Four years ago, Sean Lewis (pictured above leading the team out) was on Norfolk Island when he took a call from the new ACE coach, Steve Glockner.
Steve had tried to sign Sean, then playing for Mitchelton, when coach at Easts, but the deal fell through. This time, however, he was successful and Steve had his first signing for ACE.
Sean flew down and pulled on the red and black shirt at North Pine, in the first pre-season match with new coaching team Steve and Alex McMillan in charge.
“Steve said it’s (ACE) a great club,” recalled Sean, “he said I’d like to have you here and basically told me, I will piece together a good team.”
“He had a vision and has stayed good to his word. Each year Steve’s added key pieces which have raised the level of the club to what we have today.”
That is three Premierships, one Grand Final triumph, two Club Championships and the Canale Cup – with a second Grand Final up for grabs tomorrow at Perry Park against Bayside (5.30pm).
Sean will lead ACE, as he has in most of our nine matches against Bayside. In those, ACE has won four and Bayside four with one draw. ACE has 18 goals, Bayside 13.
“We’re buzzing,” he said. “All the boys are playing well. We’re up for it to have a good game.
“It’ll definitely be close. Bayside will scrap and graft the whole way for the whole 90 minutes.
“But I think we have been playing very well the last few matches, especially at home and playing on a big wide field, like Perry Park suits our game.
“In the Canale Cup final (at Perry Park) we had a few chances we could have put away. I scored a glorious own goal and I don’t think the score (2-1) reflected the performance.
“I’ve been on the wrong end of a grand final result and it’s not pretty. You put all that hard work in and don’t want to finish on a loss. We want to finish on a win.”
ACE enter the final unbeaten over 90 minutes or 120 minutes this season. The only reverse being in the FFA Cup at Gold Coast United on penalties.
“Going undefeated through a season is very hard,” said Sean, “You can have an off day, concede an early goal and the opposition bunkers in and you cannot find a way through.
“But from the get-go, the boys have always given everything in every game. Played at 100mph for each other.
“The Canale Cup final was one of few games where we’ve gone down, but we showed resilience and came back. In previous years we may not have been able to do that.
“I love grand finales and cup matches. They’re exciting. The whole environment at Perry Park for the Canale Cup was amazing, so I’m looking forward to a grand final being just as good.”
ACE v Bayside – Premier League unless stated
ACE 3 Bayside 0
Bayside 1 ACE 1
ACE 1 Bayside 2
Bayside 1 ACE 2
ACE 3 Bayside 1 (play-off semi-final)
Bayside 1 ACE 0 (FFA Cup)
Bayside 4 ACE 0
ACE 5 Bayside 1
Bayside 2 ACE 3