Two months ago, ACE knew only an unbeaten run to the end of the season would win the Under 18 FQPL 1 Development Premiership.
It’s a weight older players may struggle to shoulder. But not coach Scott Walker’s team, which rose to the challenge.
ACE had two defeats in the first half (14 games) of the season, to sit second behind Samford, who had only lost once.
From late July, everything went to plan … ACE won 4-2 at Samford and remained unbeaten entering their final match at Coomera.
There, a 5-1 victory clinched the premiership by two points from Samford with Grange a further 14 points adrift in third.
ACE face Coomera on Friday week (October 7) at Wolter Park, 7.30pm, in the semi-final. Samford take on Grange in the second semi.
“I am extremely proud of what they have been able to achieve each week,” said Scott, “the Under 18 men have worked tirelessly all season.
“The team underwent a significant player change at the start of the season, but they came together very quickly to start achieving results as one unit.
“Their commitment at training and at games was exemplary as was their sportsmanship and professionalism, both on and off the pitch.”
Scott also praised the “versatility” of is players, describing it as an “absolute luxury”.
“It has enabled me to move players around the pitch as needed, catering for illness, injuries and absences,” he said.
“The team produced 10 different goal scorers in the first half of the season and seven in the second half, making it very difficult for the opposition to target players.”
In the second half of the season ACE had the top three scorers – Ben Gridley 11, Luke Van Someren and Sam Dower 7 each. In the first half, Ben was second with 16, Sam third on 13.
“I have no doubt the boys will continue their hard work moving into the finals and will do everything they can to secure the double!” Scott said.
“Regardless of the results, the team has done the club proud.”