One nil down, our boys had to summon the strength and talent they displayed in past performances.
Eager to strike back, the boys strengthened their defensive line and kept East Hills at bay until half time. The boys understood well the rules of playing at the Central Venue. A draw at full time would mean the game would immediately go to a penalty shoot out.
Both teams went well beyond the call of duty and in a magnificent display of grit and determination, our boys equalised in the 60th minute through a scintillating goal scored by Gustavo Maya.
The game was on a knife's edge for the remainder of the second half as both teams missed opportunities to score. Neither team wanted the game to progress to a penalty shoot out and there was no let up to the intensity of the game. With 3 minutes remaining to full time, Ahmed Thafer, in a display of individual brilliance, dribbled the ball past five defenders and scored a magnificent goal to put Lurnea High School into the finals of the NSW State Championships (final 16 schools) for the first time in its history.
Game 4 – Lurnea High School vs Albury High School Thursday 24th of June
Buoyed by the victory against East Hills Boys' High School, our boys trained intensively in the weeks prior to the match against competition favourites Albury High School in Albury.
The team was formally introduced for the first time on the school assembly and now had the whole school community behind them.
What started as a combination of skilful IEC students (recently arrived) and talented individuals from years 10 – 12 developed into a tight knit group, all playing as a team, with the objective of achieving soccer glory for Lurnea High School.
To support their cause, there was an outpouring of generosity by the executive and staff at Lurnea. All uniform, transport, accommodation, meals and other expenses were covered by the school. The boys were quite moved by this generosity which added to their desire to win for Lurnea.
Three staff members - Mr Kumar (coach), Mr Rajab (assistant coach) and Mr Jacobs accompanied the students on their 9 hour journey to Albury. After a long, tiresome trip, staff and students had the night to recover prior to the start of the game at 10am the next morning.
The match was played before a capacity crowd of Albury high School students, all anxious to see their school win.
Albury came out strongly and really tested our defensive line up which defended valiantly after repeated attempts by Albury to break our defence.
At half time, and with the score at 0 – 0, Lurnea strategically strengthened its midfield which had an immediate impact allowing it to move from defence into attack. Many chances went begging for both sides but none more than for Lurnea. The match was emotionally charged with players extending themselves well beyond the call of duty, displaying great skill, determination and agility.
Our boys had several chances to put the ball into the back of the net but were extremely unlucky. With seven minutes remaining and the score still locked at nil all, Albury struck a cruel blow, scoring a freakish goal. They followed this up with another goal in the dying minute of the game to seal victory 2 - 0.
All staff in attendance, including the Principal Ms Splatt and Deputy Principal Mrs Perkins were extremely proud of the performance of our boys. To have reached this stage of the competition and to have come so close to victory was truly a great achievement.
It was extremely heartening to have been approached by the coach of Albury High School after the match to inform me that he believed Lurnea ‘were very unlucky not to win the game'.
It is also worth noting that Albury High School won through to the Grand Final of the NSW State Championship tournament and were victorious.
The Open Soccer Team is listed below
1. Ibrahim Hameed (Captain)
2. Wesam Sherif
3. Ian Johnson (Goal Keeper)
4. Ammar Aumarah
5. Javid Karimi
6. Fadi Amer
7. Chris Djordjevic
8. Ahmed Thafer
9. Gustavo Maya
10. Momoh Koroma
11. Mohamed Gamiel
12. Salar Gamiel
13. Mano Xiras
14. Audey Alsheik
15. Samar Leaby