Peverley: It means everything

Now he’s experienced it once, Team Wellington captain Cole Peverley wants more of the winning feeling from Thursday night’s thrilling ASB Premiership Grand Final showdown with Auckland City.

Peverley came on as second half substitute in the pulsating ASB Premiership Grand Final won 4-2 by Team Wellington and the midfielder provided a telling contribution, scoring the penalty late on which took the game to extra time where his team emphatically went on with the job – earning a berth in the next OFC Champions League competition in the process.

The 27-year-old was grinning from ear to ear after the final whistle, winner’s medal draped around his neck as he reflected on being part of the first team from outside Auckland to win the ASB Premiership title.

“For me personally and the team, I can tell you it means everything,” Peverley said.

“We’ve had an up and down season. We finished third in the league and we could go either way. It could either go on and we could strive and get some results or it could go the other way and [we] give up.

“The team were absolutely fantastic last week against Hawke’s Bay and then today, it’s unbelievable. It means everything to us.”

Over the past year Peverley said he and his team mates had built up a belief they could topple the two-time defending champions and on Thursday night they were proved right.

“They are a bloody good team and we’ve got respect for them and they’ve got respect for us.

“But on the day anyone can win the football match. It’s always a good match and the boys always go into the game confident because we know them so well.”

They wouldn’t have been in the position to get the victory without the 88th minute spot kick – after Takuya Iwata’s foul on league Golden Boot winner Ben Harris – one Peverley admitted he dwelled slightly longer over given what was at stake.

“To be honest I’ve taken pens for years and I don’t really get nervous, I just step up and take them. But I was nervous on that one because I thought if I miss it, it’s all over. But luckily I stuck it away.”

Peverley’s attention now turns to the Oceania Champions League campaign beginning in Auckland in April with the team boosted by Thursday’s result as they look to overturn a penalty shootout defeat to Auckland City FC in last year’s final.

“It keeps the team going and everything stays positive,” Peverley said.

“The confidence is there and hopefully we can go on and do well there, take that one out and do one better than last year. This is important for the club to keep it going. It’s just fantastic.”

Posted on Thursday, March 10th, 2016