NSL Where Are They Now? – Sydney Olympic

Let’s take a look back now at one of the most known clubs in the NSL; Sydney Olympic.

Sydney Olympic is one of the foundation teams of the NSL, playing in the first competition in 1977. That season they came 12th out of 14, surviving relegation. It was this year that Sydney City (Now Hakoah Sydney City East) won the competition, edging out Marconi on goal difference.

Olympic would be controversially relegated instead of South Melbourne in 1979, when they finished 13th. The league had decided they wanted to cut back teams from NSW, giving Olympic the chop back to the NSW State league.

However, their stay in the State League was short-lived, beating Parramatta eagles 4-0 in the 1980 grand final to secure their passage back to the national competition, where they would stay until the league folded in 2004.

Olympics first piece of national silverware wouldn’t come until 1983 where they won the NSL Cup 2-0 on aggregate over Heidelberg United, 1-0 in both legs.

They would then win the cup for a second time in 1985, defeating Preston 2-0 in front of a cup record 10187 fans at St George Stadium.

They would try again in 1989 and 1990, losing 2-0 to Adelaide City and 4-1 to South Melbourne respectively.

Olympics first NSL title would come in the 1989-90 season where they defeated Marconi Stallions 2-0 in the grand final in front of a record crowd (at that time) of 26,353. Olympic shocked everyone that year, winning the title after finishing 5th on the ladder, having to go all the way through the finals play offs.

They defeated Adelaide City 2-1, then South Melbourne 1-0 before beating Melbourne Croatia 2-1 for right to play Marconi in the final. Sydney played all 3 games previously away, adding to their enormous feat of winning the comp from 5th.

Olympic wouldn’t be back in the winners circle again until 2002 where they defeated Perth Glory 1-0 in front of 42,735 fans at Subiaco Oval. This year Olympic finished 3rd, 15 competition points behind 1st placed Glory.

2003 would be the last title that Sydney Olympic would win in the NSL era, finishing as Premiers on 51 points, 1 point ahead of Perth Glory. However they would go on to lose the final to Glory 2-0.

There were numerous other times that Olympic could have added to their trophy cabinet; finishing 2nd in the 84, 86 and 92 competitions, and losing the grand final in 84, 86, 89 as well as the aforementioned 2003 grand final.

However there were a number of individual records within Olympic throughout the years. Peter Katholos would win the NSL player of the year award in the 1982 season, shockingly as Olympic finished 8th.

2 players would also win the golden boot for Olympic in their NSL days. First was Tim Bredbury in the 1991/92 season, followed by Pablo Cardozo in the 1998/99 season.

A little bit of club trivia: The 1996/97 season was the first season that the club used Belmore Sports Ground as their home ground and in 1997 got a record home attendance of  16,724 against Marconi. In the 1998/99 season, Olympic played Northern Spirit at North Sydney Oval in front of a record crows of 19,895 for Spirit’s debut game, which Olympic won 2-0.

Olympic’s biggest win was in the 1999/2000 season where they beat South Melbourne 6-0. Their biggest defeat was an 8-1 loss to Canberra Cosmos in Canberra.

Notable players for Olympic from their NSL time include Soper, Kalantzis , Raskopoulos, Zelic, Meier, Patikas, Katholos, Bernal, Polac, Olerenshaw, Ante Juric and Nick Carle.

After the folding of the NSL in 2004, Olympic joined the NSW Premier League. It wouldn’t be until 2011 that Olympic would win the competition, finishing as premiers and champions, defeating Sydney United 2-0 in the grand final. However, they did win the Johnny Warren Cup in 2008.

Currently, Sydney Olympic are having a solid season in the NSW NPL 1, where they are currently 4th on the table and looking likely to make a finals.

Olympic also has high aspirations of joining a National Second division when it comes to fruition.


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