PHILLIP Island Breakers have achieved the ultimate with all teams earning a grand final berth in the Gippsland Soccer League finals series.
The Breakers teams will travel to Drouin next Sunday with the hope of bringing a few trophies back to the Island.
“I’m extremely proud to have all our teams qualifying for the 2017 grand finals. Our coaches and players have worked extremely hard all year and it is great to see them rewarded for their efforts,” said Club President Geoff Russell.
“It’s a huge achievement to have one team make the grand finals, but to have all seven qualify is amazing and I believe it’s unprecedented.
“2017 has been a very successful year for the Breakers with 5 teams finishing on top of the league ladder and winning the minor premiership.
“The whole club is buzzing and we are looking forward to the grand finals next week.”
Senior Women’s Coach Gary Thomas was equally pleased.
“It has been a fantastic year for the Women’s team, with the team only narrowly missing out on winning the League Championship by goal difference,” said Gary.
“The team has enjoyed the completion throughout the year, focusing on playing our own style of the game, improving player skills and building on the successes of 2016.
“Coaching has been rewarding with individual players stepping up their performance, new players to the game adding depth.
“We have so many skillful girls coming through our junior ranks that our Women’s team will only get stronger and stronger.
“It will be great to see the team go back to back and beat Leongatha in the grand final.
Senior Men’s Coach Brian Roberts commented that hard work was the key.
“Our players have worked extremely hard over the past two years, the lads are a very tight unit and play a style which makes it difficult for their opponents to get the ball,” said Brian.
“The team has been undefeated all year, scoring over 100 goals and only having 6 scored against them all year.
“As the season progressed we’ve lost a number of players to injury, but we have such fabulous depth and quality junior players coming through the ranks it has not really affected us.
“Our season kicked off early with three months of practice games, we played a number of quality teams and our lads have really benefited from the experience.
“We’re looking forward to a very competitive final against Inverloch who are always tough opponents.”
Reserves Coach Andre Hetebrueg agreed it has been a great year, so far.
“It’s been a fantastic year for the whole club so far. It’s great to see how the young players have stepped up during the year, while the seasoned players have shown their qualities in mentoring the youngsters,” said Andre.
“Our reserves team has had a very good season, we have an interesting mix of players aged from 15 to 50 which creates a unique mix of experience and youth.
“The boys really deserve their shot at the grand final and are excited to be competing next week against Leongatha. The job is not done though, we want to bring home that cup next weekend and it will take everything we have.
“Congratulations to Cameron Boulton who won the league Best and Fairest and also took out the leading goal scorer, a wonderful achievement.
It was far from an ideal start to the semi-final for the Breakers, with Mirboo north taking control of the game scoring two quick goals and a third from a penalty.
It took a bit to get momentum but as soon as the players began to move the ball around and work together they started to fight back and before the half the team started to show more confidence.
The second half was a different story, the Breakers gained some confidence after their first goal thanks to Jake. The team then went into attack mode and Alfie Harris hit the back of the net to make it 2-3.
With five minutes to play the Breakers leveled the scores at 3-3 and it looked like it was going to go to extra time. But Callum Chisholm had other ideas and with literally 2 minutes remaining scored the winner.
Final scores PI 4 and Mirboo North 3.
“It was a pleasure to watch the kids turn the game around and make the comeback of the year. I’m extremely proud of the way they pulled together and fought back,” said the 14s Coach Nick Harris.
“We have some momentum now and are looking forward to playing in the grand final against Inverloch.
“I’m extremely proud of our team. What character, confidence and teamwork. Every player played their heart out to get a chance to play in the grand final.”
The Breakers team went into the semi-final having beaten Wonthaggi on two separate occasions this year but that didn’t stop the Wonthaggi Women, who came out strong and scored the first goal of the game from a header.
The Breakers women battled on and continued to apply pressure to the Wonthaggi defense and shortly after levelled the scores thanks to Kelly Wall.
The Breakers used the inspiration from the goal to spur on a further two goals before the half, from Pauleen Bolton and Taylah Cook.
In the second half, the breakers kept up the pressure and about 30 minutes in Kelly Wall buried the team’s fourth goal. Final scores Phillip Island 4 Wonthaggi 1.
“Our 15’s are looking forward to a tough game against a worthy opponent. This is the second year we are playing Mirboo North in the grand final and after drawing with them in our last match this season we are expecting a close game,” said the U15 Girls Coach.
Under 12s Coach Greg Sunderland was pleased with his team.
“The kids have had a very successful year, they are playing fantastic as a team which will make them tough competition for anyone. I’m very proud of their progress and believe we can go all the way,” said Greg.
“Please bring your family and friends down to Bellbird Park in Drouin next Sunday and come support our players and teams”.