Hume City coach Nick Hegarty couldn’t have been prouder of his side as its FFA Cup campaign came to an end on Tuesday night.
Hume took it up to A-League side Central Coast Mariners in a quarter final, with the Mariners scoring the winner in the cruelest fashion.
The Mariners scored the winner in the second minute of injury time, to win 1-0 and progress into the next round.
Hegarty said they couldn’t have done much more than they did.
“I’m so proud of the boys,” he said.
“It was a cruel way to finish the game, We would have liked to take it into extra time, I thought we deserved to.
“Full credit to Central Coast. For the neutral supporter it would have been a good game to watch.”
Hegarty said both sides had chances early on to get on the scoreboard, but it was pretty much even throughout.
He said the game could have quite easily gone either way.
“It was a tight affair and we were on a similar level for me.
“I always thought one goal was going to the difference. It come through a scrappy one and we would have liked to have done better, but it’s the same with every goal.”
Hegarty said the match was an eye opener for the group, showing them the level they needed to play at every game.
The loss ends a remarkable year for Hume.
As well as making the last eight of the national FFA Cup competition, they claimed their first piece of silverware, winning the Dockerty Cup.
They also made the finals of the National Premier League.
“The club and everyone associated with the club are definitely proud,” Hegarty said.
“At the start of the season we had a relatively new group. We won our first domestic trophy, finished in the finals in the league, we’re really happy with what we have done.
“We’re hungry to improve next year.”
Hume was also recognised at the Football Federation Victoria awards last Saturday.
Hegarty, who has taken out the gold medal as the best player twice, was named coach of the year.
He was quick to pass on the praise to the playing group.
“To win coach of the year is a reflection of the players and staff and what they have done to back my ideas and their commitment.
“They are the only reason I’ve got the award is because of what they have done.”
Michael Weier was named goalkeeper of the year for a second time.
Weier, who needs surgery for a dislocated shoulder, showed his courage playing in the FFA Cup quarter final.
“He has had a fantastic season,” Hegarty said.
“He put himself forward to play and credit to the kid himself. He was keen to play the game and the surgeon signed off.
“He made some brilliant saves.
“I would have loved to have got it to penalties for him [in the FFA Cup].”
Hegarty said they would have about a month off before starting to look ahead to next year.