The FFA Cup has highlighted some wonderful football stories over the years. But you’d be hard pressed to find a better one than this.
Three years ago a group of friends from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe came together to rescue a football club which was on its knees.
Committee Member Paul Xanthopoulos, says the new committee identified the opportunity to bring together a community that loved the World Game, to give them a purpose and a new sense of belonging in the working class Northern suburbs of Melbourne.
“All of our senior team has come through the junior program. We are a young club but we are proud of what we have achieved."
“Our focus is not about winning."
“We are truly the United Nations here. We have kids from all walks of life, backgrounds and religions, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, we all come together, we all eat together we all hug each other, it’s a beautiful thing."
“Our cultural mix is as diverse as they come and is truly reflective of our community Italians, Greeks, Eritreans, Somalians, Ethiopians, Kurds, Turks and Iraqi’s and the best thing is, everyone gets along so well,” he said.
“We make kids feel good about themselves, getting a uniform is one of the highlights for our team, for many it’s the first time they’ve had a full football kit with matching tracksuit and bag.”
Glenroy’s extraordinary run in this year’s FFA Cup has seen the State League 5 team reach Round 4 for the first time. They have beaten opposition from leagues above them along the way and face their toughest assignment this Saturday drawn against State League 1 side Malvern City.
“We haven’t done any scouting or any research at all on our opponents, that’s not what we are about. We are here to give our boys a great opportunity, to enjoy themselves and if we win, then that is a bonus.”
“The word is spreading about our club in the area, we have 170 kids registered for this season, we have tripled our numbers. We have excellent coaches who focus on the technical aspect of the game and everyone that comes to the club falls in love with the environment immediately.”
“We now have 7 MiniRoos teams, our first ever junior girls team, a senior women’s team and an under 14’s girls team Our senior coaches also coach our juniors, our senior boys also do clinics with the local schools."
Xanthopoulos has said the draw has been kind to his club with 4 home fixtures so far and he was looking forward to running the canteen again this Saturday.
“We cater for everyone. I’ll be running kebab meat, halal of course, in souvlaki bread, just so we are catering for everyone. It’s going to be a great day. It will be magical. The Magic of the Cup,”he said.