The 100th edition of the Chatham Cup final will kick off this Sunday, we spoke to Melville United Captain Aaron Scott about the journey and what winning the cup would mean for the club, who in their current form as Melville, are yet to win a Chatham Cup. Scott is also playing what could be his last season for the senior first team, making the Chatham Cup final potentially his last match.
How does it feel to make it to the final?
It’s a great accomplishment for the team and players after the turnover we had from last season. For me personally, it’s a great way to finish my first team career at Melville United no matter what happens. Bowing out on the grandest stage in football in New Zealand and especially with it being the 100th year of the Chatham cup.
When did you believe a deep cup run was possible?
Not at the start of the season. For me personally I had a positional change to adjust to from defence to midfield so I was focussing on that through pre-season training and matches. And as a club our aim was to stay in the Northern League and finish as high as possible. But after the wins over Takapuna and Fencibles – which were more of an old-fashioned scrap and a bit more of a Melville United from years gone by – we proved we could win when he had to in knockout football, as playing well in league games, albeit without mixing those two styles consistently through the season.
What was your favourite moment or moments from the cup run?
Well it definitely wasn’t getting subbed off after 15 mins after succumbing to a groin injury against Takapuna! I spent most of my pre-match speech with the lads talking about how I wasn’t ready to leave the cup so it wasn’t ideal! The obvious highlight would be the semi-final win over Waterside Karori at Gower Park under lights. The home crowd support and the atmosphere created on the night was so special and of course coming from behind to win and the crowd storming the pitch at the end and leading the singing of the club song with so many people connected to the club is something that will stay with me for a while!The club has won previously under different forms, but what would it mean to win the first Chatham Cup as Melville united?Obviously to win for the club I’ve played for since I was 15 would be pretty special! I missed the opportunity to play the final in 2003 in my first year at the club because I had played for my school Hamilton Boy’s in the early rounds and was cup-tied. Then we lost in the final in 2019 which hurt a lot. But personally, I just want to perform well so I can bow out a proud man in one final game (don’t get me wrong though, winning the Cup would be absolutely magic!)
You are up against Southern League champions Christchurch United, do you feel that your team are seen as the slight underdogs?
I think any team that hasn’t lost all season and is heading for the National League would be considered favourites no matter where they are from. But to be honest, I don’t think a Melville United team has been the favourite leading into many games this season and we have always have that ‘us against the world’ mentality.
The Chatham Cup finals kicks off at 4pm.
Sunday Septermber 10, at North Harbour Stadium
Get your tickets here:
Article added: Wednesday 06 September 2023
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