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Brook Street’s reserves rounded off the season on a high, with a 5-0 win over Rio Cobre United in Jamaica last night.

In a devastating first half performance, our hosts were simply blown away by goals from Maranaj Batusha, Yann Schories, Jake MacConnechy and Fons Consheim. Athletic took the foot off the pedal in the second half, but were still able to add a fifth goal from Emil Vasiu.

After the match, Arjen Bogaert said, “It was a very good workout for the boys in humid conditions, and under the circumstances we played really well”.

He concluded by saying, “It’s good to finish a very trying season on a high”.

Andy Hautala clips home his second goal of the afternoon to rescue a point against Ginger Warriors.

Although already relegated, Athletic showed grit and determination to fight back three times and draw their final Division III.6 match 3-3 at home to Ginger Warriors this afternoon.

Athletic started brightly and fourteen minutes in could have found themselves in the lead had Andy Hautala’s fizzing shot across goal been a foot to the right. As it was, only the photographers behind the goal were troubled by it.

The visitors’ opener with twenty-one minutes played was down to a catalogue of errors in the home defence that typified Athletic’s season, and when presented with a golden opportunity like this Ewold Atreides could hardly believe his luck. At the same time, Brook Street’s fans couldn’t believe theirs.

They needn’t have worried about this setback as Paul O’Healihy picked up a perfect through ball on the right and dispatched it behind Bartłomiej Sznajder in the Warriors goal.

Five minutes before the break however, the visitors were back in front as Finlay MacLewis broke through the middle and scored.

Warriors were almost 3-1 up just after the hour mark as having rounded his compatriot Ville Yrjölä, Janne Salakari fired the ball towards the empty goal only for Marcus Lövman to appear from nowhere to clear the ball off the line.

Two minutes later, and this let-off was to prove priceless as Vitor Leocadio raced past his marker before squaring the ball to Andy Hautala who clipped the ball into the net to level the scores for a second time.

The Athletic defence was once again posted missing in the seventy-sixth minute when Kenneth Jentoft was able to run in on goal and place the ball past Ville Yrjölä.

The home team were not to be denied however and with eight minutes left, Andy Hautala rattled the rigging with his second goal of the afternoon.

Indeed, had Jose Eransus’s rasping drive been a foot and a half lower, the result could have been a whole lot better.

As it was, both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

“We showed great fighting spirit today, and that gives me great heart for next season’s campaign”, said the coach afterwards.

“We’ve got to cut out the stupid errors at the back though. Today it’s cost us again and that’s not good enough. We’ll be working on that over the close season”.

Finally, Arjen said, “I’d like to personally thank the fans that have stayed loyal to us through this difficult season. Your support means so much to us, and we’ll be working to bounce straight back next season. Thank you and enjoy the close season”.

Athletic’s season will conclude on Wednesday when the reserves travel to Kingston, Jamaica for a friendly match against Rio Cobre United. KO is at 1515 EST (2115 BST).

Hardy’s became the first side to win the Brook Street Cup twice, defeating Bergzilla FC 4-1 at New Home Park today.

The Romanian side got off to the perfect start with Jean Abel turning in Jakob Weisel’s cross with only 120 seconds played.

Things got worse for the Danes fourteen minutes in as Jesper Tulstrup was forced out of the game through injury, and after twenty-seven minutes they found themselves 2-0 down, Jonas Östman finishing off another Jakob Weisel cross.

Things just weren’t going Bergzilla’s way, and Heinrich Korsholm had to be helped off with a knee injury after seventy-five minutes.

Three minutes later the roof caved-in for them as Jonas Östman made it 3-0, and just as they thought things couldn’t get worse, Tage Hindsberg picked up a bad knock and had to be substituted.

Erik Rubinke finally pulled a goal back for the Danish side two minutes from time, but Attila Lukoviczki restored the three-goal advantage within a minute.

And so the Cup’s most successful side have secured their second title.

The Brook Street Cup takes a break next season, but Edition 8 will return the following season.

Liran Tzur races away to celebrate his second goal of the match.

Goals from Yann Schories, Daniel Hasnas, Dan Zieleznik and a brace from substitute Liran Tzur gave Athletic a 5-0 victory over hat yai in Thailand this morning.

It wasn’t all good news however as Laurent Etcheverry faces spending the close season on the treatment table having received a bad injury a quarter of an hour into the game.

Schories netted the opener twenty-four minutes into his comeback following injury and youngster Daniel Hansas doubled the lead with a superb scissors kick with thirty-three minutes played.

Four minutes later and it was 3-0, Dan Zieleznik firing home after cutting in from the right.

Nine minutes after the break, Liran Tzur rose to power a header home to continue his impressive scoring streak, and within a further two minutes he had doubled his personal account following a mix-up in the home team’s defence.

Athletic continued to dominate the game without threatening to add to their lead, but Dan Zieleznik picked up a booking after sixty eight minutes that was to prove costly later in the match.

The Pole had a great chance to add to the lead but his delicate lob bounced off the top of the bar before a poorly-timed challenge saw him earn his second yellow card and his ticket out of the game.

Whether this will be the last appearance for the team by the ex-captain remains to be seen, but following his red card it appears likely.

The coach refused to comment on the Zieleznik situation preferring to concentrate on the performance of the team as a whole.

“We put in a solid if unspectacular performance today, however the humidity was the controlling factor”.

“We got a good workout though and over the piece I am happy with how things panned out”.

When asked about the extent of Laurent Etcheverry’s injury he said, “It’s too early to know the full extent, however it’s safe to say his season is over and we’ll just have to work to get him fit for the start of the new season”.

“Whatever way you look at it, it’s a bad injury and Laurent is in a lot of pain. He’ll go straight to see the specialist when we get home, but it looks like ligament damage”.

On a lighter note, the coach was asked about Liran Tzur’s goal scoring exploits since joining he said, “Liran is something of a goal machine at this point. Our strikers will have to watch out if he continues in this vein of form!”

Tuncay Üyüm fires home his second goal of the afternoon to effectively send us down.

Athletic will be playing Division IV football next season following our 2-1 away defeat by liverbenitez this afternoon.

Knowing that a victory was the only way to prolong our season, Athletic’s hopes were all but dashed by the thirteenth minute by which time striker Tuncay Üyüm had struck twice to kill off any possible challenge.

Although Andy Hautala pulled a goal back just before half-time, the home team “parked the buses” in the second half to stifle the match and ensure there was to be no way back for Athletic.

Although we cannot technically be relegated until next weekend, Invisible Touch’s vastly superior goal difference gives them an unassailable lead.

“We’re all bitterly disappointed that our campaign has ended this way”, said the coach after the match. “We gave it our best shot, but to be honest we couldn’t have ended up in a worse league”.

He continued, “We’ll regroup however and go into the new season with a renewed optimism with the aim of returning to Division III at the first attempt. Hopefully if we’re successful, we’ll promote to a more favourable league”.

Making a surprise appearance this afternoon was Igor Bulatov, the Ukrainian winger having had full and frank clear-the-air talks with the coach last night after which he withdrew his transfer request with immediate effect.

Arjen commented, “We had a long discussion last night during which it became apparent that Igor had received some very poor advice, and in light of this he withdrew his transfer request”.

He continued, “We’ll put this misunderstanding behind us now and move on”.

With New Home Park hosting the final of the Brook Street Cup next week, Athletic’s reserve team will travel east for next week’s international friendly match.

The club announced this morning that hat yai of Thailand’s Division IV have accepted our challenge and the match will be played at mayfair, their 15100 capacity arena, with a kick-off time of 10:30 local time (04:30 BST) .

“The heat will give our players quite a challenge, but I’m sure they will cope well”, said Arjen Bogaert.

He added, “We’ll obviously have to modify our game to deal with the conditions, however I have a few ideas, and it’s a match we are all very much looking forward to.”

Andy Hautala hits Athletic's third, and his first goal of the day against RTI Minsk

Athletic hit the goal trail with a vengeance yesterday, putting nine past Belarusian side FC RTI Minsk in our friendly match at New Home Park.

As transfer-listed duo Dan Zieleznik and Igor Bulatov are now out of the coach’s plans, two places are up for grabs against liverbenitez on Saturday. With this in mind, Andy Hautala and Nemanja Jankovic can have done their chances absolutely no harm whatsoever by netting five between them.

The coach agreed afterwards saying, “Yes, both players seized the opportunity and have played themselves into contention. There were very good performances throughout the team however, and although the opposition were a lot weaker than we had anticipated, it was a really good moral boosting performance”.

Daniel Hasnas opened the scoring after only eight minutes, firing home Vitor Leocadio’s pass. Twelve minutes later and Liran Tzur slammed home the second goal, having cut in from the left.

Athletic were in full flight by the half hour mark when Andy Hautala evaded a number of challenges before netting the third goal, before hitting his second and Athletic’s fourth just four minutes later following a decisive counter-attack.

The visitors were clearly reeling from this onslaught, but there was to be little reprieve before the break as first Oleg Zhigalov and Nemanja Jankovic added to the scoreline within the final five minutes of the half.

The shell-shocked visitors were put under renewed pressure as the second half commenced, and four minutes in Andy Hautala curled home a super free-kick to complete his hat-trick.

Following the seventh goal, the Athletic players seemed to drop the tempo but midway through the half Nemanja Jankovic showed the visiting defenders a clean pair of heels before firing home from an acute angle.

Athletic still weren’t finished yet, and with eight minutes remaining Liran Tzur coolly rounded the keeper and knocked the ball home to round off the scoring.

Hat-trick hero Andy Hautala said afterwards, “We played really well today and got a good win. It’s good to get a hat-trick and give myself a chance of making the squad for Saturday, but I’ll just have to wait and see if the gaffer thinks I merit a starting place”.

He continued, “It was a good team performance and Liran has been a real find. It’s good that we can score goals from all areas of the pitch, and we posed a real threat from midfield and down the wings”.

“The way they set up, it looked as if they were going to try and hit us on the break, so we had to make sure they never got the chance to counter. Emilio never had anything to do, so I think we did our job well today”.

Danish side Bergzilla FC will face Romanian’s Hardy’s, the Edition IV winners, in the final of the Brook Street Cup at New Home Park next week.

“Win next week or we’re down”. That was the stark message from Arjen Bogaert following this afternoon’s second half collapse against dmc allstars.

Tied 1-1 at half-time courtesy of Dan Zieleznik’s equaliser, two minutes after Manuel Ramírez’s twenty-seventh minute opener for allstars, the match slipped away from Athletic in the second half, during which Jude Galton hit a hattrick.

“We were perhaps unlucky that everything they did seemed to end up in our net, but we had chances and didn’t take them, so we’ve no-one to blame but ourselves”, said the coach.

“Basically, it all comes down to our match next week”, admitted Arjen. “We must win, it’s as simple as that. Anything less and we can prepare for life in Division IV next season”.

The coach will however not be helped in this task as it became apparent this evening that Igor Bulatov and Dan Zieleznik slapped transfer requests on the coach’s desk at full-time.

He acknowledged the requests defiantly by saying, “If they want to jump ship then that’s up to them. Either way, they’ll not play for our first team again. I need and want players who actually want to play for the club and not mercenaries who are only interested in their wallets”.

If they don’t want to play in Division IV again, then I can understand that, but I would have expected them to throw their lot in with the team and wait until the end of the season before looking to move on. The fact they haven’t shows exactly how much this club means to them, or more likely, what it means to their agents and advisors.

I am extremely disappointed that they’ve done this, but the rest of us will move on together as a team.

As the club appear to be heading for Division IV, the board, despite protests from fans groups, announced that the capacity of New Home Park is to be cut to 45000 for next season.

Chairman Louie Scott said, “We have never been near having a full house since we increased the capacity to 56000, and as a result, the board have taken the decision to reduce the capacity by 11000”.

He continued, “Although the overall capacity will be reduced, these reductions will come entirely from the premium seating which has never been utilised since its introduction. Consequently, over fourteen and a half thousand seats will be ripped out. This increase of space will see room for an additional thousand basic seats, over two and a half thousand standing places, and seventy corporate box places, all of which regularly sell out”.

He continued, “I am aware of the fans groups protests and I have held meetings with them to discuss our plans, however in the current financial situation, this club cannot afford to have over fourteen thousand empty seats every home game. That is simply not sustainable, and a we’re not using them, there is absolutely no point in having them. As a result, the premium seats are coming out”.

Concluding, he said, “The money saved from reducing the capacity could help pay for a very good player. I asked the fans groups if they’d prefer that or over fourteen thousand empty seats per game. It’s a “no-brainer” and I got the answer I expected.

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