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Archive for May, 2010
Friday, May 28th, 2010

Croatia takes on York in their CSL home debut

A 0-0 draw last week in Montreal has Croatia confident going into their game against York.

Frank Perin – A win and a tie after two tough road games is as good a start to a season an expansion team could anticipate. Hamilton Croatia hopes that the York Region Shooters do not spoil what is expected to be an exciting opening night at Brian Timmis Stadium.

York Region — previously the Italia Shooters — notched its second win in as many games with a convincing 3-0 triumph over London City on May 23. Forward Geron Duport has scored a goal in each of the two games, and Croatia’s defence will look to shut him down.

The back four of Sandro Rajkovic, Niko Jelicic, Ivan Razumovic, and Tom Bilic were solid in helping goalie Cam McKay earn the clean sheet last weekend at Montreal.

Hamilton Croatia may see a few familiar faces when they line up tonight. “Last year’s Ontario Cup champions Real Toronto have folded and a good portion of the team have signed with the Shooters”, says coach Ronnie Davidson. Hamilton lost 4-1 to Real Toronto in the semifinals of the OC last summer.

The team hopes to see a large crowd for the 9 p.m. kickoff to help give them the home field advantage. In 14 games at BTS last season Croatia finished 12-1-1 and outscored opponents 42-16.

“Nothing’s better than hearing the crowd get behind you and giving you that extra step,” says captain Bilic.

Croatia plays again Sunday at Victoria Park in Brampton against Lions at 7:30 p.m. before returning for two Friday night home games on June 4 and 11.


Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Update from the VP of Youth Athletics

With our youth team’s seasons just getting under way here’s a quick update:

1. All teams are encouraged to attend the BIG Picnic on May 30th. As of now the U10G, U14G and U12B are scheduled to play. Unfortunately for older teams who’ve expressed interest, we could not get any more time that day on the full sized field at Dofasco Park. There’s still however time on the mini-fields for the younger teams. We will be playing those games after the opening ceremonies for the fields at 4 PM.

2. The night before the picnic, on May 29th, there will be a mass at 5 PM for all youth teams at Holy Cross Church. All players are encouraged to come in their jerseys and sit with their teams. The mass will be bilingual in both English and Croatian. If any players want to participate in reading our carrying gifts, please contact Lory Protulipac at lory.protulipac@sympatico.ca.

3. All managers need to e-mail ivan.rados@hamiltoncroatia.com their sponsor list noting the amounts sponsored and the company logo plus website info. This way we can ensure the website is updated and all signage is done at GMR for the sponsors who selected that package.

4. Please e-mail full schedules to frank.perin@hamiltoncroatia.com if you have not done so already along with your full roster list and team photo. Frank has a lot on the go but the sooner you provide him with your team info, the sooner he can get your webpages up and running.

5. All teams 18 and under have registered for the Croatian National Soccer Federation tournament on July 10th which is great to see. Managers – Don’t forget that travel permits are required for this. You can either e-mail them to the district or send them to Edi Rejc or myself and we can forward all of them in as a group. Remember to Cc: Edi if you e-mail the district directly as he is the main contact with the H&D.

6. A big thanks goes to Joe Protulipac for taking care of the standardized uniforms this season. I know this was a lot of work but it was well worth it. Thanks for all your efforts.

7. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll have another e-mail out soon to team contacts regarding some of the upcoming fundraisers and getting the tax receipts out to teams.

All the best and hopefully I’ll see most of you on the 29th and/or 30th.

Ivan Rados


Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Hamilton Croatia make CSL debut

Pictured here, left to right, are Stoney Creek natives Dan Niksic, J.J. Grubisic and Tom Bilic.

Laura Lennie, Stoney Creek News – Hamilton Croatia made its debut in the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) last weekend. The team opened the regular season with a 2-1 victory over TFC Academy last Saturday at Toronto’s Lamport Stadium.

“Since it was our first ever game in the new pro league, it was important for us to win, as it goes down in our history books as three points and a great way to start off the new CSL campaign,” said striker and Stoney Creek native J.J. Grubisic. “Not only was it a victory, but a victory against a very sharp team on the road. The debut was filled with pride and emotion, especially for the players and fans that have been with the club since the beginning.”

Defender Tom Bilic agrees it was a very big day.

“It took us a little bit to shake the nerves off, but once we got the first goal we seemed to settle down,” said the Stoney Creek resident. “They’re a solid team that’s very organized, but we have lots of experience on our team. Ultimately, through that experience, our key players were able to take over and control the flow of the game.”

Hamilton Croatia was established in 1957.

Throughout the years, the team has competed in various leagues, mostly amateur, with a pro appearance in the 1970s. Hamilton Croatia moved up from the Hamilton and District Premier division to the Ontario Soccer League Regional division a number of years ago.

After being runners up in the Ontario Soccer League Regional division for two years, the team won the league and earned promotion to the Ontario Soccer League Provincial division. Last year, Hamilton Croatia played its first season in the provincial division, winning both the division championship and league cup.

“The CSL approached our club this off-season with the idea of Hamilton Croatia joining the CSL for the 2010 season,” said president Mark Vuksan. “They wanted a team representing Hamilton in the CSL and believed that our team’s calibre, combined with our youth system and strong fan base, would make an excellent fit for their league.”

“After careful consideration by our club executive, we decided to take the next step and join the CSL.”

Other entries in the 13-team league include the Brampton Lions, Brantford Galaxy, London City, Milltown (Milton) FC, Montreal Impact Academy, North York Astros, Portugal FC, Serbian White Eagles, St. Catharines Wolves, Toronto Croatia and York Region Shooters.

Vuksan says team leadership both on and off the field will lead to a successful product on the pitch.

“We have a very strong core of local players that have been playing for the club for many years and our coaching staff, led by Ronnie Davidson, Ante Culina and Mike Radencic, have been with the club for many years,” he said. “These players and our coaching staff have a great respect and understanding toward one another. Add to that a few key player additions from overseas and we believe we have a team that will compete for the CSL title.”

Hamilton Croatia will take on Montreal Impact Academy this Saturday in Montreal. They then go on to host their home opener against the York Region Shooters on May 28 at Brian Timmis Stadium.

“Montreal is a very good team. It will be difficult for us, as it is our first away game out of the province,” said Grubisic. “They will be young, quick and very talented. We need to play tight defence and execute our chances.”

Bilic believes the team will give Montreal a run for their money.

“I do believe that if we play the way I know we can, we can come away with three points,” he said. “No matter where we play, people always come to cheer us on.”

Grubisic says his ultimate hope for the season is for Hamilton Croatia to be a team the community and city can be proud of.

“We hope to compete in the top half of the standings. Being an expansion team, it is difficult to tell where we stand,” he said.

This year’s going to be tough, says Bilic. “We’re not accustomed to the league. Nevertheless, the plan is to make the playoffs and hopefully win the championship,” he said. “Our club, coaches and community have always expected us to succeed at any level and we have. There is no reason to think that we can’t in the CSL.”

“We are here to build a team that showcases local talent and combines it with a few overseas players. This team will be a team that every kid growing up playing soccer in Hamilton can look forward to being a part of one day,” Vuksan said. “We want to work with the local soccer community to develop players at the grassroots level and offer local talent a high level of soccer to strive for.”

Source: http://www.stoneycreeknews.com/news/article/210735


Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Picnic on May 30th to Unveil Park Upgrades

Greg Zdelar and Ivan Grubisic take a little break under a tree.

Frank Perin — Sunday, May 30th is the “Croatia Day” Picnic. It is also the day most people will come up to 166 Green Mountain Road to check out all the work that’s been done.

Since some nice weather hit us in early April, volunteers have been in and out of the Hamilton Croatian Centre on a daily basis preparing the grounds for the freshly expanded Women’s Bocce League and the newly formed Hamilton Croatia Youth Soccer House League.

The house league is for children aged 4-8 and will begin in June. The empty portion of the field at the back of the park has been transformed into two youth-sized soccer fields.

The women’s bocce league has expanded from 16 teams in 2009 to 30 for this coming summer. This expansion prompted the addition of two more bocce courts. Along with the courts, we have installed a concrete patio with a storage shed as well.

Also, there have been some major upgrades to the cookhouse, including a new ceiling inside, and the outside slated to be painted before the picnic.

All of these upgrades were obviously costly, so it goes without saying that the work could not be completed without our members and dedicated volunteers.

Please feel welcome to join us on Sunday, May 30th.

You can also check out some photos here:
http://hamiltoncroatia.com/gallery/77-2010_gmrconstruction/.


Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Looking ahead to the Montreal Impact Academy

Montreal's Giuseppe Cortese battles a Milltown FC player for the ball.

Frank Perin — Hamilton Croatia travels to Montreal this long weekend for a Saturday night match against the Impact Academy.

Croatia is coming off their first ever game in the CSL, a hard-fought 2-1 road win against the TFC Academy, while Montreal drew 0-0 at home last weekend against Milltown FC.

Montreal goalkeeper Andrei Badescu made some key saves for his first shutout of the season last week.

“We have a young team. We have to use our speed and skill to impose our game plan on the field,” said Academy team captain Giuseppe Cortese.

Montreal will still be missing defenders Francesco Augustin, Serge Dinkota and Amine Meftouh, who are in the Netherlands with the Canadian U-20 national team until May 24 for friendlies against Egypt and Japan. The team also has two players away on U-17 national team duty.

One player Hamilton likely will have to deal with is forward Yannick Rome-Gosselin. Rome-Gosselin finished last season tied for fourth in league scoring with 8 goals for the Trois-Rivieres Attak. Luckily, his 2009 striking partner Reda Agourram — the CSL’s leading scorer and rookie of the year last season — is now with the Impact’s senior team.

Due to Fiorentina’s training session at Saputo Stadium, the game will take place at 7 p.m. at Dollard-des-Ormeaux DDO1 Park in front of the Civic Centre.




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