Whittlesea United had already been enjoying a year of celebration when the party got a whole lot bigger on Saturday.
Celebrating its 30th year, the club’s senior side capped off the season with a second-place finish in FFV state league 3 north-west, gaining promotion in the process.
Sitting second heading into the final round, all United needed to do was win against bottom side Melbourne City to seal promotion.
With Brimbank Stallions and FC Strathmore, the other two sides in contention for top two spots, facing each other in the final round, winning the league was still a possibility.
United didn’t have any issues with getting the win. In fact, it had its biggest win of the season, defeating Melbourne City 15-0.
United coach Peter Schwellinger said the result could have been as much as 20-0.
“Goal difference didn’t matter to us, we just needed to win,” he said.
“The opponent really didn’t show much. We were 10-0 up at half-time and then we kicked back a bit … started to play some of the younger players.
“It could have been another 10 goals in the second half, we missed so many chances.”
Graham Bell was main benefactor in front of goal, scoring six. Reis Aygun scored a hat-trick, while Baran Karagoz scored two.
While United did what was required of it, it wasn’t able claim top spot, finishing one point behind Brimbank Stallions, who had a final round win.
Schwellinger said he was thrilled to have claimed promotion, but winning the title would have been nice, too.
“At the beginning of the year I would have taken promotion,” he said.
“We were aiming to push for promotion in what is my first season at the club.
“Knowing that we were on top with two rounds to go and not able to get the title is a little sad. “We had players unavailable in the second last match. But it has been a really good season.”
Schwellinger said he believed state league 2, in which they will play in next year, would be the highest level the club has reached.
He said he would look to coach on next season, with himself and the club just having to agree on terms.
“Another level up we’ll have to look at strengthening the side,” he said.
“We’ve got a good squad already. I still need to speak with the club and work out whether they want to push for success straight away or establish ourselves.
“Being at a higher level will attract more players.
“This club is one of the best surroundings I’ve been involved, people-wise.”
Meanwhile, there was drama in state league 5 north with a change of results meaning promotion spot was still up for grabs.
Plenty Valley thought it had sealed the second promotion spot behind Craigieburn City, before FFV awarded Bundoora United three points on Thursday after an investigation into its round five match with Heidelberg Eagles.
That meant the Plenty Valley needed to win its final match to seal promotion. That it did by defeating University Eagles 3-2.