Senior Boys Soccer SMR Finals

On Wednesday 24 July the Senior Boys Soccer team travelled down to Kingston Heath for a chance to go to the State Finals. Having come from two goals down in the Kingston Division Final in May against Parkdale and then won in a penalty shootout, I was hoping that with private health premiums the way they are that there would be considerably less drama. I was confident that the team would play well; such is their character and skill. This group as I told them have already shown resilience, character and spirit but it is all about seizing the moment. To dare when appropriate and to dig in when needed. All of the above was shown at Kingston Heath.

First up we played Gleneagles. We were a little scrappy but created some chances but unfortunately could not take them. Gleneagles started well but we eventually got better but the match ended in a 0-0 draw. It meant we had to win our next game. With a slight change in structure, we were much more in control of the game. We scored and then had a penalty given against us. The penalty slammed into the post and went over the by line. We then scored another 2 before the half to be up 3-0. We conceded a goal late but still triumphed 3-1 which gave us a fighting chance. The conceded goal meant that our opponents in the last game, Dandenong only had to draw to go through to the Zone Final.  The cards were stacked against us when 30 seconds prior to the game, I was told that rather than 15 minute halves our game would be shortened to 12 minutes halves. We needed to win and in a 12 minute display of blistering power and skill, McKinnon scored twice in the first half to run out 2-0 winners and go through to the Zone Final.

In the Zone Final we played Nossal who had surprisingly beaten Narre Warren South 1-0 in their last game to win their pool. Nossal had the benefit of a 40 minute break before the final, we had about 11 minutes. However in sport momentum is everything and within the first minute we scored. We scored again shortly after and again as McKinnon ran riot eventually running out 5-0 winners. I won’t name who played well or scored goals as I believe it is about a team. The 16 playing team members all shone when given a chance to shine. The non-playing members who may have missed out on selection due to injury rallied behind the team, putting their personal disappointment on missing the 16 player cut to support their team.

I am so proud of this team. They are amazing soccer players but they are better people. They can take onboard messages and apply them but they also back each other and work hard for each other. In my opinion, you don’t judge a team when things are easy but you judge them when things are difficult. This team seemed to get better when things get tougher and just find ways to win, representing themselves and the school so very well.

They deserve to be in the State Finals and who knows what will happen there but this team will get one more day in the sun, one more day to show anyone who ventures down to Darebin that this team is a good team and has some great people there.

Playing Squad members:

Matthew Main, Sam De’ath, Tom Johnston, Billy Zontanos, Stefan Simic (Captain), Mannie Psarakis, Liam O’Brien (Vice Captain), Oliver Lopez, Ishan Malakar, Cian Ford, Oscar Yuen, Liston Diaz, Sam Ghobrial, Levi Scholz, Nick Liolios 
and Marcus Sarra.

Jonathan Jhoomum

Check out our photo gallery: