Point Cook has staved off a host of threats in a dramatic final round of the season to secure the Football Federation Victoria men’s state league 4 west title.
The Jets went into the last day in first place with their destiny in their own hands, but they came under extreme pressure knowing the four clubs below them on the ladder had a chance to swoop on top spot if they slipped up in the slightest.
After some first half jitters, the Jets eventually got it together, coming from a goal down at the break to beat Altona North 3-1 at Duane Reserve on Saturday.
“We’ve been fully aware of what pressure was on the kids this week,” Jets coach Craig Filer said. “I say kids because our oldest player today was 25 and youngest was 17, so we’re a very inexperienced side.
“The pressure was on them, but as a coach you have to make sure everything is kept in perspective, you keep them calm, you keep them relaxed.
“It was like the Battle of the Alamo at one stage, but the boys prevailed, we got the win and the promotion.”
Point Cook experienced totally contrasting feelings seven days apart.
The Jets thought their title chances went up in smoke a week earlier when they went down to nine men in a 4-2 loss to North Melbourne Athletic.
Filer’s team could have won the championship on the spot, but had a nervous wait for other scores to see what position on the ladder they would enter the final round in.
Luck was on their side, as second-placed Sebastopol Vikings also lost in the penultimate round, leaving Point Cook in top spot.
Filer could not believe his side had dodged a bullet.
“The pressure got to them last week and when things don’t go right for you, you have two options, one to fold and one to dig in,” he said. “Unfortunately for us last week, we folded, had two players sent off, they let me down, they let the club down and most important they let the players down.
“There’s no getting away from it, we were absolutely gutted and it was probably one of our worst, if not the worst, 45 minutes of my time at the club, having come off probably the best game I’d had at the club when we beat Bell Park 4-0 away.
“So, we certainly like to make life difficult for ourselves, we had to wait until the last 45 minutes of the final game.”
It was 45 minutes of pure joy for Point Cook.
The Jets rammed home three unanswered goals – two from Zac Osborne and one to super sub Kyle Caruana – to take the title.
“There was only one team in it today,” Filer said. “We had three or four good opportunities in the first half that we didn’t take.
“At half-time, we were 1-0 down, you have to lift them up, there was still 45 minutes of football left, I asked them not to leave anything on the field, give everything they had and if at the end of the game you’ve given 110 per cent and you can’t do any more, then you’ve done enough for me.”