Northcote City’s Under 12 side has claimed the inaugural City Cup, winning the final stages of the round robin tournament on Friday.
The Cup competition, hosted by Melbourne City FC, is open to Under 12 teams across the state and offers the champions a chance to travel to England to play against Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad.
It is a dream that is now a reality for the young Northcote side who, fresh from their NPL title success, continued to exhibit fantastic skill and togetherness to be crowned City Cup Champions.
The Under 12s had to negotiate three tough matches throughout the day, the first being a Quarter Final against Kingston City who Northcote accounted for 2-0 with goals from Emile Peios and a cracking long-distance strike from Sean Kilbane.
Box Hill United were the opponents in the Semi Final and Kilbane popped up again with two superbly taken headed goals, while goalkeeper Matteo made a magnificent save at a crucial stage early in the second half.
The final against Springvale White Eagles proved the most testing encounter with players from both sides showing great energy to play at a high level in their third match of the day. Northcote went ahead through a spectacular effort from Tasos Houndalas before Springvale found an equaliser just eight minutes from full time.
So extra time it was, and as it seemed the Cup would be decided on penalties, Gregory Allouche tucked home a cross to ensure that Northcote City are City Cup Champions.
“I am extremely proud of this team. They have learnt and improved as individuals and a group,” said Coach Jim Peios.
“Combine this with a team spirit and unity that is unquestionable, and in some way it does not surprise me what they have achieved.”
Captain Michael Maroulis was understandably joyous at the final whistle as were all of his teammates.
“It was a great day,” he said.
“Everyone played extremely well, and we’re all just so excited to go to Manchester!”
The Club would also like to extend special thanks to Junior Coaches Andrew Kenta and Oscar Magrina for coaching and supporting the players in Jim’s absence on Friday.
Gratitude also must be extended to Nick, Aki and Tom who have been an integral part of the success of the team this season.