devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

Cedars not in NSW State League

Posted by devo on May 15, 2009

Volleyball NSW SVL 2009

  • Commences this Sunday 17th May 2009
  • Venue Sydney Olympic Park Sports Halls
  • Cnr Grand Parade and Olympic Bvde
  • First games 9.00 am

Who will be the champions this year? – Will anyone be able to dethrone the Honours womens favourites Sydney Uni?

Men’s Honours is wide open with long time champs Sydney Cedars sadly unable to field a team this year. Will it be UNSW or Westside?

The lower divisions look to be up for grabs as well – keep your eye on the SVL website for all the latest.

29 Responses to “Cedars not in NSW State League”

  1. Anon said

    Do we know why Cedars can’t field a team?

  2. devo said

    I have heard that they are doing an overseas trip, but I haven’t had that confirmed. Maybe someone from Cedars can set the record straight? ;-)))

  3. Rusty said

    Hopefully this is not a trend with State Leagues in Oz where estabished clubs cannot fulfill teams at the highest levels. Cedars in NSW, Hawks in SA and Rossmoyne in WA all seem to be experiencing issues. If the trend continues then the level of our sport will rapidly decline.

  4. Sally B said

    I think Cedars might have injuries to key players as well as other players going overseas to play in the next couple of months. As for our other state league clubs we have actually seen an influx of new players to our shores so State League in NSW is pretty good at the moment and running along nicely…Bring it on

  5. Dad said

    My understanding of the matter is that Cedars were able to field their mens ‘Honors’ team and had, unlike some other clubs, had paid their fees, bonds, whatever.NSW VB had been advised some time ago that Cedars were competing in a Overseas Tournament and could the draw be varied to cover while they were away for two (?) weeks. Further, i understand that a request was also made to reschedule the round one match.

    It really was no surprise that the ‘Technical Committee’ of SVL denied the requests.

    So it is really good news that there is an influx of new players to fill the quality deficit that the loss of Cedars will mean to mens SVL. Whatever spin you try and put on it.

    Love or hate Cedars, they are a professional organization. Unlike others that come to mind.

  6. WiG said

    Totally agree with Dad here, Cedars did have adequate numbers to field a team this year and for reasons of their own they decided to give SVL a miss, so Sally and Rusty i am sorry to say but you are wrong.

    • Sally B said

      Hey guys – I wasnt putting any spin on anything – I dont sit on the technical committee – I know that one U21 player is going overseas shortly – He is a starting player – A few of the outside hitters are getting older and no doubt holding injuries – hey who knows maybe the players from interstate or overseas who played in Newcastle may not of been available either – So now i know the full reasons why they have chosen not to play….I am sure without the points from the two first round games however Cedars would have still made the finals…They have made a choice not to play

      Yes the Cedars team are made up of quality honours team players – and it is always great to play quality teams – SVL will miss not having them participate – they were also fielding some quality juniors who will now miss out on playing competition every weekend as well…I hope they are not held back if they wish to play for another state league team if they chose to do so…

      What is good to see this year are the new clubs coming through fielding teams in many divisions and this will only make the competition stronger in the future…

      • Cedars said

        well sally with all respect to you, I don’t know where you get your information from, assuming is one thing and getting the real fact is another, Cedars don’t have a player U/21 going overseas to play, Cedars player Alex Rogers is going to Thailand to be an assistance coach to the National Youth team for 10 days.

        And in regard to your comment that a few of the outside hitters are getting older and no doubt holding injuries –Cedars players are all fit and going through a hard training to be ready for the tour, yes we do have a few injuries like every other teams and that never stops the Cedars in competing in any competition and I don’t know who you referring to old players, and if you referring to couple of players who reached 37 years of age, well I call them mature players and they the best in the country and if a player in this country reaches 30 or 35 years of age they call him old and should retire, but in overseas these players get paid a lot of money, in Italy one of the best player is 43 years of age and there are many teams have players over 40 years of age. Example Edi Vukosa and Andrew Simos they both 43 and I bet you they are fitter than any 21 years players and they proved it with Eddie in training and Simos playing against Japan, Canberra Hear and AIS this year. Any way Cedars player most under 26 years only 2 are 37.

        For overseas players, any successful team knows how to attract overseas or local players and if any teams know how to attract these players they won’t hesitates and jump to that chance at all. and do not forget the Cedars developed a lot of players who they are now one of the best in this country and we still develop a lot of Juniors, we proved it for the last 23 years. i hope i cleared some points.

        I don’t know what the big deal is if Cedars don’t enter SVL there always next year.
        Joe Haddad

        • Sally B said

          Hey Joe

          I stand corrected. I look forward to reading about the Cedars forthcoming results overseas and hopefully will see you in the SVL competition in 2010.

          Sally B

  7. Baron Von Marlon said

    Will Cedars be looking to play AVL this year? or are they not playing in Australia at all? It seems a bit of a shame if they weren’t to play any major competition in Australia.

    • katie said

      I have seen Cedars compete and unlike other less professioanl clubs they alway have a strong bench of 3 – 6 subs – these athletes are nearly always ex State, AIS or overseas players.
      Many of these unprofessional teams will still turn up with 6/7 or 8 players and compete in the State league and do so at their own expense.
      There was another NSW organisation a few years ago that only participated in AVL and international matches because they chose to, they dont exist any more.

  8. SydN said

    all i know it will be a big loss for SVL to discard a team like the Cedars as they did.
    It is a loss for everyone and a very selfish and stupid choice by the SVL board there
    is no other way to put it.

    The players will choose to play interstate teams and international competitions always
    vs a low level state comp while they still always put the best team in the state and kept
    winning every year so I agree on one thing with Sally. Cedars can miss a game or two,
    and still win the comp.

    SVL only move seems to take as many points away from Cedars as possible as they declined
    (even after a written letter saying they wouldn’t) Cedars request to change game dates for
    their overseas competition.

    I think it’s a bad move from any serious organization to do what they are doing and doubt
    as Sally said, that ANY of the players would go to other teams but train for their oncoming
    more serious challenges and stay with their team.

  9. Vostk said

    isnt sydney north, another “loyal” team that plays every year SVL, dropping from the comp as well?
    only new team i can see is vostok, which was already a div 2 team. so no new additions, but 2 losses for the whole comp then.. mistyped or i missinterpreted.?

  10. Cedars said

    There have been rumours going around that the number one club team in Australia voted by spike magazine “The Bankstown Sports Cedars” have turned there back on state volleyball and pulled the pin refusing to play state league.

    Straight from the heart of the Bankstwon Sports Cedars Club Head Coach Joe Haddad “This is true, the Bankstown Sports Cedars have pulled out of NSW state league with only 4 days remaining till the competetion commences”.

    “With great passion towards volleyball in Australia i am dissapointed with the outcome which has happened, however being the team everyone loves to hate bigger and better things are about to happen both for the Bankstown Sports Cedars and Volleyball Australia”. Joe Haddad.

    Men’s Honours is wide open with long time champs Sydney Cedars sadly unable to field a team this year. Will it be UNSW or Westside?

    “In regards to this comment, i would like to clarify that the Bankstown Sports Cedars can field a team this year, as we have proved this by playing several games against the AIS first team in canberra and majority of the games all going to 5 sets. My team is stronger then ever and is already at a standard to complete in competitions such as, AVL, and international club tournaments”. Joe Haddad

    Before rumours start i would like to clear up that the main reason that the Bankstown Sports Cedars have pulled out of state league is that In July the club is going on an invitational tournament overseas and needed two weeks of state league off. Emails were passed back and forth to the Director of NSW volleyball and regarding to the emails everything was clear and things were looking positive. With only a few days to go prior to the NSW state league commencing NSW volleyball emailed Joe Hadda and said that all requests for leave had been refused, even though that things were cleared up prior to this. With several conversations with the NSW director, the refusement of arranging two weeks where the Bankstwon Sports Cedars could go overseas was refused 100%.

    The biggest frustration for the team was that the Bankstown Sports Cedars were willing to organize and pay for the alternative arrangements with other teams to play on other dates however this was refused.

    Last year Sydney Uni arranged a game with UTS not on a state league date and it was approved what is the difference now? Why are the Cedars always treated differently to everyone else.

    Joe Haddad also says that “NSW volleyball wants to play by the rules however break there own rules, teams are meant to have paid in full the netry fees and completed all requirements, however there are teams out there which have not. NSW volleyball wants to run a professional league however still to this date 2 days prior to the event starting, we can not have a completed draw for the tournament, only half a draw is completed. How can a league expect professionalism if they can not get the small things done correctly.”

    The Bankstown Sports Club would like to wish the teams playing in the NSW State League the best of luck and congratulates the team who will win, as for the past 13 years the Bankstown Sports Cedars have remained champions.

  11. Joe Haddad said

    12TH of May 2009

    With great regret, the Sydney Cedars Sports Club would like to pull out of the SVL immediately as of 12th of May 2009

    This is a week before SVL commences on the 17th of May 2009.

    I believe, from the e-mail sent by the tournament director that she is unable to finalise the draw until she receives confirmation and payment from all the teams.

    In respect of the e-mail received on the 9th of May 2009 I confirm that SVLTC denied the Sydney Cedars to postpone the game scheduled on the 17th of May 2009.

    Also, in respect of the dates I gave SVNSW that needed to be rescheduled in July due to our tour to New Caledonia International Volleyball Championship, we regret to have received your email which stated that you needed to see what arrangement the teams are prepared to make. After giving me your assurance that these days will be re-scheduled for later on, I am disappointed. I would like to point out that you know very well that the Sydney Cedars are the team that everyone loves to hate because of their success and no one in the history of volleyball in Australia or the world, as far as I know, can come near the Sydney Cedars record. I can see that from leaving the decision to be made by other people, it will not be in favour of the Sydney Cedars. Therefore, we choose to pull out of the competition so we can concentrate on our other tournaments without a hassle.

    Also, In respect of the SVLTC denying our request due to the belief that this is a premier competition and it would set a bad precedent, then why is it not run professionally and being 5 days away from the competition, why do we still not have the full draw. Unfair decisions are made and rules are set to suit different people.

    15th of May 2009

    I viewed the website today commenting on the Cedars not playing in the SVL this year as we are unable to field a team. I would like to point out that this comment is untrue and I am not surprised that NSW Volleyball as usual has twisted around the real facts.

    The Cedars in fact is very well organised Club, excellent management, excellent Trainers as one the of best in the country and believe me the Cedars definitely not short of players, in fact we giving players time off for rest and to spend sometimes with family when we need to. Cedars has travelled to Canberra twice this year, 1st to play Osaha Japan, Canberra Heat and AIS and beating Japan and Canberra heat and lost to AIS in 5 sets and the second trip we played AIS 2 games and in both trips the cedars did not take the full team on these trips only 13 players. And you call that can’t field the team.

    We requested from you a postponement of a couple of games in July as our team was unavailable to play due to our international tour in New Caledonia as you agreed to grant us these 2 Sundays and you turned around and changed your mind.

    SVL turned out to be not in our club’s interest as we have other competitions we are playing in which conflict with the timing of SVL and the Cedars are looking for bigger challenges as we have won the SVL 12 years running,

    Cedars have entered and won state cup 1 in February this year and also state cup 2 in Newcastle for the last 13 years running and losing only two set in both tournament, does not this says it all.

    As I’m disappointing to say that NSW Volleyball does not support the Cedars competing over seas. And proudly to say that the Cedars put NSW Volleyball on the map internationally for the pass 23 years of tours.

    We are not playing for the following reasons;

    1) We feel that we have not been supported in trying to become a better team. We are entering an international tournament and have asked for 2 state league games to be postponed and they weren’t.

    2) In the past other teams have asked for the same consideration and it has been granted.

    3) This means that there are double standards. There is one rule for the Cedars and another for the rest of the teams. It is the tall poppy syndrome where unfortunately people in NSW don’t like us because we are successful.

    4) We have been ridiculed in the past by people in the NSWVA for only being successful because we poach players. They think that we do nothing for NSW volleyball. We know for a fact that NSWVA is the worst volleyball association in Australia. The Cedars make an effort to better themselves by going to Canberra several times a year and going overseas every year to try and improve and we constantly get put down for it.

    5) Our players are simply getting sick of playing on Sundays. Many of our athletes work on Saturdays and Sunday is their only day to spend with family. We have requested many times to have State league on another day but our requests have been denied.

    6) The standard of State League is getting worse every year. We want to be the top team in Australia and playing this standard every week is not making us better. We would be better off going interstate several times a year and playing teams of a better standard from Melbourne, Brisbane and the AIS etc.

    Cedars done it for the last 23 years we will continue for a long time. Is there any club you know came as close, please let me know?

  12. Troy M said

    Sorry to see cedars are not playing this season. In my opinion, the current cedars team looks stronger than it has for as long as I can remember and I am sure they will do well overseas :)

    I don’t know what Cedar’s schedule is like, but maybe at the end of SVL, we will get to see a friendly or two between Cedar’s and some of the finalists :)

  13. VolleyballFan said

    I think that is a great idea, because NSW volleyball have stuffed up and lost one of the best club teams in the country, they should organise an exhibition game with the finalist of SVL, im sure Cedars would be up for that to show all of Australia, that even if they dont play SVL they can still be the true champions.

    I think the way state league is running, volleyball will soon be only a social thing in NSW, they wonder why there have been no players to go to the AIS, make all star six teams at National Juniors, or even have a player in the mens junior team. I think the last person to make it was Paul Carroll who wasnt even developed by NSW volleyball, he trained and got his skills from high school and was taken to the AIS to become one of the best players in the world, apart form that every other state is smashing us in regards to developing good players.

    Is this not a concern?

    • Anon said

      Aiden Zingel?

    • Cedars said

      Just to add , Paul Carroll was noticed when he was playing for the Cedars in one of the games in Good Neighbor tournament.
      Joe Haddad

    • Michael said

      Hey guys,

      Joe is right Paul Carroll was playing for the Cedars when he was noticed..

      Just to mention, ive played state league now 6 years straight and Aiden Zingel correct is from NSW, however did he play any state league games and who for?

      I think what volleyball fan was saying was that the players to make it to the AIS, national junior teams and all star six teams at national juniors, are all players that never had much to do with state league. Aiden Zingel (country, no state league), Paul Carroll (country no state league games), Alex Rogers (country, no state league prior to AIS), Nigel Panagopka (straight out of high school, no state league). I think what he is saying is the past players to go to the AIS and beyond have not come through the state league program.

      What is NSW volleyball doing for our sport. All the players who have gone beyond state league level never went through state league, they have all been developed through high school. Where is the development programs in place for players to try and achieve their dreams. Or is state league all there is to offer. I think that is what volleyballfan is commenting on. Correct me if im wrong.

      As a cedars player i will miss playing state league as there was always some good intense games, however due to NSW volleyball not allowing the cedars to organise the games on other dates at their own expense (thats correct the cedars were going to pay for all the fees required to host the games which were missed) NSW volleyball is now missing one of the best teams in the country.

      I wish all the players and teams the best of luck and hopefully we will see you next year.

  14. Alexis said

    I don’t know what NSW volleyball is doing to develop volleyball in the state but I think it is unfair to judge them on the number of players who make it to the AIS. The AIS generally select athletes at the age of 15-16, which is a long time before any State Development structure would have a major impact on their ability (though there are the odd exceptions to this).

    This is neither good nor bad, just the way the system is.

    • Anon said

      From the very limited viewpoint of what I saw at U15’s in Albury this year, there seems to be a lack of effective junior development in NSW Volleyball (not to say that there isn’t people putting in time and effort). The gap between teams from Victoria, Queensland and even school/club teams from SA and the NSW teams was huge. Victoria, Queensland and SA all use different models for junior development but even at that early stage, the kids from other states seemed light years ahead of the NSW kids.

  15. Baron Von Marlon said

    If we are looking at AIS players who played state league, Craig Lowe who is currently there, trained and played for Sydney Uni in SVL despite being a junior, Oliver Konakoff (Vostok and Sydney Uni) and Daniel Gauci (Cedars, Westside, Sydney Uni and Vostok) played in the national junior team, in the women Katie Bartoli (Sydney North) played juniors, Nat Frostick (UTS) played briefly for the Australian team and Nam Pham, the Assistant coach of the Australian Women’s team, are all involved in the NSW state league and there are possibly others I’ve missed. It may not be as many as other states, but there are still some that came through state league. In saying that, I do agree that it is unfair to judge the state purely by the number of AIS and national players and I also agree that there are many issues that could be dealt with better by SVNSW.

    But back to my original question, would Cedars be looking at playing AVL at least?

  16. Sally B said


    Thank you for setting the record straight. You are totally on the mark. The AIS do recruit top junior 15 and 16 yr old “athletes” and make them in to the volleyball players that they are today. When they get the chance they too come back and play for their State League or Club team and also National Juniors. It might be that that team is a Division 1 or Division 2 team however and you dont get to see these kids play if you are not watching the other courts….

    As a NSW State Coach I see what NSW Volleyball is doing for juniors of which many senior players are not aware of. NSW are constantly running school volleyball competitions; state junior trainings and also junior state league. We have many teams competing in these competitions from as far away as West Wyalong; Forster; Ballina, Narooma and Blayney.

    As to Paul Carroll – he started his volleyball at Great Lakes Senior Campus; played in numerous school volleyball events with his team mates in NSW; participated in National Schools Cup in Melbourne; played every junior nationals possible and made many all star teams; it wasnt until he grew one christmas to the height he is today that the coaches started to take notice of him. No doubt they did and the kid put in the hard yards to be where he is today. I also recall Paul playing volleyball with his brothers at UTS as well as Cedars.

    Coming from a female players perspective and one where the AIS is not involved at the moment many comments on this page do not represent the female players when it comes to players participating in State League who also represent Australia – Yes Australia and not the AIS…Let me start dropping some names of female players who have played state league in NSW and also play for the Australian Womens; Youth and Junior Teams and I am sorry if I miss some players from this list but no doubt i will stand corrected (I can go back as far as 1985) – Sally Bacon; Natalie Frostick; Rowena Morgan; Tolotear Lealamanua; Jane Scott; Christy Mokotupu; Liz Brett (former QLD player)Wendy Edwards; Elisha Galic; Alice Rohkamper; Mariafe Artacho del Solar; Katie Bartoli; Nitya Varadarajan; Jenelle Gordon, Lydia Upitis; Nicole Laird; Patrizia Giglietti; Liane Fenwick; Avril Wentworth….

    For many of these girls the state league competition was all that we had for many years and every week we enjoyed playing against each other. Many juniors at the moment are also playing in State League and are also currently participating in National Camps programs…

    State League in NSW will continue and be as strong as any other league in Australia…Every state have their ups and downs however it is the junior players who are our future and they are out there competing hard in competitions…It is the senior players and coaches who are making this happen.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and good luck to our future Australian NSW Volleyball players…

  17. Troy M said

    As I have said in the past, it is easier to complain than to take actions which will effect change. I am not directing this at Joe Haddad, but the other people who have made comments against the state.

    The board is elected and if people have a problem with the elected members or the way things are done, then play the political game and get the votes. If the problems identified by these individuals are legitimate concerns for the majority of the volleyball community, then it shouldn’t be difficult to take a position on the board so they can affect change.

    It is political, and if a club doesn’t engage in the necessary diplomacy, then unfortunately there will be times when things do not go their way. I am guessing that some board members might not see the need to make affordances for a club which has won the men’s honours competition the last 13 years but has only supported a very narrow segment of the volleyball community in this time (ie not really offering female/junior/social opportunities).

    It may be a case of Cedars not scratching enough backs to get their own backs scratched. If UTS or USYD request a reschedule for their match due to AVL, I imagine SVNSW would be more likely to oblige as they each represent at least 6-7 adult teams out of around 35-40 adult teams competing in SVL? The competition would be in terrible shape if those clubs threatened to withdraw over a discrepancy as they account for about 1/3rd of the teams in the competition.

    If I was in Cedars shoes and wanted to avoid this sort of thing from happening again, I think getting at least one board member elected and developing a larger number of registered players across a larger number of teams would need to be a priority.

    I understand Cedars most likely want to focus on their volleyball and not the politics – but as a high profile team, I think that it might be unavoidable.

    Relatively newer entries to SVL like Westside, UNSW and Baulkham Hills (I think BHV might be the oldest of the three – maybe 5-6 years old?) have a considerable number of team entries across multiple divisions and I imagine would already hold a greater degree of power than Cedars despite being half their age. I am sure Cedars are aware of this and they have decided that they want to focus on a single entry rather than spreading their resources across multiple teams. While this approach may be the reason for their success on the court, off the court, I imagine this approach does not leave them with much leverage over SVNSW.

  18. Andrew Simos said

    I don’t know what all the fuss is with the AIS representatives. Anyone who knows anything about international mens volleyball would know that the National team athletes are selected primarily on height. This happens in every part of the world. No one can take credit for producing an AIS player except for the AIS coaches because I could walk into a school playground and see a kid who is 210cm tall who has never played volleyball before. He will get a scholarship any day over a player who is 188cm tall. Does this mean that the teacher who saw him in the playground gets the credit?

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