Jimmy Kalafatis is over the moon after Shepparton United broke a 15-year drought when it won the Regional Premier League grand final on Friday night.By Damen Francis
Jimmy Kalafatis no longer has the distinction of playing in every one of Shepparton United’s senior men’s premierships.
He could not care any less.
The Blues reached seventh heaven on Friday night, with a nail-biting 3-1 extra-time win against Shepparton in the Regional Premier League grand final.
Kalafatis was captain when the club won its sixth and most-recent premiership 15 years ago, but was more than happy to pass the torch, particularly given his cousins Nick and Cossie Kalafatis were coach and captain this time around.
His nephew, James, played at right back.
‘‘I’m so happy, especially for Nick, because he’s been after it for three years,’’ Kalafatis said.
‘‘Two years ago he was coach and he worked so hard, but just missed out.
‘‘They’re a lovely bunch of boys and they did deserve it. Nick has lifted coaching to another level in this region.
‘‘They have been so professional this season and it’s a credit to him.’’
Kalafatis, who is on the Goulburn North East Football Association board of directors, remains involved at United, but praised the efforts of the committee, led by president Jimmy Vagelatos.
As for the ‘‘United curse’’, Kalafatis said it had simply grown legs over time.
‘‘We broke the hoodoo in 1989,’’ he said.
‘‘Up until ’89 we had never beaten Shepparton, or Lemnos as they were known back then, in a grand final.
‘‘This is actually the first time we’ve met them in a grand final since.’’
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