Upfield still dreaming of championship

Upfield hasn't given up hope of the championship and promotion. (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Upfield’s desire to claim the FV state league 2 north-west title is still as strong despite being stripped of six points by Football Victoria.

Having been on top of the table all season, Upfield was recently deducted six points due to playing an ineligible player.

The penalty resulted in them dropping from first to fourth after 20 rounds. Upfield has gone one from 44 points to 38 points.

Mill Park now sits atop the table on 40 points, goal difference ahead of Altona East Phoenix, with Westgate a point further back.

Upfield and Westgate are due to face each other in a catch up round this weekend.

A victory to either side would see them go to the top of the table ahead of Mill Park and Altona East Phoenix, with two rounds remaining.

Upfield president Wally Hanna said they were disappointed by the decision, but are aware they could have been deducted even more points.

“We knew this was coming, but we didn’t expect to lose six points,” he said.

“We thought it might be three points or zero points penalty. As a club we did everything right, we registered a player properly, but the player didn’t say he was registered elsewhere.

“We did call Football Australia and they said we had done the right thing.

Football Victoria was contacted for comment.

Hanna said the loss of points hadn’t come at a good time, with the side losing three of their last four games. On Saturday, they lost to Epping City 2-0 and had two players given red cards in injury time.

He said they had spoken with the playing group about staying focused and trying to complete the aim of claiming the title and promotion.

“We’ve gone from having to win one game to now having to win all three games,” he said.

“Upfield has been the best side so far this season. We started off the season so well, but we’ve lost three of the last four.

“Any team can do that when players are tired and there’s suspensions. We’re good enough and we’ll fight to the end.”

Upfield is set to face Westgate on Friday night in a catch up game, after wet weather meant the game couldn’t go ahead earlier in the season.

It’s one of two catch up games in state league 2.

Moreland United is set to face Epping City on Saturday.