Balmoral’s form has been second to none over the past two months in the Football Victoria men’s state league 5 west, but they are keeping a firm lid on expectations.

Even amid an eight-game unbeaten run, which has included seven emphatic wins by three goals or more and seen them move into the title race, Balmoral coach Sergio Lunedei will not allow his charges to look any further than seven days into the future.

“I don’t think about winning leagues, I just think about the next opponent,” Lunedei said.

“Every week we’ve got someone to beat and if it ends up bringing us to the league then we’ll win the league.

“We’re trying to build up the culture at Balmoral first of all.”

Balmoral smashed open the premiership race with a 4-1 win over Barnstoneworth United, who entered the round on top of the ladder, at JT Gray Reserve on Saturday.

All of a sudden it has turned into a four-horse race with Keilor Wolves (32 points), Balmoral, Barnstoneworth United and Barwon (all 31) separated by just one point.

If Balmoral suffers a loss to fifth-placed Ballarat this Saturday, you can add another name to the list of title and promotion hopefuls.

Balmoral’s win over Barnstoneworth was a real signal of its attacking strength.


Balmoral’s Eros Reato and Barnstoneworth’s Jamie Forsyth compete for the ball. Picture Luke Hemer

PHOTO GALLERY: Balmoral vs Barnstoneworth United

To put four goals past Barnstoneworth is no mean feat.

“They are the most organised team,” Lunedei said.

“Their defence had only copped eight goals in the whole 15 games, so that’s absolutely nothing and that means defence is their strong point.

“I prepared for this game to make sure that we can offend.

“The focus in our training sessions was to beat their tactic they had in their backline.”

The ace up the sleeve of Balmoral was gun striker Federico Rossini.

Rossini fired in a hat-trick to lead Balmoral to victory.

He has scored an incredible 16 goals in nine appearances.

“His striking ability is just lethal,” Lunedei said.

Tha Gay Htoo Nayaye and Paul Pham were outstanding in the midfield, while Giulio Guizzo and Muamer Sosic kept it tight at the back.

Sosic was praised for his willingness to embrace a new role in the heart of the defence.

“He was a striker and I’ve transformed him into a centre back,” Lunedei said.

“He’s like a wall for us.”