Launceston City’s young future appears secured, but it could have quite easily been a different story for one of its premiership wonders.
The club pulled off a 2-0 win over Devonport City to remarkably take home the under-18 northern championship in the last game.
City never fronted the table all year. But the title triumph almost never happened.
“They really didn’t know what was going on from the start,” coach Tom Compagne said. “They didn’t have a coach and I decided I’d do it, and they all decided to come back then.”
Two early draws set City behind the pace of the Strikers, but the eventual winners won 16 of the next 17 games.
They trailed Devonport by a solitary point heading into the tense final round.
Compagne had built up a rapport with his players for a number of years that provided the base for the comeback.
“The kids were all a bit lost, so I’d put my hand up again because I’ve coached for three years, but not under-18s, but I had the boys up from under-14s,” he said.
“We have fun a bit, but they know when I am serious come game day.”
Former City president Austin Fagan reassuringly feels the “future looks bright” ahead for the club. That comes off coaching City’s under-16s to an unbeaten season, culminating with a premiership and cup double.
“We were just following on from last season,” Fagan said.
“We tried to keep the kids as long as we can in the juniors, as we have so many coming up into the seniors.”
The 1-0 win over Riverside on Friday night in the cup final capped off a perfect two years for the squad that has lost just one time.
Fagan said the group is just driven to succeed.
“We won the league early, so it was our objective to go through the league undefeated, so every game was like a cup final for them,” he said.