Promising Cootamundra junior soccer player Lachlan Cook has helped the Wagga City Wanderers secure their first trophy in club history after the under-20 side came from behind to beat ANU 3-1 in the National Premier League ACT Two grand final in Canberra on Sunday.
Down 1-0 at halftime to the runaway minor premiers, the Wanderers responded with three unanswered goals after the break to claim the premiership after finishing fourth at the end of the regular season.
Jacob Ochieng found the equaliser in the 58th minute after following through a mistake from ANU's keeper, before Jake Ploenges put the visitors in front with a cracking finish just eight minutes later.
Soon after Zach Pinney finished off a beautiful cross from Grant Jenkins to seal the title.
"Being down 1-0 at halftime, it was a good reaction from the boys," under-20s coach Liam Dedini said.
"The last few weeks we haven't been down so it was good to see them respond that way.
"We had to travel the last four weeks which takes its toll, and from fourth you're under pressure every week when it's do or die.
We had to travel the last four weeks which takes its toll, and from fourth you're under pressure every week when it's do or dieUnder-20s coach Liam Dedini
"We came out and proved a point today."
Normally a winger or midfielder the Cootamundra junior has been utilised all over the ground this season for the Wanderers who progressed to the grand final after finishing in fourth position at the end of the regular season.
Having his first season in the under 20s Cook spent the previous two seasons as a member of the Wanderers under 18s squad.
Still living in Cootamundra turning out for the Wagga based team requires Cook to make the trip to Wagga twice a week for training before again hitting the road on weekends for matches.
Wagga City's under-17 girls were unlucky to lose their grand final to Canberra United Academy in a penalty shootout after scores were locked at 2-all after extra time.
The under-18 boys will take on Woden-Weston in next week's grand final after an 85th minute goal from Fawaz Shani Baqi gave them a 1-0 preliminary final win over Monaro Panthers.
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