This week we look back just over ten years ago to the 2003/04 season. Back then, the premier state league competition was played over the summer months and with the Saints in the top tier, this season was the closest that the club got to claiming the Premiership at that top level, since their return to state league in 1992.
Led by coach Manny Spanoudakis and assisted by Aytek Genc, the Saints were looking like Premiers after eighteen rounds. Ahead on the table by five points from Belconnen Blue Devils, with a further ten points to Blacktown City, it seemed just a matter of time before the club would claim their first premiership of any kind since 1983. But a disastrous three weeks saw the team lose three in a row, of their final four games, against Penrith (2-3), Parramatta Eagles (1-2) and Blacktown City (1-4). A final day 2-0 victory at Bankstown Lions was too late, as Belconnen Blue Devils claimed the title on the final day, courtesy of a two-goal better goal difference.
It was to be almost ten further years, until 2013, that we would finally claim a Premiership, when, again coached by Manny Spanoudakis, we took the NPL Men’s 2 title.
Below is the team squad (players and coaches) from 2003/04:
Back row: Dejan Josipovic (keeper), Raphael Bove, Zoki Adioski, Christian Cevenini, James Kovas, Daniel Watkins, Simon Verrender, Mirko Jurilj, Bruno Beddoni, Richard Patrizi (keeper), Manny Spanoudakis (Coach), Aytek Genc (Asst Coach)
Front row: Tony Stecca (Gear steward) Gabriel Mendez, Justin Ashley, George Lagoudakis, Adrian Webster, Ante Deur, Dean Culina, Danny Silvestri (Team Manager).