Promising times lay ahead for Amaury Gauthier as Hakoah Sydney City East’s winter transfer window signing hit the ground running with a debut goal last Sunday afternoon.
The clinical striker made his mark late in the second half, picking up the ball on the edge of the box before curling a gorgeous effort into the back of the net as Hakoah marched to a 3-1 victory over Sydney FC at Hensley Athletic Field.
The bright start was just what Gauthier has been hoping for following his return to the NPL NSW Men’s elite from Rydalmere Lions.
“It’s just what I was looking for,” smiled Gauthier.
“I came back to the top tier NPL NSW Men’s competition to score goals and I’m glad that in the first game it was able to happen.
“It’s good to have made a good start of it as the pressure is always on for a striker to score goals.
“To do so in the first game helps with confidence, so hopefully in the back end of this season I can grab several more and help Hakoah.”
Gauthier’s big move has come off the back of an exceptional run of form with Rydalmere.
Last season the cunning striker netted a whopping 32 goals in NPL 3, making a significant contribution to securing promotion for his side whilst also collecting the personal accolades of 2017 NPL 3 Men’s Player of the Year and the Golden Boot Award.
“It’s always good to hit that sort of number,” Gauthier reminisced.
“They’re a good club (Rydalmere), they looked after me.
“I wanted to score goals and help them get promoted to NPL 2.
“If they can continue in the top tier it would be an amazing story for them for a club that is fairly small in terms of funding and things like that.
“So, it was good to try my best to help them get promoted, which was a big thing for them and a huge step toward what their goals are.”
Gauthier is no stranger to the NPL NSW Men’s competition, having first cut his teeth in the top flight of NSW football with Sydney Olympic before hitting the form of his life with Rydalmere.
Now back in the top tier NPL NSW Men’s competition with Hakoah, Gauthier is aiming high in all competitions with an ambition that matches the progressive ethos of his new club.
“I played at Olympic and then at (Blacktown) Spartans for half a year,” said Gauthier.
“I’d gone from Olympic to Rydalmere, then Spartans and back to Rydalmere.
“Now I’m glad to be back in the NPL NSW Men’s league.
“I’ve had the hunger to come back all year, and now in the middle of the season is a good time to make my way back with Hakoah.
“Hakoah is a club always want to win.
“We also want to go as far as we can in the FFA Cup now that we have qualified for the Round of 32 and the Waratah Cup which we won last year.
“Going back-to-back, I don’t think it’s been done in the Waratah Cup since it’s been around, so that’s one of our goals.
“And I want to help out in attack obviously, I was signed as a striker, so my personal role is to score goals, and if I can do that then I’m fulfilling my role at the club.”
Next up for Hakoah is a tough trip to Cromer Park to face to reigning NPL NSW Men’s champions, Manly United.
Gauthier and co will certainly be backing themselves for the match as they seek to leapfrog their fifth placed opponents on their charge for a spot in finals football.
“Heading away to Cromer is going to be a tough game,” said Gauthier.
“Coming off a strong game (against Sydney FC) on Sunday I think if we can match the performance for a win then it puts us in a good spot moving into the back half of this season.
“We can win, we’ve got the players to do so, it’s just about making sure we turn up.
“From what I hear they (Manly) haven’t had a good run at home so maybe we can catch them out, but they’re coming off a strong win at APIA as well.
“At the end of the day anything can happen, but we believe we can win and get a good thing going.”
See if Amuary Gauthier can build upon his bright start to life at Hakoah Sydney City East when they take on Manly United on Saturday night. Kick-off at Cromer Park at 7pm.
– By Michael Shoolman