Jimmy Haidakis of Wellington Olympic AFC - 2013 ASB Chatham Cup v Island Bay United
About Wellington Olympic AFC
Wellington Olympic AFC also known as "The Greeks"
Founded in 1953 as Apollon AFC
1959 Changed name to Christian Youth (CYFC)
1983 Changed name to Wellington Olympic AFC
2009 ASB Chatham Cup Champions
Home Ground: Wakefield Park, Island Bay
Clubrooms: 570 Adelaide Rd, Wellington
Club Colours (playing strip - 1st team):
- Shirts: Royal Blue with white Adidas stripes
- Shorts: Royal Blue with white Adidas stripes
- Socks: Royal Blue with white trim
- Shirts: White with blue Adidas stripes
- Shorts: White with blue Adidas stripes
- Socks: White with blue Adidas stripes
The club was formed in 1959, by the late Father Elias Economou, under the name CHRISTIAN YOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB (CYFC). Jim Christie joined the club in 1961 and became President/secretary/treasurer/ selector/player and has been involved in one way or another ever since. Co-selectors were Leonidas Bertos who also coached, and the Atha Giovanidis.
Apollon had 2 teams and nearly every year won its respective grades and were promoted, so they gradually climbed the ladder up to when the Central League was formed in 1963 and the 2nd year CYFC entered the 3rd division of this compitition.
Some of the players that played in the early years were:-
5 Bertos's brothers, Leonidas, Vasso, Laki, Taki, and young Chris,
3 Zaloumis, Taki, Sandy and John
2 Androutsos, Taki and Nick
2 Christies Jim and Costa
That was one team taken care of then there were:-
Basil Kiourktsidis, George Moutzouris, Laki Kaloyianni, Nick Paraskevopoulos, Chris Papanicoloau, John Leonidas and many others
CYFC was then founded by the Greek Community but then had very few expenses there were only registration fees, which were paid once a year (transfer fees were 2 shillings and 6 pence (25c).
The 1st CYFC dance was held on Queens Birthday Sunday in 1963 at the Parthenon Hall. No we did not pick a Miss GOYANZ that was to come later as GOYANZ had not yet been born. On the dance committee were Jim Christie Eleftherios (Lefty) Kondos and Basil Kiourksidis. All the food was donated we approached many Greeks and asked not for money but for food. When we entered the Central League we also appointed our 1st non Greek coach, Billy Wright who then played for Diamonds and Wellington and he brought Jeff and Wally Allen, Tony Kislick (Coronation Street) Atha Coventry and others.
After Entering Central League Division 2 in 1970, CYFC remained in this division until 1974 where it was relegated into Central League Division 3. CYFC spent two seasons in Division 3 where it won promotion in 1976 to Central 2 under the guidance of coach Ray Janes. The following year CYFC won promotion to Central League Division 1 for the first time in their history. They finished top of the table by six clear points, losing only game in the process. CYFC's stay in the top Central division was short lived as it only lasted a year where they finished bottom of the table.
In 1981 they failed to survive the higher grade once agian after being promoted from Div 2, CYFC made an immediate return to Div 2 football for the 1982 season. The only highlight of the 1981 season came in the opening game where CYFC beat eventual champions Napier 2-0 - something none of the other ten clubs were able to achieve.
In 1982 coach Peter Halikias helped guide the team to another Div two championship regaining first division status they lost the previous year. In 1983 CYFC changed its name to Wellington Olympic and were coached by Paul Norfolk. The team finished fourth but conceded far too many goals to have any real chance of challenging for the title.
In 1985 Olympic found themselves in farmiler teritory and were relegated to Div two. The following year Olympic cleaned up the Div two title. They were the only unbeaten side in any of the three Centtral League divisions. Second place was a distant 12 points behind them whilst thrid was another 12 points back. They scored a massive 59 goals which at the time was a record for the division. Only Lower Hutt (1985) had socred more than 50 golas and their total was reached in 22 games compared with Olympic's 20. From 1987 Olympic proved itself as a Division One mainstay as it consistantly finished in the top 4 until 1993 when the SuperClub competition was intorduced. The only exception was in 1989 where they finished eightth. The main highlight of six year Division One campaign was winning it in 1991. The team was coached by former player and stalwart George Bertos. George secured the services of Imre Foldi the previous year and Andre Racz in 1991. Between them they scored 28 goals. The championship was not decided until the last game of the season where second placed Miramar had to beat Olympic at Newtown Park to claim the title. The game ended 1-1 and the Central League Division One title was finally ours !!!.
In 2009 Wellington Olympic AFC claimed it's first ever Chatham Cup success after a 2-1 win against Three Kings United.
In the final, Three Kings United took an early lead through a third-minute goal from Luiz del Monte. Three Kings dominated for much of the early part of the match, but higher-ranked Olympic fought back, and a header just before the half-hour mark from Mickey Malivuk levelled the scores at 1-1. In the second half Olympic had the upper hand, and eventually took the lead through a 75th minute penalty taken by Raf De Gregorio Three Kings attacked strongly during the last few minutes of the match but were unable to produce an equaliser.
The Jack Batty Memorial Cup is awarded to the player adjudged to have made to most positive impact in the Chatham Cup final. The winner of the 2009 Jack Batty Memorial Cup was Raf De Gregorio of Wellington Olympic.
2009 Wellington Olympic AFC - 2009 ASB Chatham Cup Champions
Back L-R: Simon George (co-coach), Geroge Neonakis (chairman), Adam Church, Barry Lewis, Miroslav Malivuk, Nicholas Van Huttum, Ryan Edwards, Jared Curtis, Scott Robson, Craig Hopkins (co-coach), Paul Kuggeleijn (physio)
Front L-R: George Barbarouses, John Gerondis, Anthony Neonakis, Jamie O'Connor, Mikey Halikas (c), Jimmy Haidakis, Chaz Lawerance, Raf De Gregorio, John Carras
Following on from the successful unbeaten season of 2009, Olympicwent into the 2010 among the favorites to lift the Central league Trophy. Many of the 2009 players had returned and the club had added a few key players to the squad. The year started strongly, but a defeat to Miramar broke the unbeaten record from the year before, as well as a first round Chatham Cup exit to Wellington United made for some disappointing reading for the club and its supporters. As the year went on the team went from strength to strength, visiting Miramar Rangers for the return match at Dave Farrington Park for the top of the league clash, Miramar holding a slim lead at the top. Olympic had not beaten Miramar away from home for over 10 years, when a young Leo Bertos was playing and scored the winner on the day to win 3-2 in the old North Island League. Olympic came out of the blocks strongly and went on to win the game 3-0 to the cheers of our away supporters.
With one game to go, Olympic had to wait a week before playing Lower Hutt in a title deciding game. While waiting for this game Miramar Rangers played Petone to keep the pressure up on the blue boys. With minutes to go, Petone scored a late winner which meant Olympic had been crowned champions of the Central League for the first time since 1991, with a game in hand. Olympic then went on to beat Lower Hutt in the final match and the wild celebrations began.
To be continued...