The Fraternity Club Illawarra Premier League takes centre stage at WIN Stadium on Sunday with storylines intertwined through all three grades. 

Rivals Cringila and Coniston will compete in the main game with both sides breaking decades-long droughts for featuring in the top-grade decider.

Cringila will also face rivals Wollongong United in the Youth Grade game while Helensburgh will take on Tarrawanna to open the day in Second Grade.


Helensburgh Thistle v Tarrawanna Blueys

Sunday 17th September, 10am @ WIN Stadium

Helensburgh have continued their record of success in Second Grade with the side finishing third in the league before reaching the grand final a year on from winning the District League variant.

The Burgh beat Sunday’s opponents Tarrawanna in the first week of the finals before downing league winners Bulli to reach the big dance.

Tarrawanna finished a point ahead of Helensburgh throughout the 22-round season, but after losing to Helensburgh they were forced into grinding wins against Coniston and Bulli to make the grand final.

The Blueys have the competition’s second-best attack (after Bulli) with 88 goals – 28 of which have come off the boot of Kane Dorrian who also scored a match-winning double in the preliminary final.

Tarrawanna will look to the experience of Mitch Young and Matt Naylor with the latter playing his final match in the Men’s Premiership after more than two decades.

Helensburgh have many of the faces who helped them lift last year’s District League grand final trophy including goal threats Luke Miller, Caleb Brown and Jack Dipple.

Another threat for the Thistle is Luke van Zyl with the wideman’s direct dribbling and sharp shooting sure to keep the Blueys on edge.

Match officials

  • Referee: Brendon Fotheringham
  • Assistant Referee 1: Reece Edwards
  • Assistant Referee 2: Steven Bozic
  • 4th Official: John Ruscica



Wollongong United v Cringila Lions

Sunday 17th September, 12.15pm @ WIN Stadium

The second fixture on Sunday pits two of the region’s fiercest rivals against each other with league winners Wollongong United taking on third-finishing Cringila.

United only lost two matches all season on their way to winning the league by a single point over Corrimal.

Cringila finished three points further back, however, the Lions were the competition’s top goal-getters, finding the back of the net on 92 occasions.

The Lions have had three high-scoring finals matches so far with two going beyond 90 minutes including the preliminary final against Corrimal where three goals in extra time saw Cringila win 5-2.

James Jovanovski led the scoring charts for Cringila with 23 goals with Nicholas Shalala (12) and Cassander Grujevski (10) also reaching double figures.

Wollongong United reached the grand final on the back of the penalty shootout victory against Corrimal.

United will be hoping for big performances from the likes of goal threats Riley Simpson, Adam Vrtkovski and Alexander De Santis.

Honours are even in the head-to-head between these two sides with Wollongong United winning 3-1 in round seven and Cringila edging a 2-1 win in round 18.

Match officials

  • Referee: Ethan Zvargulis
  • Assistant Referee 1: Damian Dennelly 
  • Assistant Referee 2: Damien Delovski
  • 4th Official: Hayden Michlamayr



Cringila Lions v Coniston FC

Sunday 17th September, 3pm @ WIN Stadium

Live Streamed via Football South Coast Match Centre on Facebook

The final match of the Football South Coast season promises to be a classic between two clubs who have been absent from the region’s premier clash for more than two decades.

Cringila last featured in the Illawarra Premier League decider in 1997 when they lost 2-1 to Lysaghts with the Lions’ last triumph coming 29 years ago – a 2-0 victory against Wollongong Olympic.

As for Coniston, their last top-flight grand final win was in 2001 when they defeated Port Kembla 4-0 in front of more than 5000 people at Crehan Park – Cringila’s home ground.

Since Coniston have dropped all the way to the third-tier Community League before pushing back up to become a force in the Premier League.

In 2023, Cringila under first-year head coach Jorge De Matos finished second to the Albion Park White Eagles.

Coniston experienced a rocky opening to the season before Franc Pierro, who joined the club as a player in the Community League, took over a head coach and secured a fourth-place finish.

Cringila beat both Wollongong Olympic and Albion Park 3-2 to secure a grand final berth.

As for Coniston, they overcame Bulli and Olympic before Daniel Loe headed home an 87th-minute winner against the White Eagles in the preliminary final at Crehan Park.

The Lions’ main man is captain and no.9 Peter Simonoski who claimed the league’s golden boot with a record-equalling 31 goals with a further four in the finals seeing his season tally to 35.

Anthony Krsteski and Stefan Dimoski will look to link up with Simonoski in the front third while midfield duo Ben Zucco and Harrison Taranto are key to the Lions controlling the came.

Toby Norval (11), Sam Matthews (10) and Matt Floro (9) are the top scorers for Coniston with the latter a massive in for the grand final after missing the preliminary final through suspension.

Coniston skipper Lukas Stergiou is a vital presence in the middle of the park alongside Jason Zufic while centrebacks Loe and Takayuki Kayano will look to nullify Simonoski.

Cringila and Coniston played the first game of the Premier League season with the Lions winning 4-2 at home.

Coniston drew the second meeting 1-1 and will be hoping it is third time’s the charm, but regardless of the result, the 138th and final game of the season will be one to remember.

Match officials

  • Referee: Andrew Naylor
  • Assistant Referee 1: Caleb Blanch
  • Assistant Referee 2: Casey Flemming
  • 4th Official: Jay Walpole

Previews by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela

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