Just when South Springvale (Aris) was proving to be unbeatable, it got its feet kicked under them.
Dominating the Dockerty Cup final against the Melbourne Knights, Aris looked like it was hoping to win the match in penalties, a trick that worked for them in the FFA Cup. Sadly, it wasn’t banking on a last minute goal in the dying minutes of extra time to dash their hopes of being crowned Victorian champions.
“The boys are gutted,” Aris coach Bill Lambropoulos tells Neos Kosmos.
“We were ready for penalties, and as you saw the game was ten seconds away from going to that, and unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”
“It was a gutwrenching moment, but that’s football.”
The 1-0 win for the Knights saw them crowned Melbourne’s best, and even had enough in them to stop Oakleigh Cannons in their race to the NPL title on Wednesday.
For Aris, now the focus is definitely on the FFA Cup. The team had a BBQ on Tuesday to regroup after the Dockerty Cup match and got the good news that they’ll be playing in Surfers Paradise.
It’ll be their first interstate match, with the boys relishing the chance to feel like professional footballers.
“They wanted to travel from the get go, we’ll have finished our league so it’s good,” Lambropoulos says.
Going up against Palm Beach Sharks, Aris has a kind fixture in the round of 16, and might have a chance.
Lambropoulos has been doing his research and says he’ll have to work on getting his defence up to scratch.
“They’re a very, very good team, they’ve scored a lot of goals for the year, they’ve scored 32 goals in 22 games,” he says.
Win or lose, Lambropoulos has told his boys to relish the experience. Just the achievement of getting into the FFA Cup itself is something the boys should be reflecting on.
“The boys are heroes for me,” Lambropoulos added.
“We’re going to go and give it a shot.”