Clash of Football Titans: The Inaugural Greek Herald Cup

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Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Carlton, a southern suburb of Sydney, the heart of St George territory, literally turned Greek on Saturday 13 December with the inaugural Greek Herald Cup played between Sydney Olympic FC and South Melbourne FC.

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Before a crowd of almost 2,500 spectators the two teams – both recently elevated to the new National Second Tier Competition commencing in 2025 – put on an entertaining spectacle before Sydney Olympic ran out winners 1-0 with a goal late in the second half.

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The ground was bathed in warm sunshine and the crowd enjoyed the pre-match entertainment, including the Pontian dance group of the NSW association Pontoxeniteas.

Both Sydney Olympic and South Melbourne Hellas have rich football pedigrees and common Hellenic bonds stretching across two cities and also enjoy strong community support with loyal supporter bases.

The game was hard fought but played in a good spirit with the ground occasionally erupting with the traditional Sydney Olympic cry of O-LYM-PIC.

Scenes from the game:

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At the end of the game, the impressive Greek Herald Cup was presented to the winning Sydney Olympic team by the NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, Sophie Cotsis, in the presence of Dimitra Skalkos, the publisher of the Greek Herald and sponsor of what is hoped will become an annual sporting fixture between two foundational football clubs that have contributed so much to Australian soccer.

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It was especially pleasing to see a band of travelling fans from Melbourne on hand to cheer their team as was the sight of a number of veteran and legendary Pan Hellenic/Sydney Olympic players from the past presented to the crowd and by the ground announcer, the inimitable Andy Paschalidis, and receive loud applause for their past heroics.

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St George may be Red and White dragon territory but on this brilliant Sydney afternoon Jubilee Stadium was proudly Blue and White as the passion for the real game was on display in a clash of two great and historic clubs.

We are still all Greeks.

George Vardas is the Arts and Culture Editor.  As a young boy he watched Pan Hellenic and has since followed its successor, Sydney Olympic.  His first football love remains AEK Athens.  

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