The State League Two season is upon us and gets underway on Saturday. We take a look at each of the competing clubs in the battle for promotion.
Please note, information in this article is referred to the 2021 Football SA Media Guide, which is sourced from information sent directly from clubs.
Adelaide University SC
Michael Matricianni will look to have his squad hit the ground running following his move from NPL heavyweights Adelaide City, replacing State League 2 Coach of the Year Raffaele Frisina. Adelaide University’s retention of key players Dominic Matricciani and Yusuf Ahmed, along with new signings Alessio Rapetti and Sam Bowman, will give the club the opportunity to build upon their first finals birth last season.
The biggest improvement needed for Adelaide University in their promotion bid is in the defensive area, conceding the most goals out of all top six teams last year. Addressing those problems and retaining quality attacking threats in front of goal will give the club one of the best cases for a top of the table finish this season.
Coach: Michael Matricciani
Captain: Dominic Matricciani
Squad: Fabio Migliaccio, Domenic Matricicciani, Matthew Hiern, Alessio Frisina, Zak Tallura, Luke Smith, Raffaele Frisina, Kirill Gretchko, Nicholas Menechella, Jordan Merlino, Steven Savino, Harley Giles-Stubna, Nathan Niutta, Sam Bowman, Alex Jakob, Oliver Totani, Craig Shearer, Marcus Francesca, Brad MacGowan, Joshua Roberts.
Ins: Sam Bowman (Adelaide Hills), Luke Smith (Port Pirates), Jordan Merlino (Western Strikers), Kirill Gretchko (Eastern United), Matthew Hiern (Graduates Red), Steven Savino (Adelaide Cobras), Nathan Niutta (Rostrevor OC), Alex Jakob (Rostrevor OC), Nicholas Menechella (White City), Alessio Rapetti (MetroStars), Craig Shearer (Raiders).
Outs: Dermott Harrington (Salisbury United), Lachlan Wallace (Salisbury United), Adrian Macolino (Salisbury United), Taylor Martyn (Salisbury United), Yusuf Ahmed (Para Hills Knights), Michael Paleka (Retired), Cameron Meseldzija (Cumberland United).
Cove have made steps in ensuring their ninth-placed finish last season is improved upon this year, highlighted by their signing of South Adelaide veteran Christopher Reed. Reed will bring his experience and leadership to a defence that boasted the fifth-best defensive record last year—only ranking worse than the top four teams.
If Cove wishes to stamp their authority on the promotion battle, they will need to find their form in front of goal, having scored the third-lowest number of goals in the league last year.
Coach: Steve Moon
Captain: John Johnston
Squad: Ben McLoughlin (C), Alex Clarke, Christopher Reed, Daniel Bendo, Daniel Stavrakis, Riley Ward, Oscar Tobin, Jacob Moon, Jayden Cremasco, Craig Atkinson, Thomas Prosser, Nick Sutherland, Mitchell Sumnall, Craig Munn, Nick Rhodes, James Burch, Brayden Burke, Josh De Souza, Ned Spiniello, Josh Baines, Lewis Evangelou, Aristos Panousakis, James Canny, Jack MacDonald
Ins: Alex Clarke (Vipers), Christopher Reed (South Adelaide), Daniel Bendo (Port Adelaide), Daniel Stavrakis (Uni SA), Riley Ward (Adelaide Victory) Lewis Evangelou (WT Birkalla), Aristos Panousakis (Unley Old Scholars), James Canny (Sacred Heart Old Collegians), Jack MacDonald
Outs: Alistair Whiteford (Seaford Rangers), Sam Thomas, Sam Clarke, Terry Blyth (Retired)
After narrowly missing out on promotion in back-to-back years, the Eagles have turned to experienced coach Andrew Burgess to get them over the hump. The Eagles have combined a large portion of their 2020 squad with several State League 1 signings, making themselves a strong case for promotion this year.
Burgess—who got Vipers promoted to State League 1 in 2019—will be hoping he can replicate his past success and experience, taking Gawler to the promised land that has dodged them in the past.
Coach: Andrew Burgess
Captain: Iradil Baragomwa
Squad: Freeman Johnson #16, Iradil Baragomwa #10, Samuel Cook #42, Mathew Di Matteo #24, Stefan EK #38, Jorden McDonald #36, Jack Mina #7, Ayom Guut #34, Omar Hassan #14, Eiorelio Karakitsios #23, Jonathan Klappers, Musa Fofana #19, Christian Taylor #6, Aaron Taye #12, Sam Redwood #20, Lionnel Muhitra #4, Julian Kowalczyk #1, Ousamanou Mohamadou #9, Mateusz Marczuk #18, Benny Kovadio, Josh Papasian #5
Ins: Sam Cook (West Adelaide), Eiorelo Karakitsios (West Adelaide), Matthew Di Matteo (West Adelaide), Jack Mina (WT Birkalla), Ayom Guut (West Adelaide), Omar Hassan (Eastern United), Jonathon Klappers (Salisbury United), Sam Redwood (Western Strikers), Julian Kowalczyk (West Adelaide), Ousmanou Mohamadou (White City), Mateusz Marczuk (Pontian Eagles), Josh Papasian (West Adelaide).
Outs: Zac Vannucci (Injured), Jaylose Nzambimana (Pontian Eagles), Anthony Gbojueth, James Bannah, Thomas Gooding (Interstate)
After a promising start to the 2020 season, Vista fell short of their promotion hopes. A challenging offseason, which saw the club bring in 12 players, will put added challenges on Ben Dale’s shoulders, as he seeks to replicate their 2020 form. The loss of Matthew Marchioro, State League 2 Player of the Year, will make the challenge even harder for Vista's 2021 squad, as the surrounding competition continues to Improve.
Coach: Ben Dale
Captain: Jono Negus
Squad: Josef Shyti (GK) #1, Jono Negus #10, Thomas Berg #9, Charlie Bowman #20, Marc Cocca #6, Alex Cole #3, Lachlan Kusabs #22, Zak Miller #8, Luke Miller #15, Mitch Miller #18, Yuki Ono #25, Robbie Wilson #17, Sonam Tamang #19, Jacob Powell #4, Bora Thach #16, Jack Ward #7, Blake Langridge #11, Cory Riccio #2.
Ins: Thomas Berg (Sturt Lions), Charlie Bowman (Modbury Jets), Bora Thach, Lachlan Kusabs (Para Hills), Jason Li (Adelaide Olympic), Zak Miller (Modbury Jets), Luke Miller (Eastern United), Jono Negus (White City), Josef Shyti (Adelaide Victory), Mitch Miller (West Adelaide), Jack Ward (Salisbury United), Sonam Tamang (Elizabeth Downs)
Outs: Information not provided by the club
Mount Barker United
Mount Barker United will look to improve on last year’s form which saw them not win a game during the 2020 season. Retaining key leaders such as Club Player of the Year Sam Caldwell and top goal scorer Michael McGrath—along with an artificial pitch in the works—gives the club newfound optimism heading into the upcoming season.
Coach: Donato De Leso
Captain: Kaylem Short
Squad: 7 Kaylem Short, 1 Christian Burden, 10 Michael Marchi, 32 James Siebert, Matthew Amato, 3 Michael McGrath, 21 Louis Burden, 29 Oscar Madison-Harris, 5 Owen Davies, 6 Hayden Vanderwolff, Ryan Hill, 9 Naite Hider, 8 Sam Coldwell, 37 Jack Milton, 16 Conner McLachlan, 15 Jonathan Penney, 4 David Pienaar, 18 Jack Gulliver, 20 Will Maddox, 22 Noah Beddow.
Ins: Michael Marchi (Adelaide University SC), Matthew Amato (Time-off), Louis Burden (Time-off), Oscar Maddison-Harris (Adelaide University SC), Ryan Hill (Time-off), Naite Hider (Cove FC), Jack Milton (Time-off), Jonathan Penney (Noarlunga United SC), Jack Gulliver (Cumberland United FC)
Outs: Jonathon Costin (Study), Declan Jamieson (Break), Jake Cram (study), Tom Ellis (NSW)
Noarlunga United have added experience and depth, highlighted by the signing of Steve Kidd, to a side that narrowly missed out on a finals berth last season. Retaining key players Brock Couchman and Matthew Muscroft indicates Noarlunga’s intentions to push on towards a finals birth, and possible promotion, in the 2021 season.
Coach: Colin Bolto
Captain: Clayton Bradley
Squad: Addison Rodgers (GK), Clayton Bradley, Mirza Slijvo, Kurtis Rowe, Daniel Lobasso, Brock Couchman, Matthew Muscroft, Steve Hall, Leo Angove, Tom Foglia, Matt Ebert, Noah Hocking, Matthew Edmonds, Ben Ebert, Steve Kidd, Joshua Lavery, Sam Busbridge-Tom.
Ins: Tom Foglia, Steve Kidd
Outs: Information not provided by the club
Northern Demons SC
Depth will be a big question for the Northern Demons this season after only adding two new players to their squad, whilst seeing nine depart.
New coach Michael Roros will face an uphill battle in improving the Port Pirie based clubs 2020 ladder position of 10th if the gruelling season ahead presents injuries to key players. The Demons top six hopes, arguably, rest on the health of key players more than any other team in State League 2.
Coach: Michael Roros
Captain: Daniel Cox
Squad: Daniel Cox, Jaikob Matthews, Daniel Degiglio, Jacob Sakoulidis, James Capurso, Chris Annese, Diego Garcia, Damien Introna, Josh Spadavecchia, Mackenzie Bray, Peter Capurso, Matthew McAvoy, Bailey Beidenweg, Matthew Sullivan.
Ins: James Capurso, Damien Introna
Outs: Eddie Anthony, Konner Cunningham, Andrew Kanga, Malith Kon, Jimmy Okello, Lane Pennington, Joel Porter, Nick Redman, Joaquin Torres
The Eagles offseason saw them add Andrew Koutroumbis and Alexandros Koutoulogenis to a squad which finished eighth on the table in their first season in State League 2. The new additions, off the back of a strong season, gives the Eagles hope of making a first State League 2 finals berth in club history, in their sophomore season.
The yellow and blacks will be aiming for their 2020 Golden Boot winner Omari Didero to carry last season’s form in front of goal into 2021, if they wish for their finals hopes to be realised.
Coach: Harry Kalaitsidis
Captain: Jonathan Mavromatis
Squad: Kon Tsacos #1, Jonathan Mavromatis #10, Jack Mead #3, Nicholas Mavromatis #6, Jeremy Kalaitsidis #4, Njonjo Abachu #24, Angelo Composto #23, Savas Hatzigeorgiou #15, Thierry Hatungimana #17, Lazaros Gialamas #7, Andrew Koutroumbis #13, Alexandros Koutoulogenis #9, Romain Toscano #12, Jaylose Nzambimana #2, Hypax Huzivyiza #19, Luka Kolundzija #1, Dimitrios Koutoulogenis #5.
Ins: Alexandros Koutoulogenis (Adelaide Olympic), Andrew Koutroumbis (Adelaide Titans), Angelo Composto (West Adelaide), Romain Toscano (Adelaide Titans)
Outs: Ibrahim Bigirimana (Salisbury United), Omari Didero (Adelaide Croatia Raiders), Athanasios Tsakiridis (Retired), Richard Sokiri (Vipers FC)
Port Adelaide Pirates SC
The Port Adelaide Pirates have bolstered their chances of promotion this season through the signings of multiple players from last year’s third-placed rivals Modbury Vista. The new signings, including 2020 State League 2 Player of the Year Matthew Macrhioro, who all arrive with valuable finals experience in their own right, will be added to a large portion of their 2020 squad which saw them finish fourth. The mix of new additions and a large retention of last season’s squad will give the Pirates the belief they can make a big push for a top of the table finish.
Coach: Ryan Mogg
Captain: James Skeffington
Squad: James Skeffington, James Coley, Josh Kaye, Sam Viola, Matt Marchioro, Stefan Koulocheris, Cody Watson, Joshua Kouimtzis, Jayden Upton, Danny Mannering, Jordan Fighera, Matt Yeing, Mitch Anderson, Reed Kaluza, Lewis McRae, Alex Tate, Lucas Skirving, Eghosa Uwumarogie, Gus Williams, Masoud Teymouri
Ins: Josh Kaye (Modbury Vista), Matt Marchioro (Modbury Vista), Lewis McRae (Modbury Vista), Lucas Skirving (Modbury Vista), Joshua Kouimtzis (Sturt Lions), Masoud Teymouri (Ghan FC)
Outs: Daniel Pearce (Adelaide Titans), Connor Ramos (Vipers), Luke Smith (Adelaide University)
Salisbury United FC
Salisbury’s offseason signings targeted players with finals experience, with multiple additions to the club being a part of squads in the top six last year. The added experience will replace 11 outgoing players from last year’s team, with the north-based club hoping the new additions bolster their quality, pushing them up the ladder, after finishing second bottom in 2020.
Salisbury’s chances of improvement this year rely on the improvement of their defensive record, having conceded the second-most goals in the league last year.
Coach: Matthew Gaston
Captain: Scott Bice
Squad: 6 Scott Bice, 1 Ben Dalwood, 2 Craig McDevitt, 4 Matt Taylor, 7 Andre Lewinski, 8 Ibrahim Bigirimana, 9 Adrian Macolino, 10 James Greaves, 11 Jordan Kania, 12 Chris Fleming, 14 Lachlan Wallace, 15 Ryan Mayo, 16 Feyai Banyankindagiye, 19 Taylor Martyn, 20 Liam Bebbington, 23 Nathan Pettit.
Ins: Craig McDevitt, Lachlan Wallace (Adelaide University SC), Taylor Martyn (Adelaide University SC), Adrian Macolino (Adelaide University SC), Ibrahim Bigiramana (Pontian Eagles SC), Feyai Banyankindagiye (Gawler Eagles SC), Ben Dalwood, Ryan Mayo
Outs: Ben Foat (retired), Henry Hodgson (Gawler Eagles SC), Johnathon Klappers (Gawler Eagles SC) Meteusz Marczuk (Pontian Eagles SC), Dominic Przylucki (Pontian Eagles SC), Nicholas Ritolo (Modbury Vista SC), John Tamba, Jack Ward (Modbury Vista SC), Harrison Trimper (Adelaide Blue Eagles Reserves), Jack Robery (Playford Reserves), Joshua Forshaw.
Seaford Rangers FC
Seaford will be hoping their stay in State League 2 is a short one, with the singings of Brett Rayner and Jordan Watson outlining the south based club’s hunger for promotion. Last year’s shortfalls in their relegation fuelled season provided the Rangers’ young players with experience the club will now look to use in their venture back into State League 1.
Joey Taylor grabbed top goal scorer for his side with nine goals in 12 games last year and will look to replicate that form if the Rangers want their promotion hopes realised.
Coach: Steve Reed & Greg Wraight
Captain: Patrick Kibler
Squad: 3 Patrick Kibler, 1 Roan Gilham, 4 Adam Bartlett, 5 Brett Rayner, 6 Osman Fofana, 7 Cooper Sawtell, 8 Harry Aplin, 9 Dayle Anderson, 10 Jacob Donk, 11 Kaka Dembelle, 14 Fin Taylor, 15 Ben Easton, 16 Tom Watson, 17 Connor Hunt, 18 Jordan Watson, 23 Joey Taylor, 49 Jake Dowsett, 66 Tom Sills, 25 James Till.
Ins: Patrick Kibler (South Hobart), Kaka Dembelle (UK), Brett Raynor (South Adelaide Panthers FC), , Jordan Watson (South Adelaide Panthers FC), Jake Dowsett (South Adelaide Panthers FC), Fin Taylor (South Adelaide Panthers FC) Roan Gillam (West Adelaide SC)
Outs: Jack Tsaconas (Adelaide Omonia Cobras FC), Ethan Stevenson (West Torrens Birkalla SC)
Squad: Information not provided by the club
Ins: Information not provided by the club
Outs: Information not provided by the club