Bentleigh Greens coach John Anastasiadis admitted that his team had redemption on its mind prior to its Round 2 victory against arch-rivals Northcote City last weekend.
The Greens went down in agonising circumstances in last season’s 2013 VPL Grand Final against City at AAMI Park, after having led for the majority of the match.
Notwithstanding the sides’ dominance, it suffered the agony of losing late on in extra time, which the former Socceroo conceded played a part in the lead up to the rematch five months on.
“It burns everyone that we should’ve won it and they all know it,” he said.
“And credit to Northcote who admit that. However we didn’t win it. We can go on about it and be bitter all our lives but it’s not going to come back.
“What we can do now is look forward and get to the final again and win it. And then we can shut everyone up.”
A number of key additions late on prevented an ideal preparation for the start of its inaugural NPLV campaign, but despite that, the 45-year-old insists that things will continue to improve over the course of the season with continuity.
“We’ve got five new boys so this team is still getting to know each other,” he explained.
“Luc Jeggo’s just come into the fold in the past couple of weeks.
“It’s going to take a couple of games before we really hit our straps and I think the more we go, the better we’re going to get.”
A less daunting task awaits in Round 3 as the 2013 runner up welcomes a struggling Pascoe Vale at home, yet Anastasiadis is under no illusions as to the momentous task ahead as it seeks to go one step further this time around.
“The fact is is that this year’s league is going to be very hard,” he affirmed.
“It’s going to be an absolute battle for us all year.
“Everyone knows the way we play – being a ball passing team so it’s going to be a tough one.
“I don’t care if it’s Pascoe Vale or whoever it is. At the end of the day, all teams are hard for me and we treat every game like a cup final and play game like we play in a cup final.”