Western Pride centre back Cameron Crestani makes a run during the NPL grand final against Moreton Bay United.
Western Pride centre back Cameron Crestani makes a run during the NPL grand final against Moreton Bay United. Chris Simpson

A-League recruit finds best time to score surprise goal

WESTERN Pride's A-League recruit Cameron Crestani has experienced some exciting football during his six Brisbane Roar appearances in the national competition and Asian Champions League.

However, sharing in the Ipswich-based team's NPL Queensland grand final victory on Saturday night was up with his most enjoyable moments.

Yet he didn't know how to celebrate his surprise match-turning effort.

Crestani scored his first goal for Western Pride at the perfect time, boosting his team's hopes of a historic first state league title.

"When I came over here, you wouldn't have thought we'd be playing in a grand final and I'd be scoring one of the decisive goals in a grand final,'' the centre back said after Pride's 2-1 win over Moreton Bay United.

Crestani netted the vital first half goal after positioning himself in the goal mouth to convert a free kick from Joe Duckworth.

Far from being a set play, Crestani trusted his instincts.

"To be honest, I just went to him (Duckworth) and said I was going to take that,'' the team's regular free kick taker said.

"He (Duckworth) said 'just go with me' so I said I'd get in there and then low and behold I score a goal and I don't know what to do.''

He had to decide how to savour the moment after scoring from the outside of his foot.

Pride's late winner from a Dylan Wenzel-Halls free kick ignited a wonderful celebration in Ipswich.

"Just coming out here and seeing everyone's expression on their face and the support that we have really proves it was a good move to come out here.

"The community is such a tightknit community and we've got everyone supporting us.''

The former A-League defender said the Western Pride club  helped him concentrate on playing consistent football.

"It's been easy to settle in,'' he said. "The coaching staff, Pat (general manager Pat Boyle), the players, made it easy.''

As for the dramatic grand final finish, Crestani praised his team's commitment.

"We couldn't really settle into our usual routine so they made it hard for us,'' Crestani said. "But as this team always does, we find a way and Dylan's free kick was amazing.

"He said during the week that free kicks will decide it and he was practising his free kicks then he goes and does that.''

Crestani said apart from the immense joy, the victory provided a massive boost for the club.

"It really gets this team on the map,'' he said. "It really highlights we are a strong region and people shouldn't forget about us.

"The team previously has probably been known as an easybeat and in the lower half of the table but now we've really put our statement there and every team should fear us.''



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