After a thrilling climax to the home-and-away season, Heidelberg United has created a piece of history by finishing top of the table for the third season running.
Following a very late winner over Avondale last week to edge it two points clear at the top, the destiny of the title was in Heidelberg’s hands. The equation was simple – a victory in the final round would clinch a third successive Victorian Premiers’ Plate.
The script couldn’t have been written any better. A final day contest down at Lakeside against old derby rival South Melbourne is always going to be tricky, but the ‘Bergers just did what they needed to do – synonymous with how this magnificent season has gone.
An early goal to Ellis and one just before half time through Schiavo set up a relatively risk-free second half. And, with the title well secure, Cartanos grabbed a third goal in second half stoppage time to underscore an emphatic win.
So, on the day, a convincing 3-0 victory was the perfect way to secure the Premiers Plate once again. For so long in this season’s title race, it appeared that it was Avondale’s to lose and that no one could realistically catch them.
As we’ve seen though, the ‘Bergers have never faltered. With winning becoming a habit, it’s a well-deserved Premiers Plate for a third successive year, in the process affirming that it is a very special era for the club.
When we look back on it, we’ll reflect on this with great fondness. Through sheer persistence, anything is possible, even when the odds are not favourable.
This wonderful squad led by George Katsakis will be duly recognised as one of the greatest the club has seen, even with this season’s final series yet to play out.
With more success likely coming Heidelberg’s way, it is certainly a great time to be part of this great club.
“That was just incredible, an unbelievable feeling,” said Katsakis.
“I got emotional towards the end of that game – to think that winning one championship in a lifetime is massive, to then back it up the following year is quite unique.
“This is just mind-blowing to think these boys week in week out and year after year just get up for it.
“Today was a sheer display of what they’re about, it’s just roll up the sleeves and out we go to win games it’s just incredible.”
South Melbourne FC 0 – Heidelberg United FC 3 (Ellis 10’, Schiavo 42’, Cartanos 90+3’)
Under 20s Result:
South Melbourne FC 0 – Heidelberg United 2