Calder United will contest the Nike FC Cup Grand Final against South Melbourne on Sunday, with kick off at 4pm at CB Smith Reserve in Fawkner.
The NPLW side earned a spot in the finale with a win against Box Hill United in last week’s semi-final, and head coach Mark Torcaso said he was delighted with the performance in that match despite very little preparation.
“It was really good. Our perspective is that it was an opportunity with young players up into seniors this year, an opportunity for them to be involved in that game. We got them on, it was fantastic to expose them to a semi-final or big game occasion, so from that it was great,” he said.
“Getting the win and getting to the final, I didn’t ever feel like we weren’t going to win, I was just cautious when to put the young girls in. They were really good when they came on, and the senior players lifted the group.”
Calder had only been training for four weeks before that semi-final, but Torcaso said the squad is “flying” in training and everyone is excited to contest the final
The club is going for a fourth consecutive Nike FC Cup crown after winning in 2017, 2018 and 2019, with last year’s competition cancelled due to COVID-19. Calder also won the NPLW competition in 2019, topping the league by eight points and beating Bulleen in the Grand Final that year.
But for Torcaso, while there is obvious motivation to win games and win trophies with the club, he inspires his group solely through the opportunity to play games.
“Our vision is to be involved in as many games of football as possible, not necessarily pinpointing cup games or grand finals, but just playing games,” he said.
“It’s about playing as much football and giving the girls as much chance as possible. I tell them you can play 21 games and then pack up, no finals, that’s it – but I say let’s play 23, 24, cup games as well.
“We want to win this game as much as anyone does, but we want to be in a position to play games, particularly now.”
Calder United gunning for fourth straight Nike FC Cup
As Calder maintains its partnership with Western United in preparation for an A-League Women’s licence next year, Torcaso called upon fans of the Green and Black to show their support on Sunday.
“The important thing is we feel very connected to Western United community, both fans and the club as a whole. For us it’s been a magnificent partnership towards the A-League Women,” he said.
“Come out and see some of the best talent that will hopefully be representing the A-League Women side in the next couple of years. We’d love the fans to support the A-League Women as they do the A-League Men.”
Tickets to the match are free, but must be pre-booked here. The match will also be broadcast live on Optus Sport.