Werakso’s final call to arms

PARTY TIME: Port Kembla lift the trophy after beating League Championship winners Bulli in Sunday's Illawarra Premier League grand final. Picture: PEDRO GARCIA
PARTY TIME: Port Kembla lift the trophy after beating League Championship winners Bulli in Sunday's Illawarra Premier League grand final. Picture: PEDRO GARCIA

Matt Werakso couldn’t have scripted things any better if he tried.

The Port Kembla defender laced up the boots for the final time in Sunday’s Illawarra Premier League decider and emerged more than two hours later as the best player on the park. 

Werakso was outstanding as he claimed the Scott Chipperfield Medal in Port’s dramatic penalty shootout victory over Bulli at Crehan Park. 

“It is sensational,” Werakso said.

“Noel Spencer got to do it a few years ago and you think of this.

“In June or July we weren’t sure we would make the top five.

“The last three months we have come together as a group and started to play the style of football we really want to play. It took a while but has paid off in the end.”

Werakso was the centre piece in a stellar defensive effort from Port, which provided few chances to Bulli during the game. 

Port’s confidence continued to grow with each passing raid they repelled throughout the match. 

“We knew if we could keep them scoreless for the first 30 minutes, it would give us a great platform to really give it a go,” Werakso said.

“When we went into extra time, we just really wanted to stay solid.

“I don’t think we gave up too many chances. The back four played really well and our goalkeeper Brad Jardine had am unbelievable game.

“It was just meant to be I guess.”

Port striker Chris Smith was also solid in his final Illawarra Premier League encounter.