After much discussion with Whyalla soccer's young and old, old paper clippings and deliberation I've come up with what I think are the NASA and WSA Associations greatest strikers in the last 60 plus years of soccer in our region.
This wasn't an easy assignment and it's only an opinion but hopefully it will create some interest and the soccer public can deliberate this list and choose for themselves.
Zoran Kubatvinski: One of the best headers of the ball at goal , Zoran was an athlete first and foremost with pace , agility and a leap like a gazelle. He came to promise with port Augusta but his best years were with Virtus where he would go down as possibly their greatest ever striker. Charlie Harrow: One of the smartest forwards going around at the time "Snipper " once scored 7 goals in a two leg final against Virtus and still got beat . Croatia coach Culjak once said " I could never find a match up for him every time we played Lions, he was so clever "
I've tried to represent all era's and clubs , so in no particular order here's my top twelve.
1. Charlie Harrow ( Croatia 70s ) .
Harrow was the Associations first real goal machine in one of the league's most successful side of the 70s as Croatia won 10 in a row between 68 - 77 . A fox in the box who was deadly accurate and good on both sides
2. Tony Batchelor ( Steel United 70s).
When Batchelor hit a ball it stayed hit . Keeper Glynn Shaw once said " Batchelor put five past me one day , all from outside the box and I got near none of them " .
His hat trick in the 1972 Association cup against favourites Croatia is stuff of Legend .
3. Charlie Tunbridge ( Wanderers 70s ) .
Tunbridge was Wanderers superstar striker of the 70s when the Blues were going toe to toe with Croatia. Tunbridge was quick , skilful and brave with a great ability to be in the right place at the right time .
4. Tommy Veart (Croatia 70s)
When Tommy came from England he already had a reputation as a excellent footballer and they were right . As part of the dominant Croatia side of the 70s , he seemed to score every week even against defenders that were much bigger in size , another Fox in the box .
5. Alan Templeton ( Westland United 70s, 80s)
Templeton first came to promise with the Red Devils in the mid 70s and was a massive part of their undefeated league side of 1978 . Fast and brave , he would get on the end of everything
and had a real knack of finding the back of the net when it mattered most .
6. Mark Worsnop ( Lions 80s , 90s)
One of the smartest forwards going around at the time "Snipper " once scored 7 goals in a two leg final against Virtus and still got beat . Croatia coach Culjak once said " I could never find a match up for him every time we played Lions, he was so clever "
7. Paul Aplin ( Lions , Hellas 80s , 90s)
One chance , one goal , that was Aplin .
After starring with Lions , Hellas came calling and Aplin was god there, scoring at will week after week . One year he only played the first 7 games of the year because of injury and only got pipped for the golden boot on the last day .
8 . Kevin Kelly ( Croatia, Virtus , Wanderers 80s ,90s)
With six Association golden boot awards Kelly was possibly the best of his generation.
Explosive pace and power over 15 yards , Kelly would get across his defender and inevitably the ball was in the net . His double strike against Croatia for Wanderers in the 1992 league cup final was goal scoring at its best .
9. Zoran Kubatvinski ( Pt Augusta, Virtus 80s , 90s )
One of the best headers of the ball at goal , Zoran was an athlete first and foremost with pace , agility and a leap like a gazelle. He came to promise with port Augusta but his best years were with Virtus where he would go down as possibly their greatest ever striker .
10. Darrin Veart ( Whyalla City , Westland United, Steel United 90s , OOs)
With 300 plus league goals, Veart was a supreme striker with his best years at Steel United and was a huge contributor when the club won three league titles in a row between 99- 01 .
He had a great touch for a big man and could play with both feet with a thunderous shot , the best in my era .
11. Anthony Joslyn ( Lions, Croatia, Westland United, Steel United, Wanderers 00s , 10s )
In my opinion possibly the greatest of them all .
Joslyn has 9 Association golden boots to his name and has won the league with all the remaining clubs , two records I doubt will ever be beaten . Power , pace and unbelievable skill made him a nightmare for defenders for two decades and is still going strong.
12. Dion Papoulis ( Westland United 00s , 10s )
With 200 plus goals and counting, Papoulis is the last of the old fashion centre forward.
With a huge work rate and pace to burn , Papoulis doesn't need many opportunities and is a deadly finisher . He's won countless top scorer awards for his club and association and helped Westlands to back to back league's in 14-15 with the latter being player /coach.
Well there you go, I hope that stirs some interest.
Next, my top 12 greatest wingers.
- Neville Paterson