Eagles full of confidence

Keilor Park is enjoying the new challenges. (GEM Photography)

Tara Murray

A win against local rival Calder United has given Keilor Park an added boost as it continues to grow in the Victorian Premier League Women’s competition.

The two neighbours, whose pitches are side-by-side, had never played each other as they’ve always been in different divisions.

That all changed in the fifth of the knockout Nike F.C Cup.

The Eagles went in as underdogs against the National Premier League Women’s side which had won the past titles in the Nike F.C Cup.

The two teams were locked at 2-2 at the end of regular time before the match ended up going to penalties.

The Eagles would win on penalties 4-3 to claim one of the biggest victories in the club’s history.

“I wanted to draw them,” said coach Liam Drury.

“They are the six time champions and we wanted to show that we could really compete with them and have the opportunity to challenge them and knock them out.

“So many people from the club made the drive down. The day after the game some of the junior girls came down to get their gear signed by the senior girls.

“They were like rock stars.”

The win moves the Eagles into the last eight of the competition, the furthest they have been in the competition.

Drury said they want to go as far as they can, with every side left in the competition having a different story.

The cup run comes as the Eagles enjoy their first season in the VPL competition, the second highest in the state.

Drury, who was an assistant coach with the Preston Lions when they won the title a couple of years ago, said it had been really good.

“It’s been a good start,” he said. “Where the league was two years ago to now, the league is so much stronger.

“The side we have now would have won the league two years ago, odds on. There are quite a number of competitive and stay focused.”

Drury in his first season at the Eagles said their focus had been on making sure they were competitive at this level.

After six rounds, the Eagles were in third spot with four wins and two losses.

“Internally we want to win every game,” he said. “We have really high standards but that isn’t what the club has asked of us.

“We recruited some really good players. We’re third now, we’re trying to get moving up rather than look down.”

The Eagles faced Melbourne University in the VPL on Sunday and had a 2-2 draw.