La Trobe University's men soccer team
The team is now in a truly unique position of being an amateur club playing in a semi professional league, a position few amateur clubs in Australia have achieved and the highest league a university men’s team has ever played in Victoria.
‘For the Club it is an incredible achievement. Most players in State 3 playing at other clubs receive match payments or at the very least travel money. The players at La Trobe all pay registration fees to play and are all amateurs. The match payments in State 2 are even bigger with many clubs boasting large social clubs or pokies to cover match payments,‘ says team captain James Boston.
’The fact the club has managed to retain and attract players without any such enticements is a reflection of the excellent atmosphere and welcoming nature of the club,’ says Mr Boston.
Most other clubs are usually mono-ethnic and can quite often draw upon players from a certain community but La Trobe University Soccer Club reflects the multicultural nature of the University and of Australia welcoming players of every background.
‘The players are overwhelmed by the promotion. Next year we will be playing against ex-National Soccer League giants Preston Lions as well as former Victorian Premier League stalwarts, Fawkner. While the players always believed that we had the skill to push for promotion a lot of the credit needs to go to our coach Luca Finanzio (a former player and La Trobe student) who has guided the team through an amazing second half of the season which only saw two defeats,’ James Boston continues.
James has been playing for the club for 12 years and was involved in all four promotions. ‘This year’s was the most incredible season as we have reached the highest league possible in the country for an amateur club. If we wanted to play any higher it would require an entire change in philosophy at the club,’ he says.
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