History has been created in the Illawarra after the South Coast Taipans snared not one, but two Futsal NSW Premier League championships on Sunday.
The Taipans open men's and open women's teams were declared Premier League Two minor premiers on the same day. It is the first time that the South Coast club has ever achieved the feat, with both clubs crowned minor premiers in 2023 with one round to spare.
The victories also mean that the Tapians will be promoted to League One in 2024.
It's a triumph that has been a long time in the making for the region's Futsal community, with Futsal being a modified version of football played on a hard court.
The Taipans' technical director Bobby Mazevski told the Mercury that the championship victories were massive for the club.
"As a TD and a person who has been involved with the club for over a decade, I'm very proud. It's the first time that we've ever done it," Mazevski said.
"It's a huge achievement that we've managed this in both of our senior grades. I think what excites me the most is that a lot of our players, in both the men's and women's program, have come through our pathway. And that sets a great example for the younger generations of players that we have at the club to aspire to, and some day they might follow in their footsteps.
"We've also secured promotion which is another special moment for us as well. The season isn't over, but we're certainly proud of what we've been able to achieve so far this year."
Mazevski added that the Illawarra was home to plenty of promising Futsal talents.
"We're lucky that we can draw on players from the Wolves system, the Flame system and the Stingrays system, but we're also not immune from taking club players. We do love to share the love amongst the clubs and people in our community," he said.
"Our philosophy hasn't always been about winning. It's been about growing the sport and getting people introduced to this lovely sport. And given the number of people that have played the sport here - and stuck with it - I think we're ticking a lot of boxes."
The Taipans wrapped up the two championship wins following a Premier League double header in Sydney over the weekend.
South Coast open men's side thrashed SD Raiders by 15-5 on Saturday before backing up less than 24 hours later to beat the Raiders 4-2. In the open women's comp, the Taipans outclassed SD Raiders 8-1 on Saturday and then claimed a 2-0 win over the Raiders on Sunday.
South Coast women's head coach Kyle Del - who has mentored some of his players for several years - said he was delighted to see them achieve their ultimate goal.
"It was a crazy start to the year, just getting numbers there and everything like that. So it's been a long journey but it was very exciting to wrap up the championship over the weekend," he said.
"The second half of the year, we were very focused. But at the start of the year, we did set out some goals and one was to win the league title and create history within the club. So we did that over the weekend - and to see those girls so excited about it - was very pleasing.
"I think the main drive was that everyone has really enjoyed it. Everyone is switched on and knows their role, and knows what they want to do. And after setting those goals at the start of the year, I think we could smell the finish line.
"We kept on going week by week by week. And when you get that momentum, you carry it on. We had tactics and everything, but we always focused on enjoying the momentum and riding the wave."