Young Lions cre­ate his­tory with three wins

Stirling Times - - SPORT -

STIR­LING Lions Soc­cer Club’s un­der-15s Na­tional Premier Leagues WA (NPLWA) team cre­ated his­tory, win­ning a tre­ble of com­pe­ti­tions in 2017 for the first time.

The un­der-15s were the first in club and ju­nior NPLWA his­tory to win the ju­nior cup, league and top four cup.

Lions beat ECU Joon­dalup 3-0 in the top four cup fi­nal on Septem­ber 24.

Their tre­ble came af­ter win­ning the un­der-14 league ti­tle in head coach Antony Benetti’s first sea­son at the helm in 2016.

Benetti said the club opted for a dif­fer­ent strat­egy in re­cruit­ing and de­vel­op­ing ju­niors com­pared to other clubs.

“This is def­i­nitely the first time for the club and pos­si­bly the first time since the in­cep­tion of the NPLWA that a club has won the three,” he said.

“We brought in a lot of un­known play­ers who were passed by other clubs.

“They are a re­ally tight group that have come through now; this year is our year one and last year was our year zero.

“I think get­ting the re­ward this year, they were rapt, but it was a re­lief in a way.”

Benetti said his play­ers were ex­posed to new en­vi­ron­ments and skills both on and off the pitch.

“We are re­ally happy that every sin­gle player has been of­fered a po­si­tion at the club with­out tri­alling,” he said.

“How­ever, we do have five or six who have ac­tu­ally been of­fered spots in the un­der-18s team; they will jump up a cou­ple of age lev­els to play un­der­18s foot­ball.

“They are go­ing to be split up a lit­tle bit but they will still be a big part of each other’s suc­cess and de­velop next year de­spite not be­ing to­gether.”

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