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Challenge Trophy
11 October 2010
Churchill Arms win Historic Trophy
Churchill Arms became the first Prince Edward Island team to win the Canadian senior men’s club championship, doing so on home soil in the 2010 BMO National Championships Challenge Trophy competition. Churchill Arms of Charlottetown, PE won 2:0 over Gorge FC of Victoria, BC in the Monday 11 October final at UPEI Field.

'It feels great right now,' said Churchill Arms captain Jonathan Vos. 'I thought both teams looked tired throughout the match having played five matches in six days but we were able to find our legs as the match wore on. The crowd was huge today, especially going into extra time they give us that extra push to get us over the top.'

The match started cautiously as neither side wanted to make the first mistake in the championship final. Churchill Arms Brett Norton had the best chance of the first half as he unleashed a fierce strike from outside the penalty box that had Gorge FC goalkeeper Joel Galbraith at full stretch to tip around the post. It was more of the same in the second half with both defences on top and clear scoring chances at a minimum and the match moved to extra time tied at 0-0.

Churchill Arms finally made the breakthrough three minutes in the second of two 15-minute periods of extra time. Norton ran onto a cross from the right to head home, sparking scenes of wild celebration around the UPEI field. Churchill goalkeeper Matt Lally had to be alert just two minutes later as the excellent Will Moore fired a low curling shot that Lally got an arm to at the last moment. Three minutes from the end forward Ryan Antsey added an insurance goal beating the Galbraith to a loose ball and the celebration was well and truly on.

In the final, Churchill Arms’ starting XI featured Matt Lally, Rob Aiken, Dylan MacDonald, Ashworth Graham, Prichett Karel, Jon Vos, Brett Norton, Michel Daoust, Matt Thomson, Paul Craig and Ryan Anstey. On the bench, the team had Ken Morrison, Nathan Beck, Josh Vessey, Jared Murphy, Dan McAleer, Russell Carson, Jordan Chandler and Andrew MacCormack.

In the bronze medal match, also played on Monday morning, Halifax Dunbrack won 3:2 over AEK London to claim third place at the BMO National Championships. Alex Cordoba, Ryan Devereaux, and Alex Devereaux scored for the Nova Scotia champions in the victory. 

Ryan Devereaux and AEK's Haris Cekic shared the Top Goal Scorer award having recorded three goals each. The BMO Top Goal Saver award was also shared, this time by teammates Matt Lally and Andrew MacCormack who split the goalkeeping duties for the champion Churchill Arms team, combining to not give up a goal in any of the Churchill’s five matches. The Fair Play Award was won by the other Prince Edward Island representative, Hunters Ale House Selects. 

'BMO, Canada’s Bank of Soccer, is proud to be a big supporter of the beautiful game of soccer,' said Christine Cooper, Vice President, New Brunswick/PEI Division, BMO Financial Group. 'BMO employees and soccer fans alike have been thrilled with the level of competition at the BMO National Championships here in Charlottetown. We are proud of these exceptional athletes and want to thank all the volunteers who helped stage such a stellar competition.'

In the placement matches for positions 5-10 on Monday: Calgary Dinosaurs (fifth) won 5:4 over Royal Sélect Beauport (sixth) in a wild match; Huskie Alumni (seventh) won 5:2 over Hunter Ale House Selects (eighth); and Lucania of Winnipeg, MB (ninth) won 3:1 over Holy Cross of Newfoundland Labrador (10th) 3:1.
10 October 2010
Gold and Bronze Medal Matches all set up for an exciting Final Day in PEI
 Prince Edward Island host Churchill Arms will face British Columbia champions Gorge FC in the Challenge Trophy final at the 2010 BMO National Championships on Monday in Charlottetown, PE. 

Churchill Arms advanced to the tournament final out of Group B by beating its fellow provincial representative Hunter Ale House Selects 1:0 in a competitive provincial derby match on Sunday evening. Gorge FC led Group A throughout the competition and clinched its place in the championship match with 1:0 win over Saskatchewan’s Huskie Alumni on Sunday morning. The Churchill Arms – Gorge FC final will be played at 11:30 at the UPEI turf field in Charlottetown, PE. 

Churchill Arms went undefeated in Group B play recording three wins and a draw for a tournament leading 10 points. The local team went into its match with Hunter Ale House Selects knowing only a victory would be enough to reach the final. After a tense scoreless first half, forward Ryan Anstey scored shortly after the second half restart for the lone goal of the mach. 

Many of the players on the Churchill Arms roster played for the two previous Prince Edward Island representatives, which finished third at two consecutive Challenge Trophy competitions. Should Churchill Arms win on Monday, it will be the first team from Prince Edward Island to win the Challenge Trophy, in its many forms, since it was first contested in 1913. 

“We were familiar with Hunter Ale House Selects having played them several times this year, so it was chess match for most of the game,” said Antsey following the match. “We have a very deep roster this year and we weren’t going to be happy unless we made the final and now we’re going for gold. We know it’s going to be a battle against Gorge FC tomorrow and hopefully the home crowd and the chance to play in our first final will lift us over the top.”

Earlier on Sunday in Group B play, Nova Scotia’s Halifax Dunbrack won its third match of the competition defeating Newfoundland champions Holy Cross 2:0. Alexander Devereaux and Shawn Kodejs scored the goals for Halifax who finished second in the group on nine points and will face AEK London in Monday’s bronze medal match. Final Group B standings were Churchill Arms first, Halifax Dunbrack second, Royal Sélect Beauport third, Hunter Ale House Selects fourth, and Holy Cross fifth. 

Playing in the first match of the day, Victoria based Gorge FC settled the complicated Group A playoff scenario with a clutch win over Huskie Alumni. Jamie Merriman scored the lone goal of the match in the 60thminute. Gorge FC are looking to become the first British Columbia side to win the Challenge Trophy since Surrey Pegasus accomplished the feat in 2004. 

Aware that Gorge FC had already locked up first place in Group A, AEK London and Calgary Dinosaurs battled to a 2:2 draw. The result leaves AEK London alone in second place with five points and playing Halifax Dunbrack for the bronze medal. Calgary Dinosaurs finish third, Huskie Alumni are fourth, and Lucania FC fifth in the group standings 
09 October 2010
Exciting Sunday set-up for final group matches at Challenge Trophy
thrilling day of action on Saturday 9 October at the 2010 BMO National Championships Challenge Trophy competition ended with a playoff scenario more complicated than when it began. 

The goals started to flow on match day four as teams committed to attack in an effort to earn a spot in the medal rounds. Even the goalkeepers were in fine goal scoring form as all four of the day’s matches finished with a 2:1 score line in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

In highly competitive Group B Royal Sélect Beauport defeated Newfoundland champions Holy Cross to maintain its hopes of participating in a second straight Challenge Cup final. 

Playing for the fourth consecutive day, the Québec side scored a goal in each half to sandwich a Holy Cross red card and an own goal by the Royal defence. Salamin Guillaume and Cédric Essockamba scored for Royal Sélect Beauport while defender Alex Lévesque was unfortunate to turn a cross into his own goal. 

Nova Scotia’s Halifax Dunbrack remained very much alive in Group A with a 2:1 victory over Hunter Ale House Selects of Prince Edward Island. Kieran Dutton opened the scoring to give the host side an early advantage only to see Kerry Weymann tie the match four minutes later. Peter Garonis sealed the win for Halifax 14 minutes before half time. 

Prince Edward Island champions Churchill Arms, seven points (2-0-1), had a rest day on Saturday and head into its last group match against fellow provincial hosts Hunter Ale House Selects knowing that a win will advance them to the final.

With its win, Royal Sélect Beauport also reach seven points (2-1-1) but is currently second to Churchill based on goal differential (+2) and will have to watch from the sidelines on Sunday having played all four of its group matches. 

Halifax Dunbrack is third with six points (2-1-0) and will need a win over Holy Cross on Sunday as well as a loss by Churchill Arms to reach the final. 

Incredibly, four Group A teams will enter the Sunday’s final day of group competition with the possibility of advancing to Monday’s Challenge Trophy final. 

British Columbia’s Gorge FC remain top in the group following a 2:1 victory over Manitoba representatives Lucania Saturday morning on the UPEI turf. 

Sean Battistoni fired Gorge FC into a first half lead after he raced onto Kellen Holden’s defence splitting through ball and drove a low shot into the goal. Defender Paul Vandenboomen doubled Gorge’s advantage five minutes later with a well directed header that looped over Lucania goalkeeper Adrian Magri. Lucania had yet to score a goal through its first three matches but its first of the competition was well worth the wait. Goalkeeper Magri did well to hold a low shot before he popped to his feet and smashed a long goal kick down the field, with the wind at its back the ball took two high bounces and rolled over the desperately outstretched arms of Gorge FC goalkeeper Joel Galbraith for a unique goal. 

“Knowing that Manitoba was playing its fourth game in four days we focused on trying to take the game to them in the first half and I thought it worked well,” said Gorge FC coach Julius Karpati after the morning match. “In the second half we had a good chance to go 3-0 up but then their goalkeeper gets up and scores so all of a sudden its 2-1 and game on. It will likely come down to the last game tomorrow and we’re prepared for that.”

In the other Group A match on Saturday, Ontario champions AEK London defeated Huskie Alumni of Saskatchewan 2:1 in the first soccer match ever played at the new MacAdam Field at UPEI. 

The grass field is a legacy project from the 2009 Canada Summer Games which was hosted by Prince Edward Island last August. Following its use for the track and field competitions during the Canada Games, the field waited over 12 months for its first soccer action. 

Huskie Alumni opened the scoring in the 16th minute through midfielder Steven Patterson. Despite going a goal behind, the Ontario side had looked dangerous throughout the match and Haris Cekic made the breakthrough for AEK London in the 64th minute with a great individual goal. Having picked up the ball at the corner of the 18 yard box he dribbled away from goal before curling an unstoppable shot in the top corner of the Huskie goal. Ryan Avola scored the game winner for AEK in the 83rd minute.

Gorge FC can guarantee a spot in the final with a win over Huskie Alumni on Sunday. Undefeated AEK London (1-0-2) and will need a win over Alberta Dinosaurs coupled with a Gorge FC loss or tie to reach the final. Huskie Alumni, four points (1-1-1), would finish first with a win over Gorge FC and an AEK London loss or tie. Finally, Calgary Dinosaurs, four points (1-1-1), require a win over AEK London and a Gorge FC loss to create a three-way tie between itself Huskie Alumni and Gorge FC. 

The tie-breakers for the competition are as follows:
(a) Most points in all group matches
(b) Greater number of points in matches between the teams concerned
(c) Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned (if more than two teams finish equal on points)
(d) Greater number of goals scored in matches among the teams concerned (if more than two teams finish equal on
(e) Results for all group matches
*Greater goal difference in all group matches
*Greater number of goals scored in all group matches
(f) Penalty Kicks

The 2010 Challenge Trophy competition runs 6 – 11 October in Charlottetown, PEI. The ten competing teams are split into two groups of five and play a round-robin competition from Wednesday through Sunday. The two first place teams in each group will face off in the tournament final on Monday 11 October. 

The 2010 BMO National Championships is the umbrella tournament for Canada’s premier amateur competitions, from the senior level Challenge Trophy and Jubilee Trophy competitions down to the U-14 levels. The BMO National Championships feature four Nutrilite All Stars competitions from 20-25 July and the eight club championships from 6-11 October. Through its 12 competitions in six venues, the BMO National Championships feature more than 3,000 players, staff and officials in July and October.

BMO proudly supports soccer across Canada from youth players in local neighbourhoods and communities, to professional levels of play. BMO’s deep commitment to ’The Beautiful Game’ is evident with our grassroots sponsorship of over 500 youth teams nationally. The relationship continues with our support of elite youth players at the BMO National Championships through to Canada’s professional teams, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC. For more information on BMO’s involvement in soccer, visit

08 October 2010

2010 Challenge Trophy wide open after day three

The 2010 BMO National Championships Challenge Trophy competition reached the halfway point on Friday 8 October in Charlottetown, Prince Edward with few clear favourites emerging to reach the gold medal match. 

A busy match day three saw the early leaders fail to take advantage of opportunities to increase their lead while others climbed back into the crowded race to Monday’s championship final. 

British Columbia champions Gorge FC was left to rue its missed chances following a 1:1 draw with AEK London of Ontario in extremely windy conditions on Friday morning. 

Gorge FC opened the scoring in the 59th minute as Will Moore converted from the penalty spot after Ontario’s James Welsh received a red card for using his arm to stop a sure goal. AEK London equalized just four minutes later as a 40 yard free kick from Haris Cekic hung up in the wind and evaded Dan Kilpatrick in the Gorge goal. 

Gorge FC finished the day in first place in wide open Group A and will control its own destiny heading into the weekend’s matches. Ontario meanwhile tied its second consecutive match and will look to press forward in search of wins over the weekend. 

“I was pleased by our team’s performance, especially in the first half,” commented Ontario head coach John Dreliozis. “We came out in the second half going for the win but obviously you can’t plan for a red card. Moving forward I think we’re still in the tournament, we are going to play a lot more attack orientated than our first two matches. We’re expecting our next two matches to be tough but we know what we have to do.”

In the days other Group A action, Calgary Dinosaurs won its first match of the 2010 Challenge Trophy with a 1:0 victory over Lucania of Manitoba on Friday afternoon. Adam MacDonald scored the game’s lone goal. With the win Calgary climbed back into contention in Group A after opening with a loss and a draw which looked to have momentarily wrecked its title hopes. 

Gorge FC lead Group A with four points and a plus two goal differential. Idle Huskie Alumni (+1) and Calgary Dinosaurs (-1) are also on four points, having both played an additional match than Gorge. AEK London will fell they are still competitive on two points (even) and Lucania have a single point.

7 October 2010 

Day 2 of the BMO National Championships

Québec’s Royal Sélect Beauport and Prince Edward Island’s Churchill Arms were the big winners on a day of wild weather conditions during match day two of the 2010 BMO National Championships Challenge Trophy competition in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Royal Sélect Beauport bounced back from an opening match loss with a 4:1 win over the Hunter Ale House Selects of Prince Edward Island. Prince Edward Island champions Churchill Arms won its second consecutive match of the tournament 1:0 over Halifax Dunbrack to set up a Group B showdown with Québec’s Royal on Friday night at the UPEI field. 

Royal Sélect Beauport attacked from the opening whistle and was up 3-0 at halftime. Augustin Mangaiko lead the offence with two first half goals while Cédric Essockamba and Said Bouajila had a goal each to give the Québec champions a vital win to keep alive its hopes of returning to a second consecutive Challenge Trophy final. 

“Today we finished our chances and that was the difference,” said Royal Sélect Beauport head coach Samir Ghrib. “In our match loss against Halifax (Dunbrack) we had chances but we did not take them.”

In the other match from an intriguing Group B, Prince Edward Island champions Churchill Arms defeated its Atlantic rivals Halifax Dunbrack on a blustery night at UPEI turf field. An eighth minute goal from midfielder Brett Norton was all the offense Churchill would need to notch its second victory. Kenneth Morrison whipped in an excellent free kick on from the right to which Norton flicked a glancing header past the helpless goalkeeper. The well organized Churchill defence limited Halifax’s offensive opportunities to a minimum ensuring an uneventful match for goalkeeper Matt Lally. 

“It was great cross from Morrison and I just had to get a head on it” said Norton following the match. “Overall I thought the boys did really well tonight. We have been thinking about getting another opportunity to play Québec for about 12 months and we know how much it means to them so it should be a really good match tomorrow.” 

(Royal Sélect Beauport finished first in its group at the 2009 Challenge Trophy while a Prince Edward Island team featuring many of the same players on its 2010 roster finished second, a point behind. Royal was the only team to defeat Prince Edward Island at the 2009 competition.)

Churchill Arms currently lead Group B with six points (2-0-0) followed by Royal Sélect Beauport (1-0-1) and Halifax Dunbrack (1-0-1) who are both on three points. Hunter Ale House Selects (0-0-1) and Holy Cross (0-0-1) have yet to register a point. 

In Group A action on Thursday, Ontario’s AEK London battled to a 0:0 draw with Lucania of Manitoba in its first match of the competition. The match was played in neighbouring Stratford after heavy rains overnight rendered the UPEI grass field unplayable. The Ontario side enjoyed more of the possession in the match but was unable to find a telling pass to unlock the Lucania defence. It was Lucania however who came closest to breaking the deadlock five minutes into the second half when Kenny Sacramento struck the crossbar from a free kick. Saskatchewan champions Huskie Alumni became the first team to reach four points in Group A following its 0:0 draw with the Calgary Dinosaurs. 

Huskie Alumni lead Group A with four points (1-1-0) followed by an idle Gorge FC of Victoria on three points (1-0-0). Lucania SC (0-1-1), Calgary Dinosaurs (0-1-1), and AEK London (0-0-1) are all tied on one point.


Challenge Trophy

22 September 2010

Schedule announced for BMO National Championships Challenge Trophy competition
The Canadian Soccer Association has officially announced the schedule for the 2010 BMO National Championships Challenge Trophy competition. The senior men’s club championship - which runs 6-11 October in Charlottetown, PE - will feature 10 teams divided into two groups with 25 matches scheduled to decide a new national champion.

Last year’s national champion Hellas SC from Manitoba has been eliminated, so a new champion will be decided at the 2010 BMO National Championships. Hellas SC was eliminated at the provincial semi-final stage by Lucania SC, a two-time national champion from 1987 and 2000. Holy Cross from Newfoundland Labrador is the one other former national champion (1988) qualified for the 2010 competition.

While last year’s Challenge Trophy champions have been eliminated, both the silver and bronze medalists from one year ago are back for the 2010 competition. Royal Sélect de Beauport from Québec (silver in 2009), host Churchill Arms from Prince Edward Island (bronze in 2009 as the Avondale Islanders), Holy Cross (sixth in 2009) and Huskie Alumni from Saskatchewan (eighth in 2009) are the four returning clubs from last year’s BMO National Championships in Saskatoon, SK.

For the 2010 competition, Group A features Lucania SC, Calgary Dinosaurs (Alberta), Gorge FC (British Columbia), Huskie Alumni, and AEK London FC (Ontario). Group B features Royal Sélect de Beauport, Churchill Arms, Holy Cross, Halifax Dunbrack (Nova Scotia) and PEI Selects (Prince Edward Island).

“It is a tremendous achievement to represent your province or territory at the BMO National Championships,” said Canadian Soccer Association President Dr. Dominic Maestracci. “They are all accomplished athletes, coaches, and referees. In addition to competing and officiating at an elite level, they commit to excellence and embody the ideals of fair play, integrity, and sportsmanship.”

“BMO, Canada’s Bank of Soccer, is proud to help the top soccer teams turn their dreams into reality. The BMO National Championships allows teams to showcase their hard work and sacrifice. We are proud to witness their amazing abilities and hope soccer fans in Charlottetown will join us in applauding their efforts,' added added Christine Cooper, Vice-President, New Brunswick/PEI Division, BMO Financial Group.

The Challenge Trophy competition has been competed since 1913. Also taking place in Charlottetown, PE this 6-11 October is the 2010 BMO National Championships Jubilee Trophy competition. That national competition - in play since 1982 - will feature eight senior women’s clubs from across the country.

For all the information on the 2010 BMO National Championships, please be sure to bookmark the competition microsite at

BMO proudly supports soccer across Canada from youth players in local neighbourhoods and communities, to professional levels of play. BMO’s deep commitment to 'The Beautiful Game' is evident with our grassroots sponsorship of over 500 youth teams nationally. The relationship continues with our support of elite youth players at the BMO National Championships through to Canada’s professional teams, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC. For more information on BMO’s involvement in soccer, visit






Luciana SC (MB) - AEK London FC (ONT)

Thursday October 7th, 2010 - Kickoff 12:00 PM

UPEI Stadium, Charlottetown PEI 


AEK London began their Canadian Nationals campaign today against Luciania SC of Manitoba. The game was originally scheduled to be played at the University of PEI but changed to Stratford Town Stadium due to excessive rain. Wind and a drenched grass field were also determining factors in the game which saw the London side draw in its first pool play match 0-0.  The yellow and blacks started the game with a defensive mindset. The second half proved to be a lot different as AEK made some adjustments at halftime and began to take the game to Luciana SC of Manitoba.  Unfortunately the team couldn't convert but got off to a great start to begin the tournament.  Mark Haynes recorded the shutout in Goal. AEK will look to get on the score sheet and back to their winning ways when they face powerhouse FC Gorge from Victoria British Columbia, a team they faced back in the 2008 National Championship in St. Johns Newfoundland which ended up in a 1-1 draw.  Kickoff is scheduled for 10:30 am, Friday October 8th at the University of PEI.



FC Gorge (BC) - AEK London FC (ONT)

Friday October 8th, 2010 - Kickoff 10:30 AM

UPEI Stadium, Charlottetown PEI


AEK London played their second match of the tournament against a very tough FC Gorge side from Victoria BC, under very difficult conditions at the University of PEI. The swirling wind played spoiler to what was going to be a great match between two solid teams.  "We scouted them in their first match against Calgary and their whole team came to watch our game against Manitoba. They play a similar style of football as us using a 4-4-2 formation with a defense first mentality. "    The yellow and blacks started the game with a defensive mindset just trying to get out of the first half without conceding any goals due to the strong wind.  Mission accomplished in the first half for AEK, including three dangerous counter attack opportunities that could have put the London side up by a couple of goals, unfortunately the chances were unsuccessful.  The second half proved to be a lot different as AEK made some adjustments at halftime and prepared to take advantage of the wind at their backs.  Unfortunately, the wind didn't help much early in the 2nd half as the BC Champions earned a penalty shot off a counter attack opportunity that saw AEK take a red card after clearing a scoring chance of the goal line with a handball. Will Moore from BC converted the kick from the spot in the 57th. AEK responded immediately after the goal with a man short on another Haris Cekic free kick from 30 yards out.  The yellow and blacks pressed for the remainder of the half but came up short and were dissappointed with the tie. "We needed the win, but this result is not the end of the world, we have two games to go and now we are in must win situations if we want to get to the Gold medal Match on Monday"  AEK will look to get back to their winning ways when they face Huskies United from Saskatoon, Saskathcawan tomorrow at the University of PEI at noon, Saturday October 9th.  AEK will finish their Group A League play against the Dinos of Calgary Alberta on Sunday Oct 10th in Cornwall for an 11:30 Kickoff.




Husky Alumini Utd. (SK) - AEK London FC (ONT)

Saturday October 9th, 2010 - Kickoff 12:00 PM

UPEI Field, Charlottetown PEI 


 AEK London played their third match of the tournament against a young but dangerous side from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, at the brand new multi purpose stadium (renovated for last year's Canada Summer Games) at the University of PEI.  The yellow and blacks started the game with an offensive mindset knowing that anything but a win would knock them out of a chance for the Gold Medal.  The London side started the game very sluggish and conceded a goal in the 23rd minute by Jerson Hamilton of the Huskies.  The second half proved to be a lot different as AEK made some adjustments at halftime and threw caution to the wind.  It wasn't until the 70th minute when once again Haris Cekic beat goalkeeper Brandon Holmes with a screamer of a shot from about 20 yards out.   The yellow and blacks pressed for the remainder of the half and were finally rewarded with another goal off of a Haris Cekic free kick, which the Huskies keeper bobbled and gave up a big rebound for AEK midfielder Michael Arnold to tap in.  "We all knew we needed the win, but this result was a reflection of our team depth and character. We want nothing but to get to the Gold medal Match on Monday"  AEK will look to get another win when they face the Calgary Dinos in Cornwall, Saturday October 9th, kickoff at 11:30 AM. The London side must win in the last day of Group A League play and needs FC Gorge from BC to either lose or tie against Saskatchewan tomorrow for any possible hopes of getting into the coveted Gold medal match on Thanksgiving Monday. But then again, anything is possible in the world of football !



Calgary Dinosaurs SC (AB) - AEK London FC (ONT)

Sunday October 10th, 2010 - Kickoff 11:30 AM

Cornwall Field, Cornwall PEI 

FINAL 2-2 

AEK London played their final Group A League match of the tournament against a well organized Calgary Dinos side, at the brand new Soccer specific Stadium in Cornwall at the Elliot River Elementary school facility.  The yellow and blacks started the game very deflated after BC's FC Gorge won their last game over Saskatchewan Huskies United and earned the Group A first place spot, meaning a Monday afternoon showdown with Prince Edward Island's Churchill Arms for the Canadian National Championship Gold Medal.  The London side started the game very sluggish and conceded a goal in the 15th minute by Izak Lawrence of the Dinos .  The second half started even worse for the London side as they conceded another goal 2 minutes into the half by Dinos forward Brian Delaney.  With nothing to lose but their pride, the yellow and blacks dug deep and continued the match in disarray, until a wonderful give and go play by Michael Arnold and Martin Painter created a goal and cut the lead in half. AEK began to play inspired football after the goal and it wasn't until the 83rd minute when once again Haris Cekic beat goalkeeper Aaron Richer with another free kick from about 20 yards out to give the London side the tie and a birth into the Bronze medal match against Nova Scotia as their consolation prize.    "This tournament has been such a roller coaster ride for us, but one thing I have learned about these guys is to never count them out, regardless of the circumstances"  AEK will look to capture the Bronze medal when they face Halifax Dunbrack SC from Nova Scotia in Cornwall, Monday October 11th, kickoff at 11:30 AM. "We did better than our 2008 outing at the Nationals in St Johns (AEK Placed 5th in 2008) and we deserve at least a medal for our performances this year, our character really showed what we're able to accomplish when our back's are up against the wall" 


NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - Classification Match

AEK London FC  (ONT) - Halifax Dunbrack SC (NVS)

Monday October 11th, 2010 - Kickoff - 11:30 AM

Cornwall Field, Cornwall PEI


 AEK London FC finished their season on a disappointing note losing 3-2 in the Bronze Medal Match of the 2010 BMO Canadian National Mens Soccer Championships in Charlottetown PEI to Halifax Dunbrack SC of Nova Scotia.  On a positive note though, finishing fourth was an improvement from its 5th place finish in 2008. "We are moving in the right direction as an elite soccer club of Canada and this tournament helped us mature as a team competing against the Nation's best" according to Head Coach John Dreliozis.  AEK London was the youngest team of the tournament with an average age of around 24 years.  "Everyone left the island knowing that they would back at the Nationals again, already talking about Laval, Quebec in 2011." AEK made this years Nationals very difficult for themselves by starting every game with a 1 or 2 goal defecit.  The impressive part was that they came back in every occasion to equalize or win the game, except for the Bronze medal match which saw them go down 2-0 in the first half to then rally back and tie the game and unfortunately cough up another goal 2 minutes after they tied it up in the 85th minute.  "It was a difficult game for us because we came here with a gold or nothing attitude and when that dream was over, the team's morale really dropped" according to assistant Captain Haris Cekic.  Cekic earned the tournament's top goal scorer award with three goals in 5 games.  "He had an amazing week here in PEI.  Every coach we played against came up to me after the game and made a point of how well he played and performed throughout the entire tournament. Haris was simply clutch all season long and easily one of Canada's best soccer players, he proved it !" said a very proud Dreliozis of his superstar central midfielder. 

AEK London had a great 2010 losing only twice out of 39 games, with their first game of the season 2-3 to Sarnia Fury back in early May and now Halifax Dunbrack 3-2 in its last game of the season and going undefeated for 37 games in between, along with winning the Ontario Cup Provincial Championship (3rd Team from London since 1909, London Portuguese and London Marconi), The WOSL Premier League Championship and the WOSL League Cup.



1) Churchill Arms FC (PEI)

2) FC Gorge (British Columbia)

3) Halifax Dunbrack FC (Nova Scotia)

4) AEK London FC (Ontario)

5) Calgary Dinos (Alberta)

6) Royal Beauport de Select (Quebec)

7) Huskies United (Sasketchewan)

8) Hunter Ale House SC (PEI)

9) Luciana SC (Manitoba)

10) Holy Cross FC (Newfoundland)

CSA Homepage - 2010 BOM Canadian Club Championsips







2010 Ontario Cup Final

1st Half:

2nd Half:

Haris Cekic (Free Kick Goal 83rd):

 Coach Dreliozis (Post game Analysis) :


Sunday, October 3, 2010

AEK fully prepared to go to nationals - The London Free Press

SOCCER: A win in Wednesday's WOSL Cup final will set the stage for a return to the nationals and unlike last time, the whole roster is free to go

It’s an important time for AEK London — on and off the field — as it looks to make an impact next week at the national men’s soccer championship.

But first it has to get there.

To achieve that, AEK has a key game Wednesday when it will take on Sport London Benfica in the Western Ontario Soccer League Cup final at Cove Road Field beginning at 8 p.m.

The Ontario Cup champions will look to add to the silverware they have won and to prepare for the BMO Men’s National Club Championships in Charlottetown, P.E.I., from Oct. 6-11.

The last time AEK went to the nationals was 2008 when it finished fifth. It was a tough go for the WOSL powerhouse because several players were not able to make the trip. Depth in this kind of tournament is vital to success.

Things will be different this time.

“The whole team will be available for nationals, which is a miraculous first,” said AEK coach John Dreliozis. “We expect to at least medal in the tournament with all the talent and depth that we will have available. We believe that we are built and prepared for this type of tournament that will see us play five, 90-minute matches in five consecutive days. Obviously in these types of competitions, you need some luck and some bounces to go your way.”

AEK is at the top of its game and some players are playing as well as they ever have.

One of them is London midfielder Haris Cekic. He has scored numerous key goals this year, including both goals in a 2-1 win over Ottawa in the Ontario Cup final — one on a penalty kick, the other on a free kick.

His ability on free kicks makes AEK dangerous on any set piece within 25 yards of the goal.

Cekic was one of those players who couldn’t make the trip to nationals two years ago because he was at school in the U.S. Now, he’s back in London enrolled at Western.

“It’s going to be a great time,” Cekic said while admitting he can’t remember when he was playing as well as he is now. “I think this could be the best AEK team I’ve ever played on. I know our defence is the best it’s ever been.”

Cekic works on his set piece skills. “I take time after every practice to kick some and there are times during practice to take some,” he said. “I work a lot on them. The good thing is (Dreliozis) gives me a chance to practice.”

Having the ability to score from set pieces is important, especially when the weather turns nasty and scoring chances are few.

While it’s good news that AEK will have a full roster going to Prince Edward Island, it’s going to take a ton of cash to get there, an estimated $30,000.

“With these tough economic times, raising $30,000 is very challenging,” Dreliozis said. “Every player goes to school or works full time. A lot of school will be missed and wages forgone.

“We are training very hard every night in preparation for the big tournament and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Time is of the essence, and running around gathering sponsorships has proven to be difficult and draining for everyone on the team.”

AEK will hold an Ontario Cup celebration and nationals fundraiser Friday at the Hellenic Community Centre. There will be live music, Greek food, silent auctions and raffles. Western head coach Rock Basacco and Fanshawe men’s coach Paul D’Hollander will be guest speakers. Tickets are $10, with kids under 13 free.

“It is a nerve-racking time, but somehow we have to get all 20 players and four coaching staff there for a week to get the job done for London and Ontario,” Dreliozis said.

AEK will play in a pool with Luciana from Manitoba, FC Gorge from British Columbia, Huskie Alumni from Saskatchewan and Calgary Dinos from Alberta.

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OSL TV  - AEK London FC becomes 2010 Ontario Cup Champions

 VAUGHAN, ON — The final game of the 2010 Ontario Cup saw Ottawa Royals MP meet AEK London FC on a clear but cool Fall evening at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan

Anticipation in the stands was high with everyone hoping for an exciting match between these perennial rivals to conclude the last weekend of the 2010 Ontario Cup Finals.

However, the game started off rather slow as both teams were settling down and just trying to get possession of the ball.

In the result, there were few all-out efforts on goal and no real chances in the first 20 minutes.

The first opportunity came in the 35th minute when the ball was whipped hard and low across the 6-yard box causing the keeper to dive low to the ball, but a fumble created a huge chance for #8 Mikel Lipari to put AEK London into the lead.

However, his effort just rolled wide of the right-hand post and the missed opportunity was the only real action in a lackluster first half as the teams went into the break scoreless at 0-0, leaving the crowd in the stands anticipating a more exciting second half.

The supporters in the stands got their wish shortly into the second half when an AEK player was taken down in the box and the game official rewarded a penalty kick in the 51st minute.

London’s #11 Haris Cekic shot left, as Ottawa’s keeper dove right, to put AEK London on the scoreboard at 1-0.

Not to be undone by this turn of events, Ottawa replied shortly after when in the 55th minute, #19 Abraham Osmanfound the equalizer in a nice cross into the middle of the field.

Osman beat the defender to the ball meeting the keeper one-on-one and placing the ball into the top left corner to even the tally at 1-1.

AEK London’s go-ahead goal resulted from a direct free-kick taken just outside the penalty area after Ottawa defender was cautioned for a rough tackle on London’s break-away.

AEK #11 Haris Cekic tallied his second marker of the game by curling the ball over the wall and into the top-right corner of the net over the keeper’s head to put AEK London ahead 2-1.

As the clock wound down in the final 2 minutes of added time, Ottawa pressured desperately but were unable to penetrate the London defence.

At the final whistle, AEK London was crowned Ontario Senior Men’s Champion and had earned the honour of representing Ontario at the BMO National Championships in Prince Edward Island later in October.

Reported by Robyn Gmeindl / OSA 
Photo & Video by Wolf Ruck / OSA’s-Title.aspx






CSA News - AEK LONDON FC will Represent Ontario at Nationals

AEK London FC is heading back to the BMO National Championships Challenge Trophy competition. After coming up a goal shy in 2009, AEK London FC won its second Ontario Cup senior men’s final in the last three years. The London, ON club won 2:1 in the final over the Ottawa Royals. 

'It was a tactician’s dream,' said AEK London FC head coach John Dreliozis. 'You get a break or two and you get a break on a free kick. We are happy to represent Ontario and we are happy to get back to the (BMO National Championships).'

Central midfielder Haris Cekic scored two goals for AEK London FC in the final, once on a penalty kick in the 51st minute and then the winner on a free kick in the 85th minute. In between, Ottawa’s Abraham Osman evened the score in the 55th minute.

'I thought we dictated the first half, but it was 0-0 after 45 minutes,' said Dreliozis. '(After we scored), Ottawa tied it up around the 55th minute. We had been trapping a bit and two guys broke through.

'In the last 15-20 minutes, our rhythm was a little more urgent and we were getting forward. We got the free kick and Cekic put it in the top left corner from maybe 20-25 yards out.'

For the Ontario Cup final, Dreliozis’ starting XI featured Paul Azevedo in goal, Vince Caminiti at left back, Jovan Ivanovich and James Welsh at centre back, Trevor Medeiros at right back, Ryan Avola, Haris Cekic, Ahmad Birani and Michael Arnold from left to right at midfield, and Michael Lipari and Alex Eby up front. Also on the AEK London FC roster were Mark Haynes, Brian Bettencourt, Jason Carelas, Michael Delgado, Camilo Gonzalez, Martin Painter and Geert Remjian.

Two years ago, AEK London FC won the Ontario Cup and qualified the 2008 BMO National Championships Challenge Trophy competition. The team finished fifth in the nation. In 2009, AEK London FC lost 1:2 to Real Toronto in the Ontario Cup final. 

Since their last trip in 2008, AEK London features some new blood mixed with eight holdover players the 2008 BMO National Championships. Since January, the team’s prime target has been getting back to the BMO National Championships and challenging for a national medal.



AEK title feels genuine

The London club won on the field rather than the boardroom

September 21, 2010

AEK London can finally call itself Ontario Cup champions.

“It feels terrific to get that monkey off our backs,” AEK coach John Dreliozis said. “We did a little celebrating, you can be sure.”

AEK defeated Ottawa Royals 2-1 in the final Sunday in Vaughan on a pair of goals from Haris Cekic.

It was the second Ontario Cup won by the Western Ontario Soccer League team in three years, but the first it has earned on the field.

AEK was awarded the 2008 Ontario Cup in the boardroom after losing to Real Toronto. Toronto was found to have used ineligible players.

AEK went on to the national tournament in Newfoundland, where it finished fifth.

AEK lost again to Real Toronto in last year’s final.

“Real was one of the best teams we’ve ever seen,” Dreliozis said. “We were proud to go to the nationals the one year, but we didn’t win it on the field and that’s always bothered us. We were focused and there was a lot of incentive this year to win it on the field. It’s really been a five-year journey for us to get here. We had to do a lot of work to make it.”

AEK has been a dominant team in club soccer. Many of the top players in this area are on the roster, including young players.

Cekic gave his club the lead on a penalty kick in the 51st minute. Ottawa’s Abraham Osman evened the score in the 55th minute and the game looked destined to go to extra time.

But Cekic got one more chance on a set piece, a free kick in the 85th minute. He curled the ball over the wall and into the top right corner of the net.

“Haris was phenomenal. And Jovan Ivanovich just shut down everything on the defence,” Dreliozis said. “We really deserved to win. We controlled the play for the entire game, except for maybe 10 or 15 minutes.”

Ivanovich came in for the game from Gardner-Webb University.

AEK’s formation included Paul Azevedo in goal, Vince Caminiti at left back, Jovan Ivanovich and James Welsh at centre back, Trevor Medeiros at right back, Ryan Avola, Haris Cekic, Ahmad Birani and Michael Arnold in the midfield and Michael Lipari and Alex Eby up front.

Now that the Ontario Cup monkey is off AEK’s back, it is going to work on the national championship.

AEK will head to nationals in Prince Edward Island in two weeks.

In their previous nationals in Newfoundland, the weather brought everything, including rain and sleet.

“We want to finish better than fifth like last time,” Dreliozis said. “It was great going out there and whenever you play in the east the fan support is unbelievable. I think we’ll be better prepared this time.”

Dreliozis says the trip will probably cost an estimated $30,000 with the Ontario Soccer Association only paying for 60% of the air travel.




Tuesday August 31st, 2010

AEK London bound for final

Ontario cup soccer

There won’t be the big number of London teams that usually dominate Ontario Cup finals day, but one of the two is AEK London of the Western Ontario Soccer League, who have made it for the third straight year.

AEK defeated Toronto Blackstars FC 1-0 on the weekend and will play Ottawa Royals in the Sept. 19 final.

The only other team in London to make a final is the North London Galaxy under-16 girls’ team, who defeated Newmarket United 4-2 to advance to play Pickering Power on Sept. 11.

Both teams are playing with something to prove.

The Galaxy have always been one of the strongest teams in their age group but haven’t managed to win an Ontario Cup.

AEK has been to the Cup final three times. They’ve won it once, in 2008 in the boardroom and not the field. After losing in the final, AEK was awarded the victory because the winning team used several ineligible players.

AEK then lost in the 2009 final on a late goal.

“The goal all year as been to make it back to the final,” AEK coach John Dreliozis said. “Three times in a row and we’re the first London team to do it.

“We got a taste of the national championship in 2008 and that really made us hungry. We wanted to go back.”

AEK got a 32nd-minute goal from James Welsh and then had to survive a second yellow card and ejection to Haris Cekic with 60 minutes gone in the game.

“We spent the last 35 minutes just trying to get out of the game,” Dreliozis said. “It was controversial. Haris was just following through and kicked the ball away and the referee thought he was time wasting, which with 30 minutes left was kind of strange.”

Dreliozis said the formula for his team’s success has been that the core group of players has remained the same and many have played together since minor soccer days.


Soccer: By Free Press Staff  August 9, 2010 7:50pm

In the men’s division, AEK London got a second-half goal from Haris Cekic to defeat Thunder Bay Juventus 1-0 in London. Cekic had arrived back in London the night before,after spending five days in the MLS Kansas City Wizards’ camp.


Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal Sunday August 8th, 2010

Italia Juventus Fall to A.E.K London in Ontario Cup Quarterfinals


LONDON, ON ---  August 7, 2010 ---- Thunder Bay Italia Juventus has been Thunder Bay Italia Juventus knocked out of the 2010 Ontario Outdoor Cup, after falling to A.E.K London F.C. 1-0 in the quarter final round of the competition. The game took place Saturday, July 7th, 2010, at the Hellenic Community Centre (Southdale Road Stadium), in London, Ontario.

A goal by Haris Cekic in the 80th minute was all that separated the two teams, who spent the majority of the game locked in a fierce battle. Several players on each team received yellow cards, but Italia Juventus went down a man in the 82nd minute when defenseman Michael Lacaria was shown a straight red card. Despite being down to ten men, Italia Juventus nearly equalized late in the game when Adam Augruso forced the A.E.K. London keeper to make a game-winning save in the 89th minute.

Italia Juventus Head Coach Ron Badani had this to say about his team's performance: "The boys made Thunder Bay very proud. They proved that they can play with the elite teams of Ontario. A.E.K London was very impressed of the quality of our team, and felt that we thoroughly entertained their home town fans."


AEK London look to make it to another Final 4

Soccer: By Morris Dalla Costa