Metro 8 Grand Final 2015
2015 was a memorable season that would lay the foundation for the future direction of Swinburne FC. Having fielded sides in the Mens and Women’s State Leagues for many seasons prior, Swinburne entered a newly formed side (fitting named the “Thirds”) into the Sunday Metropolitan League 8 South-East, the lowest tier of Sunday League football (but arguably the most competitive and tightly contested of them all).
The team comprised a mixture of characters of various skill and experience including debut seasons from Jake Matthews (ex. Essendon VFL player and now multi-code athlete), Andreas Yiannacou (famous for tearing a hole in his preferred right boot, the left one remained pristine), Nathan Gorga (donning a $50 dollar pair of white Umbro boots on clearance from Rebel Sports) as well as returning club legends with years of State League experience such as (then president) Nathan Bickerdike, Yang Wu, Tom Pollock, Andy Cooper and Joel Kleber, just to name a few!
It was a closely fought season, with the Thirds keeping their heads above water during the year up against veteran sides such as Lyndale United, Mooroolbark FC, South Yarra SC and Old Trinity Grammarians. The Thirds rode into September with a record of 8 wins, 4 draws and 6 losses to cement themselves in 3rd place on the ladder. In doing so they booked themselves in the Metropolitan League 8 South-East finals.
The semi-final drew the Thirds to play away at Esther Reserve up against the home side, Mooroolbark SC. Despite it being 6pm on a Sunday night, the atmosphere was electric, with the Mooroolbark home fans coming to watch in droves. The home had the expectation of a victory, seeing as the last time the two teams matched up at Esther Reserve the “Barkers” came away with a 5-0 victory. In what many have described as “the definition of an arm wrestle”, the Thirds banged in a late winner to win the match 3-2 and cement a spot in the Grand Final the next week.
In the Grand Final, the Thirds made the trek out to the familiar territory of Esther Reserve (albeit this time in a neutral capacity) to play the winners of the other semi-final, the South Yarra SC “Casuals”. Donning the green away kit, the Thirds powered their way through the “Casuals” netting themselves a 3-0 victory, and a trophy in their first season of Sunday League.