Omonia Youth FC’s ‘Kevin Nottage Memorial’ match raises £670 for charity
January 1, 2020
Community football club Omonia Youth FC, sponsored by PIA Financial Group and Philip Ross Solicitors, raised £670 for charity as managers, coaches, trustees and current players took time out from their festive celebrations to play in the club’s annual Christmas managers match. This season the match was played at Enfield Grammar School’s 3G facility.
On a bright, mild morning on Sunday 29 December, the players convened, exchanged Christmas wishes before the respective team managers got their squads together and named their teams.
As last year, the teams were divided by age group with the Under 15 and over coaches and managers taking on the Under 14 and under. Club chairman Michael Pieri took charge of the Under 15 and over while Club Secretary Mike Koumi along with Fano Shiamishi taking on the Under 14 and under team.
The match is a longstanding traditional that stretches back to the founding years of the club and this year’s event, as it has for the last four, is significant as both teams would be playing for a trophy named after Kevin Nottage to commemorate the decade of service Kevin gave to the club. It was with great sadness that the club learned that Kevin passed away after a long battle against cancer in 2016. Kevin was a former Manager, Welfare Officer, qualified Referee, club WFL representative and Committee Member. Kevin was a selfless individual and everyone who knew him described him as a true gentleman and someone that always had a positive attitude towards life. Kevin wholeheartedly embraced everything that he did with energy and thoughtfulness and his contribution to Omonia Youth FC, which spanned a decade, was immense and will never be forgotten.
All the players who played in the match contributed a playing ‘fee’, along with some donations, and the total collected donated to the charity chosen by Kevin’s family. The total raised over the last four years stands at £2170. The club were honoured to again have Kevin’s family in attendance for the match.
A former player of the club, Alexandros Pieri, now a qualified referee, officiated the match, again epitomising the community spirit of the club.
At half time a competitive match ended goalless, in stark contrast to the seven goals that were scored last year – maybe the quality of defending has improved…or was it the profligate finishing?
Thankfully, in the second half, with tiring bodies and the introduction of fresher and younger legs, the goals started to flow. The Under 15 and over team raced to a 2-0 lead thanks to a calm finish from Jimmy Mousicos, the Under 15 Gold coach and an excellent strike from Nicholas Gregoriou one of the Under 18 Green players.
The Under 14 and under team pulled a goal back through another Under 18 player, Rico Charalambous before Kypros Kyprianou expertly despatched a penalty to make it 3-1. Under 14 Gold coach David Poncia stayed on his feet long enough to reduce the deficit again and with not long until the final whistle, the Under 14 and under team threw everything in attack to get the equaliser. However a stunning breakaway on the right eventually found Under 15 White coach Michael Pieri totally free in the penalty box who passed the ball into an empty net to confirm the win.
There were plenty of good performances all over the pitch and as is tradition, both sides picked one player each from their side as their Man of the Match. For the Under 14 and under team, goalkeeper John Frangou, the club’s Under 10 Green coach, was named their Man of the Match. For the Under 15 and over team, Kypros Kyprianou stood out as part of a defence that had an average age of over 50 and who shut out their opponents in a brilliant first half display. Kypros is a current trustee of the club and a former chairman too.
The match again symbolised the long-term camaraderie it creates, nurtures and cultivates over time as the match featured three former chairmen, two former vice chairs, the current chairman, current and former club secretaries, the club treasurer and current trustees chairman. As always, there was a healthy crowd in attendance and it was another great advert for the club.
After a tough, competitive and very tiring match the day ended with a few well-deserved drinks. Club chairman Michael Pieri gave a lovely speech in honour of Kevin Nottage who this match is now played in honour of.
The club would like to thank Kevin’s family for attending, M&A Coachworks who donated the trophy for the match three years ago, the referee, the young players who helped with running the line and to one of the club’s secretaries Evagoras Mandrides for taking the photos. Finally the club would like to thank the managers, coaches and current players who played in the game and donated a playing fee for charity.
This event is a mainstay in the club calendar and exemplifies the community spirit of the club. It is important that the friendship and team spirit among club stakeholders continues and the dedication continues to ensure the work of previous officials, managers and parents, like Kevin, is never forgotten. It is important to the club that their legacy continues and is used as an inspiration for the next generation of players, managers, coaches and parents to ensure Omonia Youth FC continues to be a positive and safe sporting outlet for the youth of the community. This positive message is one the club is rightly proud of.
Should you feel enthused and want to know more about Omonia Youth FC, you can contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org, via the contact page on www.omoniayouthfc.com and follow the club on twitter @OmoniaYouthFC.