DANIEL McBreen couldn’t resist the chance to give it back to the Broadmeadow supporters on Sunday after scoring a second goal to put Edgeworth up 2-1 in the Northern NSW National Premier League grand final at Magic Park.
After winning a back-post header from a Bren Hammel cross to equalise in the 27th minute, McBreen was on the spot to guide in the decisive goal in the 71st minute from a Hammel cross.
Never afraid to let rival fans now about his goals, the 39-year-old took celebrations to the Magic supporters behind the benches.
“I was getting a bit of stick from behind the bench,” McBreen said. “They were all telling me I was too old and I needed to retire, and I thought if I need to retire there’s a few guys out there who need to as well,” he laughed. “It was just one for the old boys today. I love the banter from the crowd, I always enjoy it, so it’s good to give it back to them as well.”
The score remained as the Eagles claimed back-to-back premiership doubles under coach Damian Zane.
McBreen, 16 years after he came off the bench in Edgeworth’s 3-0 grand final loss to Hamilton, was named man of the match. It capped a memorable and satisfying return to the club which will stretch into next season.
“It’s obviously nice to get personal accolades, but you can’t do it without your teammates,” McBreen said.
“I was a little bit sceptical about coming back and playing again at NPL, but when I came back and saw them play a couple of games last year, and I had a couple of beers with them, and I realised they’re a really good bunch of guys, and there’s some really good attitudes there. And the way Zaney is with them and the way they are with him, how they take everything on board, it’s made it a really enjoyable year.”
The 2013 Central Coast Mariners grand final man of the match and A-League golden boot played a pivotal role for the Eagles, who trailed 1-0 in the 12th minute when James Virgili made the most of a failed clearance by keeper Jim Fogarty.
Zane said it was no surprise McBreen rose to the occasion.
“He was massive today,” Zane said. “Just blokes running off him, he was turning and creating stuff, and then he got on the scoresheet, which was pleasing, because we talked about giving him early service and we did that.”
Magic co-coach Robert Virgili said: “Macca steps up for these big games. He knows what it’s all about, he knows how to put himself about and you can’t beat that experience, and he's quality.”
“Put the quality on top of it and he's a handful in these big games.”