Marconi Stallions coach Peter Tsekenis admits it has been tough to keep his team focused after they achieved their No.1 goal of promotion to the National Premier League 1 competition.
But now the only thing on their mind is winning Sunday’s grand final against Mt Druitt Town Rangers.
“No one remembers second,” Tsekenis told the Champion.
“I will be very disappointed if we don’t win the grand final. At the end of the day, that’s what you play for and we would love nothing more than to cap off a great season with a grand final win.”
Great is an apt word to sum up the Stallions season.
In their 26 games they won 20 and lost only four to finish 18 points clear to win the premiership and after a two-year hiatus will return to the top flight of NSW state football.
One of those loses came in the final round to St George after they secured the premiers trophy. Mt Druitt defeated St George 4-2 on Saturday to qualify for the final. “When you strive for something so long and you get it, you breathe a sigh a relief and that can lead to being complacent,” Tsekenis said about winning promotion to the NPL 1.
“We lost St George and had a week off but we played well against a very strong North Shore side on the weekend and we are focused and want to complete the job this week.”
Marconi qualified for the decider with a 2-1 win against the Mariners.
Experienced trio Marko Jesic, Sean Rooney and Mirjan Pavlovic all played their part and Tsekenis said they will need a repeat performance to lift the trophy.
Tsekenis, who took over the reigns as head coach in May, said Mt Druitt had several “dangerous” players they will need to watch.
“They are probably the form team heading to the finals,” he said. “They have some very dangerous players and are well coached with a good mix of youth and experience so we will need to be on our game.”
Win lose, or draw on Sunday – the Stallions will be back where they belong in 2018 according to former championship winning coach Tsekenis. “We had some boxes we wanted to tick this year and most importantly for a club like the Marconi Stallions to promoted to the NPL 1. We have done that but it will be empty not to finish it off. Grand finals are the pinnacle.”
- Stallions v Rangers, Sunday, 3pm, Sydney United Sports Centre