With only four weeks left in the regular season of the Capital Premier League, promotion back to the NPL1 competition is edging ever closer for Mitch Stevens and his Tuggeranong United squad.
After being relegated from the top flight in 2021, the men from Canberra’s south have a shot at redemption.
Tuggeranong currently sit on top of the ladder, nine points clear of second place and with a game in hand.
Heading out to High Street to face fellow promotion hopefuls Queanbeyan City FC, Stevens knew it would be a tough encounter. Despite a less than ideal start, Tuggeranong rallied to run out with a resounding 6-2 win over their rivals.
“Unbelievable. This is one of the toughest grounds to get come and get points at, so to come here and get a win with that kind of score line, I’m very pleased,” said Stevens of the result.
After falling behind by two goals in 16 minutes, Tuggeranong turned it around with four goals in eight minutes, just before the half-time break. Despite the slow start to the game, Stevens knew that his side would never give up, citing the impact of some of their key players.
“Hand on heart, I thought it was probably some of the worst 30 minutes of our season to start. Queanbeyan were up for it, and we knew they would be and the deservedly led 2-0.
“We were fortunate to get four goals and be so clinical in that moment before half-time, but that’s the kind of quality we know we have. You don’t give up when you’ve got Sam Walker. You don’t give up when you’ve got Luke Stevens and Harrison Buesnel. You just don’t.”
With a catch up game against White Eagles on Wednesday night, and a massive encounter against ANU Football Club on Saturday, Tuggeranong has a chance to wrap up the league title and promotion.
With the chance to return to the top flight coming closer, Stevens says that there is an element of relief for himself.
“This club deserves to be in NPL1. I have an element of something where I feel like I owe it to the club to get us back there. I was really disappointed with 2021, to get back in there would be really special.”