Golden Boot delivers victory
NOT that long ago, Woombye coach Gary Newcome made the shock decision to bench perennial Golden Boot winner Luke Alderson for a "dip in form".
Now, Newcome is singing the star forward's praises, and right in the midst of the finals.
Alderson struck three times to propel the Snakes to a crucial 3-2 triumph over his former club, arch-rival and defending champion Maroochydore, in a final at the Snake Pit on Tuesday night.
It prompted a glowing endorsement from the coach.
"He's a quality striker," Newcome said.
"Every club wants to have a striker like him and I'm delighted to have him at Woombye."
That Alderson returned from a trip to Melbourne a day early for the match only enhanced his status at the Snakes.
"He was thinking the game (postponed from Saturday) would be on Wednesday, as did I, but it was rescheduled to Tuesday and he came back early to play," Newcome said.
"That shows the commitment he has to the club."
Alderson certainly appeared to be the difference between the sides.
"It was a fairly even game. You could really only separate the two teams by the finishing, so you've got to hand it to Luke," Newcome said.
It was a far cry from a month ago when Alderson was demoted by the coach.
"He works away during the week so he trains only when he can, like a few players, so I can only judge performances on what I see at matches and I had felt there was a slight dip in his form," Newcome said.
"Sometimes you have to nudge someone.
"I thought, and I would like to think he would agree, that his form probably was a little bit dubious mid-season.
"Scoring goals is one thing, but you've got to also play well."
Alderson told the Daily at the time that he was dismayed by the decision.
"But he came back very strong," Newcome said.
Indeed, upon his return Alderson bagged four goals in a 5-1 thrashing of the Buderim Wanderers, and he secured another Golden Boot before Tuesday night's display.
The Snakes will meet premier Kawana in the major semi-final at Maroochydore on Saturday.