Altona City is going up to the top tier of the Football Federation Victoria state leagues for only the third time in club history.
City secured a top two finish in men’s state league 2 on Saturday with a 3-1 win on the road over Hume United at Laura Douglas Reserve.
An ecstatic City president Joe Tanti said promotion to state league 1 came a year ahead of schedule.
“When our committee took over, it was a goal for us to get there in five years, we’ve done it in four,” he said.
“We’re rapt, it’s an unbelievable relief, the feeling around the club is great.”
There are few tougher away venues to clinch the three points needed for promotion than Hume United.
City knew a draw would be enough for it to jump up a division, but a win would keep them in the box seat for the title.
Securing all three points was the best possible outcome for City.
“At the start of the game, we were all thinking to ourselves that we’ll be happy with a point, which would take us three points clear of third going into the last game,” Tanti said.
“The boys just dug deep to get the win, it was a fantastic effort all round.”
Altona City can clinch the title with a win over Diamond Valley United at Kim Reserve this Saturday.
City will go up as champions if it achieves a better result than western rivals Hoppers Crossing, which has a tougher match-up against fourth-placed Fitzroy City.
It will be a golden opportunity for Altona City to win a title. City has enjoyed many promotions over its 52-year history, but titles have been rare for them.
“We’ve finished runners-up a fair bit and have only won, I think two titles, in our whole existence,” Tanti said. “We’re committed to winning the league.”
It was the Marcus Sherif show in Altona City’s promotion-clinching win over Hume United. Sherif came off the bench and ran riot in attack, finishing with two goals.
Altona City will hold its annual beyondblue charity day when it faces Diamond Valley on Saturday. City has ditched the traditional colours for a predominantly blue kit in the name of raising awareness for mental health.
“It’s something that we get behind and we want to give something back,” Tanti said.
“While the club is going well and everything is going well, it just puts a positive spin on the end of the year, keeps everyone smiling and involved, and helps us talk about things if we’re not feeling the best.”
Meanwhile, Laverton Park was crowned champions of men’s state league 5.
The Reds secured the title with a 9-0 annihilation of Maidstone United at Scovell Reserve on Saturday.