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Staines Swans FC
Division 3e, Xpert League
Manager: Electricnaz
Swans Win XL Cup, XCL Beckons
Yesterday evening saw an historic occasion as the Staines Swans defied their underdog status to qualify for the Xpert Champions League for the first time, and pick up their first ever cup win. 

Facing off against the more experienced, and much fancied FC Hundarna, a lot of the talk prior to the game was about youthful exuberance  vs wise old heads. Despite it being the younger side that took the cup win, it was poetically down to veteran captain, 36 year old Lucio Salinas, in his 323rd game for his boyhood team, who scored the vital goal - his 156th for the club - nodding home a header from a typically excellent corner from Alex Routledge.

"We have to pay all the credit to Lucio", said the manager amongst the post game celebrations. "I took a chance on him as a 16 year old in my second season at the club in season 43, he's developed into a wonderful footballer, a true example as a captain, and more importantly a wonderful person. He hasn't played as much as he's liked this season, he knows his career is winding down a bit, but he's set a fine example, and he deserved his goal today. He fully justified his selection".

Naz showed faith in his younger side, starting 4 players 25 or under, and bringing 3 more off the bench in the second half as they aimed to outrun and outwork their more experienced and battle hardened opponents. 

"Legs were heavy in the second half for both sides, it's been a massively long season for us, but I felt that our players would be able to have the energy to contain them later on and use our fitness to our advantage, and we did that", Naz continued. "These lads have shown they deserve to be in the Champions League.

"Obviously we are very happy, but full commiserations to Hundarna, they are a talented squad and have had a really good season themselves not just in the cup, but in Division 1. I hope they don't let this get them down too much, as they have a big game on Sunday and I'm sure they will pick themselves up and go again. But we will celebrate at the end of the season, regardless of what happens next for us".

Naz was referring to their final league game of the season, where a win against relegated, but also excellently presented Matchstick Men will see them into the playoffs for promotion into Division 1, a remarkable rise for a team that finished 4th in Division 3 just 2 seasons ago. A draw or even a one goal defeat may be enough, but the manager knows a win will take all the many permutations out of the equation.

Naz would also like to thank all for their kind words both into the lead up and the aftermath of the game, thoughts which are echoed by all at the club on this great occasion.

2021-06-20 00:43 1188 Views Reporter: TonyBrazil

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