Adelaide Olympic Ultimate Guide: Debutants ready to make an impression

With a defender who has stopped Cristiano Ronaldo and a beach soccer international in their ranks, Adelaide Olympic are out to make a name for themselves in the FFA Cup 2019.

Olympic will be breaking new ground when they compete in the FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 but they have already proven they have no fear of the unknown.

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Coach George Tsonis’ side will perform on the national stage for the first time in their history when they face Western Austalian outfit Floreat Athena on Wednesday 24 July, but the occasion is unlikely to faze them.

Their most recent voyage into uncharted territory, the FFA Cup SA Final against Adelaide City, saw Olympic clinch their first silverware with a 3-2 win, punching their ticket to the Round of 32. 

Profile

Founded: 1978, as Adelaide Asteras.

Competition: National Premier Leagues South Australia.

Homeground: VALO Football Centre, The Parks Recreation and Sports Centre, Angle Park. 

Honours: FFA Cup SA 2019

FFA Cup Experience: Round of 32, 2019.

History

From humble beginnings, winning the sixth division of the 1979 amateur league, Adelaide Asteras were always a team on the rise.

After a name change to Thebarton Asteras in 1982, they became the Olympians in 1989 and joined forces with the Adelaide Hellenic Soccer Club in 1999 and finally became known as Adelaide Olympic in 2001.

Olympic recorded a fifth-place SA Premier League finish in 2005 before getting relegated and promoted back to the top flight over the next few years. 

A number of mid-table seasons followed as the club hit financial problems, but they have recovered strongly and now sit fifth in the NPL SA Premier League.

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Key Players

That's right, Olympic have a 35-cap international in their ranks. Kristi Vangjeli starred for Albania against the likes of Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robin van Persie between 2007 and 2012. 

The right-back even helped Albania to a clean sheet on the road in a 0-0 draw against a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal in October 2008, despite the Eagles being down to ten men for more than half of their FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifier.

The 33-year-old joined Olympic for the 2019 season after playing in Greece, Ukraine, Romania and his native Albania.

Kristi Vangjeli tackles Cristiano Ronaldo as Albania hold Portugal to a 0-0 draw
Kristi Vangjeli tackles Cristiano Ronaldo as Albania hold Portugal to a 0-0 draw.
Lionel Messi's shot beats Kristi Vangjeli's outstretched leg as Argentina beat Albania 4-0.
Lionel Messi's shot beats Kristi Vangjeli's outstretched leg as Argentina beat Albania 4-0.

Ricardo da Silva wears the captain's armband and is one of Olympic's chief tormentors. The Portuguese-born attacking midfielder turned out four times in the Hyundai A-League for Adelaide United in 2011/12, and the 35-year-old has been capped for the Beach Socceroos.

Goalkeeper Daniel Vaughan saved a penalty from 2011 Johnny Warren medal winner Marcos Flores in the FFA SA Cup final and will be crucial to Olympic's chances of progressing in the FFA Cup 2019.

Striker Christos Pounendis came up big with an equaliser against Adelaide City and has hit double figures in NPL SA this season, while stalwart centre half Matt Halliday took man of the match honours in the FFA SA Cup Final.

Round of 32 Match Details

Adelaide Olympic v Floreat Athena
Date: Wednesday, 24 July 2019 (AEST)
Venue: VALO Football Centre, The Parks
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEST (7.00pm local time)
Click here for ticket details

FFA Cup Round of 32: Adelaide Olympic v Floreat Athena

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