Melbourne Knights FC head coach Andrew Marth is positive about the return of finals football to the top tier of Victorian football, after the format was altered for the first time in a long period last season.
With the implementation of the National Premier Leagues in 2014, and the demise of the Victorian Premier League, the play-off system that occurs at the end of the home-and-away season – and determines the champions of Victoria – was scrapped in favour of a more traditional, in world football terms, ‘first past the post’ league.
Earlier this month, Football Federation Victoria confirmed that the finals model would return and that fixtures would be confirmed by late November.
But while Marth acknowledged it’s a concept that’s unique to this country, he said that it was a tradition that we’ve long had.
“Yeah, finals is always exciting for the fans and there’s something there for us to strive for,” Marth said.
“As I’ve said before, finals only happen in Australia but it’s exciting for the fans and it’s been a tradition for a long period of time over the years.
“As you probably found out last year, we had nothing to play for towards the last probably six or seven games but to our credit I think we won five out of seven and obviously locked Oakleigh out of the championship running with South Melbourne.”
In preparing for the new 2015 format, Marth’s men are all currently in the middle of an individual fitness program which prepares them for when the squad re-groups, as the head coach explained to melbourneknights.com.au.
“The boys are in the middle of a pre, pre-season program which I give to the boys every year for about three weeks,” Marth explained.
“Our official pre-season starts on the 16th of December. At Melbourne Knights, we’ve just been inundated with players that obviously want to come to the Club – obviously the Club being one of the biggest clubs in Australia’s history – so we’re attracting players from every state.”