Wanneroo City coach Tim Kantor is confident his team can go again after the disappointment of missing out on the title and automatic promotion on the final day of the league season.
The Roos ended the State League Division Two campaign on the same points as champions Olympic Kingsway, whose superior goal difference proved decisive.
Now they have to dust themselves down for Saturday afternoon’s first leg of their play off semi final against Mandurah City at Wanneroo.
“It was a little bit flat at training on Tuesday after such a big season and a massive last month,” said Kantor, whose team go into the play offs on a 16 game unbeaten run.
“The boys recovered for last night’s session. They were really sprightly and ready to go.
“Anyway, I’m more glass-half-full than glass-half-empty and it has been an outstanding season by the whole group, committee and players. We did exceptionally well in the Night Series, lost a couple of games early in the season but then had a run of 16 unbeaten games and we’re unbeaten at home. There are lots of positives going into the game.”
The four-team play offs involve the second and third bottom sides from Division One (Mandurah City and Dianella White Eagles) and the second and third top teams from Division Two (Wanneroo City and Swan United).
The winners of the two semi finals will meet in a two legged final with the winner playing in Division One next season while the other three will be in Division Two.
Positives but not over-confidence, despite Mandurah finishing second bottom of Division One on just 15 points from 20 matches.
“I’ve watched them a couple of times and they have some experienced lads and they’re well led by Andy Brown,” said Kantor, who is in his second season as coach.
“They’re a better side than one that only got 15 points in the league, and they’ve had a good five or six weeks to finish the season. It’s going to be a tough game.”
The other semi final on Saturday is between second division Swan United and Division One outfit Dianella White Eagles, with the first leg at the Swan Italian Club.
Swan coach Paul Dundo says possible promotion would have a major impact right through the club.
“I’m an old Swan boy and I was at the club when we first went up to the Premier League in 1994,” he said.
“They were also there in the early 2000s so the club have been there before. Unfortunately we’ve slipped down so to get them back up would be the most rewarding thing I have done.
“We also have a large catchment area with boys travelling to play for NPL clubs. If we can build a successful club it won’t just benefit the seniors but we’d be in a better posotion to encourage the good local young players who are travelling to the NPL clubs that Swan United is an attractive proposition.”
The first step towards that goal is getting past Dianella, now coached by Graham Normanton, and Dundo is ready for a real tussle.
“We played them in the cup early season and lost 6-1 so we know it’s not going to be easy. Dianella is always a hard game, it doesn’t matter where they are in the table.”
Dundo brought in former State coach Eric Williams to take training on Thursday to “freshen things up”.
“The boys have had to listen to me screaming all season and they responded. They put in a good shift – the players are geared up and we feel we have a good chance.”
Saturday, September 22
Division One/Two Promotion & Relegation Play Offs
Wanneroo City v Mandurah City (3pm)
Swan United v Dianella White Eagles (3pm)
Wednesday, September 27
Mandurah City v Wanneroo City (7.30pm)
Dianella White Eagles v Swan United (7pm)