By Lance Jenkinson
Wyndham Suns have been one of the form teams in the second half of the Western Region Football League division 3 season, but will not be featuring in the finals.
The Suns have left their run too late, but they are thoroughly enjoying their current four-game winning streak, including upset victories over finals-bound Sunshine Heights and Glen Orden and a massive 135-point win over Laverton at Goddard Street Reserve on Saturday.
Suns playing coach Dean Cachia told of the importance of finishing the season on a high with the club already eyeing off a big 2020 season.
“It’s made the world of difference [claiming wins over flag contenders],” Cachia said.
“This is going to be the best way we can keep all of our players because if you don’t get those wins, guys will have doubts in their mind about wanting to stick around.
“Now we’ve shown the way we can play together, it will put us in good stead for next year.”
The mood around Wyndham is a vastly different one to how it was back in the summer.
A mass exodus of players from the Suns’ 2018 grand final side that lost to Point Cook Centrals not only severely weakened the list, but threatened the very existence of the Suns.
Cachia and a handful of heart-and-soul players stood up to save the club.
“Basically in December, the club was going to fold,” Cachia said.
“At that point is where I said I’m going to take the job and do whatever I can to make us survive.
“I was lucky that I at least had a few senior players that wanted to stick around and help me.
“Honestly, if they didn’t, Wyndham Suns wouldn’t even exist right now.”
Kaine Williams put his hand up to be the senior assistant coach at Wyndham.
Adam Scarpino was the first player to sign on.
From there, a drip feed of players from last year re-signed and a bunch of new players arrived in time for the start of the season before more arrived mid-season.
A powerhouse team in recent years, Wyndham had to look from a different viewpoint as one of the also-rans of the competition in the first half of the year.
However, that has all changed in the second half of the year, with the Suns having won five of their past six games.
While Cachia is proud of the “spirit” that exists at Wyndham, he is most proud of the fact the club’s juniors are up and running again.
“That’s where the future of the club is,” he said.
“You need a strong junior club to have the players coming through to be a good senior club.”
Cachia was full of praise for ruckman Michael Ryan, onballer Paul Tomelty and homegrown youngster Jarrod Vella.
The trio have been dominant for Wyndham all season and have all turned their backs on overtures from rivals to stay loyal to the Suns.
“These are the guys that got offered money to leave, but they’re all committed to the club for next year,” Cachia said. “It shows that we’re going in the right direction.”
Cachia’s recruiting campaign for 2020 starts now. He hopes his phone is going to run hot in the coming weeks and months.
“We’re open to speak to anyone that wants to come down and play with us,” he said.
“If you want to play for a club that has the heart and soul to survive when we could’ve just folded, we’re the club.”
Wyndham will round out the season with a fierce local derby against arch-rivals Tarneit at Wootten Road Reserve on Saturday.