IT was a season filled with drama, but the Monaro Pantherss state league reserves side pulled together when it mattered most and took out their premiership with a 2-1 win over Canberra Olympic last Saturday.
Panthers player Pasquale Perre told The Queanbeyan Age his players celebrated for a number of days after the match, having been their first premiership as a playing group since 2011, but also after collectively leaving the Queanbeyan City football club at the start of the year.
It also ended a two grand final losing streak, having made the 2012 and 2013 deciders with Queanbeyan City in the state league first division seasons, and they now plan to make a move back up to first division with Monaro next season.
Mid-fielder Vele Dukoski was the star of the show, kicking two screaming goals through the top corner of the goal net after his men trailed 1-0.
"Given the year that it was, it was such a good achievement, and the boys really stepped up and played for each other in the grand final," Perre said.
"Our game plan was just to come out strong like we had been all year...our mid-field was strong, and Mark Kelly in the back-line dominated again, and Lachlan Bible held it together in the middle with Vele."
"We trained pretty lightly during our week off, but the following week was more on tactics and set pieces, so we kept it pretty light."
Perre said his men were still in talks with their former Queanbeyan City club, but had found a new home at Monaro, and said their move to state league firsts next year would make for a strong local derby against City.
"The way that Monaro has treated us this year; we're pretty comfortable there," he said.
"We still have some good friends at Queanbeyan, but playing against them will be interesting that's for sure."