A team from the third tier of Victorian football, training two nights a week described by their coach as a ‘pub team’ are on the verge of national Cup glory – it’s time to get excited about the minnows from South Springvale in the Westfield FFA Cup.
Just making it this far has been an achievement for these battlers from the ‘burbs.
And the club believe their giant-killing run can continue even further when they face South Cardiff Gunners next Tuesday night in the inaugural Westfield FFA Cup round of 32.
One of six Victorian clubs remaining – including A-League sides Melbourne Victory and City – South Springvale have created the biggest shock to make it this far.
The majority of the players at coach Bill Lambropoulos’ disposal train only twice a week, some just once as they struggle with work commitments.
And with a home ground deemed not up to standard, they’ll face their Cup moment of destiny on the plush surface of Kingston Heath, home of Bentleigh Greens
“You can just about call us a pub team to be honest,” Lambropoulos told www.theffacup.com.au.
“We train two nights a week. Some of the boys can only train once because of their jobs.
“But because of where we are and what’s happened, no one’s been missing from training, even if they are not participating, everyone’s there.
“The attitude is spot on at the moment and that’s a very pleasing thing for me.”
The squad possesses some top-level experience in former Melbourne Victory striker Ricky Diaco and ex-South Melbourne NSL player Bill Damianos, although the pair are battling injuries.
They have already knocked over two Victorian NPL clubs on the way to the last 32 and are daring to dream they can go deeper into the competition.
The club are riding high on confidence, having won through to the final of Victoria’s Dockerty Cup with a semi-final win over St Albans on penalties last week.
It’s a great time to be part of this small but closely knit club.
“Every time we have a big game we think even if this is the end of the road we’re happy but every time we play things seem to go our way,” said Lambropoulos.
“It’s 90 minutes of football and showing up on the day and that’s what we’re going to do and just give it our best.
“The atmosphere at the club is very good at the moment; all the boys are buzzing and looking forward to the game.
“If we go through, wow, it’s another bonus for us. If it does happen and we draw an A-League club at home it’s a big thing for the club.
“Everybody puts in their time for free, so I can’t say enough about the guys at the club.
“They’ve worked their butts off this year and the rewards are there. We’re not done yet, we’re going to have a real go and that’s what’s important.”
Images courtesy of Graeme Furlong and FFV