FOOTBALL - ILLAWARRA PREMIER LEAGUE
It was never going to end any other way for Noel Spencer.
The Dapto Dandaloo player-coach signed off on a memorable career with a man-of-the-match display in the Fury’s 2-0 grand final triumph over Bulli on Sunday.
Like he did so often during his 200-plus game national league career, Spencer was inspirational for the title-winning squad and deservedly claimed the match’s top-gong in his final on-field appearance.
‘‘It is a tremendous [way to finish]. It all started for me here when I was 17 or 18 years old as a young kid I remember playing here in the NSL. I couldn’t have written a better script towards the end,’’ Spencer said.
‘‘I am delighted to get a great result in front of my family and friends to finish on a good note.’’
Heading into the match, Bulli were the Premier League’s highest goal-scoring team this campaign and hadn’t been held scoreless once in the competition this year.
The goal haul included 5-0 and 3-0 demolitions of the Fury in both of their past two meetings.
But on Sunday, the League Championship winners had no way of piercing the Dapto-Dandaloo line, who were notably missing former A-League defender Alvin Ceccoli.
‘‘We looked over the notes and obviously in the last two games we conceded eight goals. It is a no-brainer. We had to make sure we stopped leaking goals,’’ Spencer said. ‘‘That was crucial in the first 45 when they had the breeze in front of them. After we seen that little period out, the longer the game went on, the more we go on top.’’
Spencer said he would discuss his coaching future with Dapto-Dandaloo in the coming weeks to see if he will take on the top job full-time.
He had stepped in for former boss Norm Boardman a little over a month ago and said the club was ‘‘quite keen’’ to determine if he was the right man for the long-term.