Rivers Soccer Club signed off in style, with five wins in the final ever round of Victorian Champions League at the weekend.By Damen Francis
Rivers Soccer Club signed off in style, with five wins in the final ever round of Victorian Champions League at the weekend.
The summer soccer development competition is set to be replaced by the Australian Premier League next year, with the location of clubs in regional Victoria yet to be confirmed by Football Federation Victoria.
The season finished with a gala weekend at Wangaratta, where Rivers hosted metropolitan-based clubs Northern Allstars and North West Wanderers.
Rivers’ standout performance for the weekend was the under-15 girls’ team’s crushing 8-1 win against the Wanderers on Sunday.
The win was by far the team’s biggest of the season and was a terrific way to end the campaign.
It was a rare win on day two of the gala weekend, as Rivers’ trend of struggling to back up in a weekend continued.
Four of the five wins came against the Allstars on Saturday.
Rivers head coach Jane Webb was delighted to see clear evidence of two months’ worth of hard work paying off.
‘‘The individual development of the players themselves, as well as the teams, has been amazing in some areas,’’ Webb said.
‘‘Being able to play to Rivers’ set format and structures takes time; learning what we call ‘game sense’, getting an understanding of positions and how to support.
‘‘The competition standard is very high as well, one team we played against this weekend had eight state team players from last season.
‘‘You can see some of the teams have come a long way.’’
Among the outstanding individual improvers was Mitch Walker, a pacy winger who excelled for the under-15 boys’ team.
Carla Diretto showed dramatic improvement throughout the season in the under-17 girls’ competition and Jack Milford thrived playing mainly in a defensive midfield position for the under-13 boys.
It was also an excellent season for goalkeepers, with Kiara Fraser enjoying a great season in the hard working under-13 girls’ group, while Webb said under-15 girls’ team stopper, Kate Mansfield, still in her first full calendar year of soccer, developed significantly.
Players will enjoy a well-earned break, before preparing for a return to their local clubs in the new year.
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