MELVILLE City Football Club is headed in the right direction after a promising 2016 season, according to coach Gavin Brown.
Despite a disappointing start to the season, a youthful Melville outfit regrouped to finish fifth, equalling its best finish in State League Division Two.
Brown was thrilled with Melville’s run home after feeling his side had been slightly unlucky early in the season.
“The Balga game aside – we lost 6-1, but they were battering everyone at that stage – we seemed to be playing quite well and we were in every game, but lost five games on the bounce by one goal,” he said.
“The turning point came with a draw away to (then top-of-the-table) Joondalup City.
“After being 3-1 down, we came back to draw 4-4 and followed that up with a 0-0 stalemate against (eventual champions) Fremantle City.”
Brown cited Melville’s mid-season eight-game unbeaten run, as well as being the only side not to lose to Fremantle and regularly fielding a defence featuring three players under the age of 20 as his highlights of the season.
He also paid tribute to retiring captain Matt Donlevy, hailing his leadership throughout his four years with Melville as “invaluable”.
While the young reserves side fell away after a promising start to the season to finish sixth, the Under-18s claimed the club’s maiden State League silverware after losing just once on their way to the league title.
“(Under-18s coach) John Humphries took over at a difficult time,” Brown said.
“I fully admit that we made a mistake with our initial choice as coach and John answered the SOS when we were in danger of losing players.
“When there was a slight wobble late on, to rally the troops to win away to Wanneroo and the crucial last game against Kingsway showed great resilience and bottle.”
With a move to new facilities at Murdoch University in the pipeline, Brown is already excited about next season.
“The future is bright. Murdoch and the group of young players who have already amassed a fair bit of experience will give us a lot more scope to provide the off field support we require to be successful.”
Melville City Football Club senior awards
Kendall Award for Player’s Player: Logan McIsaac
Coach’s Award: Scott Campbell
Golden Boot: Christian Long
Top goal scorers:
Christian Long – 6
Cameron Maclaren – 4
Louie Granich – 4
Mark Lucas –- 4
Logan McIsaac – 3