World Cup fever hits Riverside

World Cup in the Tamar Valley
World Cup in the Tamar Valley

With another World Cup upon us this month, located in Qatar, the Tamar Valley’s premier soccer club, River­side Olympic has certainly got into the spirit of things at their Windsor Park home.

While the recent 2022 season may have had its ups and downs, there were plenty of positives with club captain Will Humphrey selected in the team of the year on a prominent fans page and the under 18’s team crowned northern champions while the under 16’s and senior women’s team both finished top 4 in their respective leagues.

The NPL team (State League) fielding one of the youngest teams in recent memory, also finished the season well, winning their last home game of the season vs Olympia 3-2 on a memorable night at Wind­sor Park.

Furthermore, the club has taken the unprecedented move of importing an A-Li­cenced professional coach, Helder Dos Santos Silva, a Portuguese national who currently coaches in China and has previously coached with the youth academy at Crystal Palace in England. The club looks forward to welcoming Helder, his wife Sonia and family to the local area soon.

There is certainly a buzz around the club at present, with Club President Brian Wightman recently an­nouncing a female soccer program, the first of its kind in Launceston, as the club works towards entering the State-wide women’s league in the not-too-distant future.

Certainly, with players of the calibre of Meg Connolly, who scored over 40 goals last season in the Woman’s Northern Championship competition, the talent is ready to go to the next level.
Riverside Olympic also recently hosted A-League Champions Western United, who put on a junior skills clinic at Windsor Park for aspiring young players who hope to one day themselves play at the highest level in Australia.

With the Australian World Cup squad expected to be fi­nalised by the time this goes to press, the club is hopeful that one of its very own for­mer youth players, Nathan­iel Atkinson, becomes the first ever Tasmanian to play in a World Cup!

Nathaniel, who plays his club football for Hearts in Scotland, has been a regular in the Australian team during the qualifying series but unfortunately picked up an injury in a recent Euro­pean game.
Australia plays it’s 3 group games vs World Champions France (23/11) vs Tuni­sia (26/11) and Denmark (1/12) the top 2 teams from each group qualify for the last 16 of the tournament.

Some of the times are more TV friendly than others but keep an eye on the River­side Olympic Football Club Facebook page in the event that the club is screening the game!

For further information about joining, sponsoring, coaching, volunteering, or playing for Riverside Olympic Soccer Club in 2023 please contact admin@riversideolympic.com.au

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