Three years after launching its soccer academy, the results are starting to come for Keilor Downs College, with three of the school’s girls’ sides through to the state finals.
The year 8, 9-10 and 11-12 sides will play in the School Sport Victoria state finals next month after winning their way through the western metropolitan finals last week.
Coach Josip Loncaric is a proud man.
“The academy has had a massive impact on our on-field performance,” he said.
“We’ve been able to develop a culture where the girls challenge each other and they all want to learn.
“In the past, we’ve been able to make state futsal finals with a few strong players, but now we can get 12 to 15 strong players, which makes us competitive in the outdoor games.”
The progression of the year 8 side was the most noteworthy – it came from a goal down against powerhouse sports school Maribyrnong College for a 5-1 win last week.
Mr Loncaric said he had high hopes one of the three sides would be able to match the feats of the 1992 senior girls’ side, which was the last girls’ state soccer champion side to come from the college.
“We’ve had a lot of success with our boys sides at state level, now it’s time for the girls to come along,” he said.
“It’s been great to see their progress from the early years when we got beaten to where they are now – I think they’re starting to believe they can compete at that next level.
“Beating Maribyrnong College was a big step, but we’ll come up against some good sides in the state finals. Hopefully, we’re good enough to come away with at least one title.”