By samuel darroch
GIPPSLAND Soccer League’s rivalry round this weekend is sure to provide some fiery contests, and the Morwell derby between Fortuna 60 and Falcons 2000 will be among the most heated.
There is plenty of feeling between the neighbouring clubs, which are separated by Crinigan Road, and the match up has traditionally sparked fireworks.
The corresponding clash last year saw Fortuna 60 take the points with a 3-0 win, a result club president Dion Tanti tipped to be repeated on Sunday when the “little club down the road”, as heralded by a cheeky 2011 Falcons banner, plays host.
“On the actual playing field it’s pretty hotly contested,” Tanti said.
“(The rivalry) has been ongoing for a while now (but) it’s purely an on field rivalry, off the field we’re good mates and close clubs.”
An interchange of players crossing the road over the years has added another level of interclub rivalry. Former Fortuna skipper Mauro De Luca is one high profile player to defect, and now coaches Falcons 2000, but still has family playing at his former club.
“There’s a bit of family stuff… that still lingers around a little bit (and) a few of our players are really good mates with some of their players so that adds a little bit of spice to it,” Tanti said.
Falcons 2000 president Tony Salvatore said rivalry round was a great incentive for the Morwell faithful to turn out in force for the match, and predicted a 2-0 Falcons triumph, despite having not beaten Fortuna in a league match since 2002.
“It’s a game that brings a bit more passion and a bit more atmosphere to it… the whole combination is a great success story,” he said.
“It’s going to be business as usual but with the passion to come back with three points.”
The match kicks off at Crinigan Road South Reserve, Morwell at 8pm on Saturday.