FOR the first time in more than 30 years, Forrestfield United Soccer Club has been promoted to the National Premier League WA after overcoming Mandurah City 6-3 on aggregate at Securitas Protect Stadium on September 23.
Coach Rod Banjac said at the final whistle players and supporters celebrated on the pitch, as the Hartfield Park club sealed a spot in the top flight of WA football for the first time since 1986.
“I knew we were going to be up for a challenge, simply because of our inexperience in big match situations, and knowing the Mandurah team would have analysed everything we do, and credit to them, they came out with all guns firing and scored the early goal,” he said.
“That flustered us and after the second and third we were all at sea, so at halftime we settled them down and started focusing on our individual responsibilities and we played the way we are capable off.
“I’ve got a great squad, the players get on really well and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Banjac said the hard work would start now, as the squad looked to make their mark on the NPL.
“I’m already preparing for the next season in the NPL,” he said.
“We have a beautiful community behind us and we have a lovely venue.
“I’m pinching myself, because that was a dream of ours five years ago and we’ve achieved it a year ahead of schedule.
“We are dead set focused on enriching the world of football in this state as we have so much talent.”
Forrestfield defender Scott Barker praised the work of Banjac.
“The boys have stuck together from the start and we all believed in our coaches plan from the get go, and it’s paid off and we’re seeing the results now,” he said.
Banjac said the promotion to the NPL would benefit youth teams.
“Although this is a massive achievement by our senior boys on the park, it is our youth and juniors that will benefit the most as the pathway is now complete,” he said.
“They can now reach the highest state level of competition without leaving their natural habitat of Hartfield Park.”