🏆Campeones🏆Dunbar Rovers U13/14 NPL Development squad won the ESFA championship title after 1-0 victory over a great side Heffron Hawks in the grand final.

The Dunbar Development Squad 16s defied wet and blustery conditions to win their Grand Final against Pagewood at Heffron Synthetic Field on Sunday afternoon.

The first half was scrappy, with neither side settling on the ball. But the longer the half went, the more possession Dunbar enjoyed, as they began to work their way into the contest. With chances at a premium, it remained 0-0 at the break.

The weather took a turn for the worse after the break, but Dunbar’s football game finally came together and the team pitched camp in Pagewood’s half for much of the rest of the contest. Strikers Tim Park and Harry G were combining well and one such move saw Harry G burst into the Pagewood penalty box and cut inside a defender, tucking away an unstoppable, low finish into the far corner of the net.

Pagewood’s attempts to get on level terms were met with fierce resistance by Dunbar, who threw themselves into every tackle, while the defensive line held firm time and time again. And despite a late Pagewood onslaught, the boys kept their composure to see out the contest, celebrating a 1-0 Grand Final victory in front of their rain-soaked supporters.

It has been a superb season for the Development Squad, and Dunbar deserve much thanks for offering the boys this fantastic opportunity. It is a young team, many only turning 15 this year, and they took a while to gel. But in the final six weeks, the team’s quality and desire really came to the fore as the boys became a tough unit that plays good football, fights for every ball and has each other’s back.

The young team is matched by its young coach, Ash Ure. At just 23 years of age, he brought the best out of his team, teaching the boys a positive style of football. Most importantly, he was able to find the key to each of his players, winning the respect of the boys and parents alike.

Congratulations are also due the team’s season award winners: Tim Keane, Players’ Player and Best and Fairest, Calum Votano, Players’ Player runner-up and Lachlan Barker Kennedy, who deserved his Coach’s Award. And while no one counted, Harry G is surely the top goalscorer!

Alex Cikota – a mistake-free season – vocal and with a safe pair of hands, he made some telling saves;
Charlie Kent – thrived at RWB, especially the back half of the season;
Lachlan Barker Kennedy – finding his niche at LWB, showed quality at both ends of the park while displaying determination and leadership;
Marco Rossmann – late addition, his physicality and aerial strength gave Dunbar a new dimension;
Adam Sowerby – a superb defender and leader, deserved the captain’s armband;
Stan Daly – quiet and efficient, and simply unbeatable at the back;
Damon Vallack – solid in his tackles, distributed well;
Tim Keane – one of the side’s mainstays, winning his tackles in central midfield and distributing the ball with some class;
Luis Sales – fitted seamlessly upon joining midseason, bringing technique and graft to the middle of the park;
Seb Mooney – the last of the late additions, he worked hard, providing a quality midfield option off the bench;
Calum Votano – a jack-in-the-box #10, who covered every blade of grass and scored vital goals. Went into the Grand Final under an injury cloud but put in an excellent shift;
Jack Barataud – a high-energy, high-intensity attacker who was a thorn in the side of each of his markers;
Tim Park – the determined striker spearheaded the attack, leading the line and getting among the goals;
Harry Giataganelis – youngest on the team, goal scorer in the Grand Final and season top scorer. Superb young talent.
Special mention to Jarryd Klevianksy and Luke Fuller, who won promotion to Dunbar NPL 15s and 16s on the back of good, early season form for the Development Squad, and Pedram Biazar, who is recovering from his season-ending injury and will come back bigger and better next year!

Congratulations Dunbar Boys, you certainly made some noise this season!