The seven-year wait is over for Shepparton South.
On Sunday, co-coaches Nathan Radevski and Joel Aitken led their South to their first grand final victory after finishing three of the past four seasons on top of the table.
In fact, the Southerners lost two grand finals to Shepparton United in the past three seasons, while, before Sunday, their most recent success was claiming back-to-back premierships in 2009 and 2010.
‘‘It has been a long time coming, but we finally did it,’’Aitken said.
‘‘It not only means so much to us as the players, but also the club, the assistant coaches, the team managers, the committee, just everyone involved.’’
The match-winner, who joined South as a nine-year-old, has spent 18 years in the black and white stripes, and without a doubt, it is the best premiership he has won yet.
Aitken and Anthony Calandro, who was subbed off in the second half, were a part of South’s back-to-back winning squad either side of the decade.
‘‘It has been a long time for the club, so many people have worked so hard and then to win it with all my mates is sensational,’’ Aitken said.
‘‘It is probably the sweetest one yet, we are a big family and we will enjoy it at our end of season trip to Adelaide.’’
South resolutely clawed its way back from a goal deficit in extra time and both coaches feel that pain of yesteryear is what got their side across the line.
‘‘We have lost a few grand finals, the boys didn’t want that to happen again and I think they just dug deep knowing that the losing feeling really burns,’’Aitken said.
Radevski knew his side had the ability to turn it all around.
‘‘We were creating chances, you feel it could have been one of those days where it doesn’t fall your way,’’ Radevski said.
‘‘We just needed the first goal to go in and once it did I felt that we could go on with it.’’