Tony Merakis: “I’m very proud of the boys and not frustrated at all”

It was a case of what could’ve been in a Friday night thriller against Essendon Royals at Wembley Park.

The attacking momentum was in full swing for Pythagoras and so far this season, we have seen the Senior Men’s squad mix it with the best.

After three rounds played, all of Box Hill United’s opponents sit inside the top-six, demonstrating the competitiveness we have seen so far.

Despite an opening 2024 win eluding Pythagoras so far, there is the feeling of those floodgates beginning to open with the three goals put away against the Royals.

In the post-match, Head Coach Tony Merakis reinforced belief into the squad despite only gaining a point.

“It was very entertaining, we had fantastic opportunities to make a larger statement than we did in our football style,” he said.

“We were a little unlucky not to get more out of the game.”

Captain Michael Romas was again the focal point in attack and fans of the ‘expected goal’ metric would argue that he deserved at least one goal from this match.

He had two near misses past both posts, while his well-struck penalty was matched with a save by Andre Russo in the Royals’ goal.

“The penalty was decently struck and the keeper did well to save it,” Merakis said.

“We responded quickly after that to put ourselves in the lead at 3-1.

“However, Essendon Royals to their credit did creep in and responded from that.

“If we had taken more of our opportunities like they were presented, we’d probably be looking at a different result in the end.

Merakis is of firm belief that Pythagoras can turn it around – pleased with the effort of his players.

“This is not a frustrating result, at the end of the day we scored three goals,” he said.

“We do need to work on our craft defensively to make ourselves better.

“However, I’m very proud of the boys and not frustrated at all.

“We have made some great inroads and steps forward.”

Up next is Caroline Springs George Cross in Round 4 of the Dockerty Cup. Leading into the cup tie is what Merakis believes is the blueprint for finding success on the pitch.

“From a technical point of view, the biggest improvement was our final third entries and opportunities on goal,” he said.

“We created moments in the final third with a very deep block defence – we managed to break the Royals down.

“Our counter-attack was fantastic too so we improved in many facets.”


Image credit: Passion Creations