Jean-Luc Velissaris lived the football dream with his after-the-siren winner on the weekend. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Zarucky)
“IT’S something I’ll remember for a long time.”
It’d be an enormous understatement to say that the final kick of the Northern Blues’ clash with Port Melbourne was the biggest of Jean-Luc Velissaris’ football life.
Without a win over the Borough in nine years, it was Velissaris’ after-the-siren goal which cemented a famous win for his side.
In his 15th game for the Club, the 20-year-old was pretty matter-of-fact about the job at hand.
“It had to be done,” Velissaris said.
“The siren went as soon as I got handed the footy. I just had the one thought — this has to be knocked over.”
— Northern Blues FC (@NBluesFC) July 14, 2019
It was sweet relief for the Blues, who also enjoyed their first win in just over a month.
Northern played some of its best footy for the season, kicking out to a 35-point lead before being pegged back on Port’s home deck.
Velissaris said recent history with the Borough had been discussed in the lead-up to Saturday’s game.
“There was a little bit [of talk] — they’ve been a good side for many years and for them to have the wood over us was something we wanted to change,” he said.
“That win meant a lot to us. The feeling that was shared after the game between the players, coaches and supporters was very special.
“I’m still pinching myself over those moments.”
Previously of the Calder Cannons, Velissaris arrived at the Northern Blues at the beginning of the 2018 season, kicking nine goals from his 15 games.
Previously coached by Carlton Hall of Famer Lance Whitnall in his junior career, Velissaris knew the importance of getting back on the winners’ list — something he played a decisive part in.
“We’ve had a few tight losses this year where we couldn’t get the edge in the late stages of games,” he said.
“To get the result in a tight contest was a great feeling, and it will give us the belief that we can match it with and beat anyone.
“It was pretty important for us.”