Nelson Suburbs are three wins away from laying claim to the best football club in the country.
Suburbs have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Chatham Cup and will take on East Coast Bays at home this Sunday for a spot in the semis.
The boys in blue scraped into the top eight after a after a gritty 1-0 victory over Dunedin’s Green Island on July 14.
A first half goal from striker Matt Tod-Smith was enough to get Nelson through after the visitors dominated the second stint.
Suburbs have since enjoyed a resounding first win in the Southern Football League, demolishing Queenstown 5-0.
They then played out a 1-all draw with Ferrymead Bays FC on Sunday to drop to sixth on the SPL ladder.
However, the sides focus will now shift to their Chatham Cup assignment this Sunday.
Skipper Ryan Stewart says despite Sunday’s draw, his side will be fizzing for their quarter-final showdown.
“It was a bit of a disappointing result, we conceded late, but I think the boys will be rearing to go and will give a good account of ourselves on Sunday.”
Ryan says they will back themselves to go one better than their 2017 finish and crack the top four. “At home we would fancy ourselves, we are a good football side and have played well at home, and everyone gets excited for finals football.”
He says they will not be underestimating their Auckland opponents.
“East Coast Bays are a big club and it’s important we give them respect, but also we have to concentrate on our performance.”
The Auckland side is sitting third from bottom in its local competition.
Suburbs will be without star striker Jordan Yong for the crucial clash, sitting out the match with a suspension.
“He’s a key player in the team but he’ll be there at training this week pushing the boys to help get into the semis, so he can come back and make up for missing the quarter.”
Ryan hopes the whole region gets behind the team.
“At the end of the day we may all be individual clubs, but it is a big thing for the region to be in the quarter-finals of the Chatham Cup and it would be brilliant if everyone could come out on Sunday and cheer us on.”