Let’s make it a treble!


The chance to create history has not been lost on league champions Albury United.

With the FA Cup also bearing green and white ribbons, United will complete the Treble if they get the better of fierce rivals Wangaratta.

A survivor of the Greens’ last cup-winning side, in 2012, captain Caleb Martin knows all too well there’s no guarantee of getting back to the big stage any time soon.

“They don’t come around very often and I’m trying to push that onto a few of the younger blokes,” Martin said.

“There will be a few blokes that will never play in the same team again, in this grand final, so they’re the sort of things you’ve got to push onto these young blokes, to realise it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“You don’t take these lightly and you’ve really got to take it with both hands.

“We’ve got a great squad this year but you’ve still got to put in the hard work and we’ve done that.

“We had a big pre-season, we’ve had great numbers all year with training and we’re really up and about for it.

“We really want to get that treble and Saturday night is the big one.

“We’ll be ready.”

United won the cup five times between 2002 and 2007 but have seen Wodonga Diamonds, Myrtleford and Wangaratta dominate the last decade.

“It’s definitely not lost on us,” Martin said.

“Yes, there’s a chance to make a bit of history but it’s also the first time we’ve been in a final for about 10 years.

“We’ve had a good year so far but one more win would really cap it off.

“To win the league title, you’ve got to be the best team all year but I the celebrations and the hype around a grand final are a bit different to anything else you experience throughout the year.

“It’s definitely a massive night for us and we’re really looking forward to cracking in.”

Martin’s influence in the centre of the park is going to be a major factor under the Lavington lights.

“Midfield’s a big thing but also defence,” he said.

“Both teams score a fair few goals (United 79, Wangaratta 78 in the regular season) so if we can contain Burchell and if those blokes can contain our forwards, that’ll go a long way to seeing who wins the game.

“It’s very much an even-money bet.

“Grand finals can go either way; I’ve been on the right side of some and I’ve been on the wrong side of others.

“Grand finals seem to be ugly sort of games sometimes so whoever works the hardest and keeps their composure usually gets the job done.

“We’re not taking them lightly at all, that’s for sure.”

The stage is set and Martin can’t wait.

“It’s a great ground and great facility,” he said.

“Some of those younger boys have never experienced a grand final and to play it on a stage like this is very exciting.”

  • AWFA Cup Final: Albury United men looking to complete an historic treble

AWFA Cup Final: Albury United men looking to complete an historic treble. Picture by ASH SMITH