Cup Clash Twist

by John Fotinos

Heidelberg United taking on Bentleigh Greens over the past decade has been a massive rivalry. Memorable moments aplenty in enthralling NPL fixtures, Finals & Cup encounters between two of the best performed clubs of the NPL era in Victoria.

Throughout those numerous match ups, the battles for supremacy over a fierce rival, no one could have scripted the latest incarnation. Heidelberg United, for over a decade with George Katsakis at the helm, much of it pitted against a Greens outfit led by John Anastasiadis – now facing its old rival with John Anastasiadis in charge of the ‘Bergers up against a George Katsakis-led Greens. Let that seeming oddity sink in 2024 style!

Make no mistake – this is one fixture not to be missed. Never mind the fact that the teams are separated by a division in the tier of Victorian football following Bentleigh’s unexpected relegation in 2023. This is Cup football with an eerie twist – a spot in the Football Australia main draw of 32 up for grabs, bragging rights & coach swap twist thrown in the mix.

Throw the relative positions of each team out the window along with the recent form guide – which to be fair, flatters neither side – with both teams going in on the back of away losses over the weekend past. Heidelberg, having started the season unbeaten in 17 matches, have suffered two consecutive away defeats in recent weeks, looking to recapture some momentum ahead of crucial games ahead. Bentleigh, having started slowly in 2024, acquiring the services of George Katsakis, now in fourth spot in VPL1, and pushing hard to win promotion back into NPL.

But, first, the matter of the game tonight at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex to deal with. The rest, as they say, will have to wait & take care of itself. The game within the game & the outcome full of intrigue and drama. As one of those fortunate to be there and calling the game for HUFC TV, let the show begin.

Kick off is at 7:30PM AEST on Tuesday, June 11 at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.