JETTY Flat Rangers will start as red-hot favourites when Warrnambool District Soccer League (WDSL) finals get under way this week.
The Rangers secured the league title with 39 points from 15 matches during the regular season, finishing five points clear of their nearest rivals. They scored an astounding 120 goals, an average of eight a match, and are odds-on favourites to cap off their season with the championship.
Their finals campaign begins at Warrnambool’s Harris Street Reserve on Sunday when they meet second-placed Hamilton Raiders in the second semi-final.
Thunder Hawks, third, take on Merri Stingrays, fourth, in the first semi-final at Harris Street Reserve tomorrow night under lights.
WDSL coordinator Carlos Del Rio said the Rangers were “a class team” which had been dominant during the season.
“They’re looking like they could take it all the way, they’re a class team,” he said.
“Every position they’ve got covered whereas other teams don’t have as good players in certain positions. They’ve got a really strong midfield, very good attackers and also solid defenders who hardly let anything go to the goalkeeper.
“They’ve all been playing football for a while but it’s the first time they’ve played together as a team.”
Striker Jason Sutton headlines the depth of talent in the team, netting 29 goals to take the golden boot award.
Teammates Michael Romanes, 27 goals, and Lee Hunter, 22 goals, have also been prolific up front.
“Ellen Wines, she’s in the team, she’s one of the best female players Warrnambool has ever produced,” Del Rio said.
“She’s up there with the likes of Ursula Hughson, who played for Melbourne Victory.”
Del Rio said the Raiders, Hawks and Stingrays could surprise during the three-week finals series.
“Anything can happen. The beauty of it is there are four teams that play finals, everyone is still in there to be named champions,” he said.
“By definition, Jetty Flat are the premiers for finishing first and the champions are the last ones standing.”