It’s a case of twice as nice for Whittlesea United, securing a second straight promotion in FFV state league competitions and a first senior title since 2009.
United, promoted to state league 2 north-west after finishing second in state league 3 north-west last season, sealed a top two spot this season with one round remaining.
On Saturday, they needed a win in the final round to ensure the championship and raised the cup after defeating Geelong Rangers 4-0.
Baki Efe, Peter Addo, Vehbi Karabulut and Serkan Oksuz were the goalscorers.
Whittlesea committee member Koray Kolege said it was a fantastic achievement.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work. It’s a fantastic achievement for the club, the boys, the supporters and the wider community.”
Kolege said the club had set no expectations on what it could achieve this season.
He said while they had a good team on paper, anything could happen.
But for most of the year, Whittlesea looked the team to beat. It took until round 15 before the side tasted defeat.
That defeat was the beginning of a rough patch for the club – it lost three straight games and parted ways with coach Peter Schwellinger, installing captain Tansel Baser as interim coach.
Kolege said it wasn’t an easy decision to change coaches, but one the club felt had to be made.
“A lot of people were surprised,” he said. “It was a club decision, as well as Peter’s. We mutually agreed that it was the best way forward.
“Bringing in Tansel, we felt that it was required. He brought in people beside him and our decision has been vindicated. We had the nucleus, we just needed to refresh.”
Whittlesea has won its last five matches.
Kolege said claiming the title was important for the playing the group.
They were able to turn the tables on second-placed Brimbank Stallions, which finished one point ahead of them last season.
“Last year, while promotion was fantastic, we would have preferred to win the championship.
“The championship is icing on the cake. The last championship was 2009 and a couple of boys who were involved are still around.”
Kolege said after two straight promotions, they wouldn’t be making changes.
“It’s one of those things with football, it can be a year to year thing,” he said. “You can plan a whole lot of things and they may come up in two years or 10 years.
“For us, it’s a week to week proposition and hitting goals. We knew we had quality players, especially with the senior team. We got vindication with our results.”
In other results, Craigieburn City did enough to finish second in state league 4 north and earn a spot in a promotion play-off, despite a final round loss