Slice of Cheese

Eagles break 24-year drought to take out Southern Championship

Main Photo: Solstice Digital

Written by Olivia Clayton

The New Town Eagles have had a long journey to win the Men’s Southern Championship Cup. They last took out the title in 1997 but lost some experienced and younger quality players in the years after.

The mid 2000s saw the side do a mini rebuild and almost take out the honours in 2012 after regaining some young, talented players.

After losing players to the State League, the side had to rebuild again, but have been on an upward trajectory since. They finished fourth in the previous two seasons but comfortably took out title this year.

Image: Newtown Eagles Facebook Page

New Town Eagles Coach, Tommy Fotak, said this season was about “taking those improvements and adding consistency. Making sure the gap between our best and our worst was smaller and making sure that we reached our best more often and sustained it for longer.

“Each game the group have three non-negotiable elements to achieve and if they tick those off, they know that they’ll win 80% of games. Each player knows if they can walk off the park and tick those three boxes, they’ve done their bit. We review those elements at training and there’s a correlation between ticking them off and good results.”

Samuel Leszczynski, Rowan Heggie, and Luke Huigsloot were in the top five scorers for the whole 2021 competition scoring 15, 14 and 13 goals respectively, but Fotak said that the goals scored for the side have been a team effort.

“Those involved in the build-up are sought out by the scorer and other players, and congratulated, and we as coaches point out where a move started and who was involved. The players know we see what they do and so they know a goal is a team reward.

“Once they saw what they were capable of, it was a case [of] having them push each other to be their best all the time. That’s the main reason behind this year’s success.”

The New Town Eagles have also won the Championship 1 and Championship 6 cups in the regular season, and the Southern Championship Summer Cup.