2011 is now coming to a close and it’s time to take a retrospective look back on the season that was in the Victorian Premier League.
History always remembers the winners and the champagne goes to Green Gully again who took out the Victorian Premier League championship making it back-to-back championships for the North West club.
Stability is the key to success in football and Green Gully are the embodiment of this prerequisite.
Ian Dobson is always close by to steady the ship whenever things become a little ‘rocky’ and with little player turnover due to healthy wages financed from their pokies business it’s no wonder Green Gully are consistently at the top year after year.
Experienced players such as Fleming and Vargas are examples of the quality that doesn’t leave the club.
It’s safe to say that the Greens won’t win any awards for beautiful football but in the last 10 years they have been the club more likely to take home the big trophy at the end of the year.
Oakleigh Cannons can be proud of their achievement to finally make a Grand Final and people may forget they were ahead at half time 2-1 before being run over in the second half.
The cynics will say second doesn’t give you bragging rights and you do not win anything if you are the bridesmaid. This is true to an extent, but there was a lot to like about Oakleigh Cannons last season.
They were consistent from Round One, never far from the top two positions and they also gave some young players a chance to play.
It will be interesting to see, with a new coach in 2012, how the team can rise back up from the disappointment of losing the Grand Final.
The squad looks very strong, with some quality additions, so expectations will be high for next season which always offers its own challenges as the pressure will be felt to deliver.
South Melbourne made finals for only the second time in recent years and managed to defeat arch rivals Heidelberg United in the first week of the finals, but that was not enough to save Eddie Krncevic from the chop.
2011 had its moments for South Melbourne, but only winning the Hellenic Cup and bowing out in the finals in round 2, as well as losing to State League 1 team Port Melbourne Sharks in the cup will go down as another wasted year for the blue and white army.
Success is demanded and club legend Peter Tsolakis has been brought in to make this happen. He has wasted no time in turning over the squad with as many as seven new signings so far before Christmas.
Bentleigh Greens will remember this season as a year of two halves after Andy O’Dell was replaced by John Anastasiadis through the course of the season.
The club did well to almost make finals after a player exodus following the departure of O’Dell and managed to play some excellent football under Anastasiadis.
Supporters are buoyed by the strong showing at the end of last season and hopes are high for a Championship challenge in 2012.
The Katsakis era came to an end at Heidelberg United after 5 years at the helm and bowing out in week one of the finals to South Melbourne was a bitter end to his tenure with Alexander.
This era will be remembered for a consistently strong competitive team that played finals regularly but could not drag itself into the last game of the year when Championships are won.
They played good football and always gave an honest effort and it will be a significant challenge for new coach Andy Vlahos to keep the ‘Bergers’ up at the top as they have been accustomed in recent years.
2012 cannot come quick enough for the football fanatics and many are preparing for another year of battle. Preseason always offers so much hope for all fans as the new recruits arrive, many promising to make the difference.
On behalf of the Neos Kosmos crew I wish the whole football family a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.