Port Melbourne: We can upset Dandenong
The Sharkies are confident going into the Cup Final.
Port Melbourne Sharks have already made history by becoming the first Victorian second-tier club in 61 years to make the State Knockout Cup Final, but according to Head Coach Eric Vassiliadis they don’t want to stop there.
Over the past three seasons Port Melbourne have forged a reputation as a strong defensive unit; very rarely conceding goals but not necessarily free-scoring. At least that was the case. This year the Sharks, whilst keeping their defensive mettle, have added an extra element to their game with decisiveness in the front third.
It is this added quality that has turned them into the dangerous team that has been tearing their State League One opposition apart this season, and it could be what gets them across the line against Dandenong.
“We have players who can win games of football, defensively we’re organised and our results have shown that we can score a bunch of goals,” explained Vassiliadis.
“We will stick to our philosophy and we’re confident we have the capabilities to upset Dandenong.”
Having a good side is only half of the battle though, and Vassiliadis recognises that Port will have their work cut out as they line-up against the best team in the state.
“We have a huge amount of respect for what Chris Taylor has done as coach of Dandenong Thunder so it will be a massive challenge.
“I’ve seen enough of Dandenong and done my own research to know that they’re very strong across the park; quite quick, mobile and great on the ball. I haven’t been able to isolate many weaknesses.”
Regardless of the result, making the final is a huge achievement not just for the players but for the club as a whole.
Many people have worked behind the scenes at the club for the past three seasons and this final is a real reward and opportunity for all the various stakeholders, a fact that isn’t lost on Vassiliadis or his players.
“The most important thing is for this achievement to be reflected on the broader club, not just the playing squad.
“To be the first non-VPL/NSL club to make the final in 61 years feels fantastic and it’s a great reward for everyone around Port Melbourne Sharks.”
The State Knockout Cup Final between Port Melbourne Sharks and Dandenong Thunder will be played on Sunday 2 September at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park kicking off at 5pm. Ticket prices are $15 for adult, $10 for concession and free for under 14s.
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