Goals have come naturally to Chris Payne at Sydney United 58 FC this season, but he would trade them all for a championship in two weeks’ time.
The former Sydney FC striker has found his richest vein of scoring form yet since returning to the PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues New South Wales Men’s competition in 2012.
He scored 19 goals for Manly United FC last season but bettered that this campaign with 22 goals in 21 matches to take the golden boot in the home-and-away season.
"It’s a good thing to get, but really I have to give it to my team-mates," Payne said.
"Everyone from the defence through to the midfielders contribute to that. I’m just the one that kicks the ball into the back of the net."
Still, that is a pretty important job when it comes to winning football matches – something that Payne and United have excelled at this season.
That regular season form makes them championship favourites and United will hope to cope with that expectation a little better than their Major Semi-Final opponents Blacktown City FC did last season.
Last year, it was Blacktown who entered the finals as favourites after winning the Premiership, and while United took it out this season, they have not allowed their match-sharpness to fade during their week off.
"I think we are ready. It’s not like we just took the week off. We trained the same and played a game [against a Western Sydney Wanderers XI] on the weekend.
"The sessions have been sharp.
"We went down 2-1 against the Wanderers but we gave them a good run and they played a strong team.
"I think they played their best team minus Nikolai Topor-Stanley and it was just good for us to see where we are at in terms of that level of football as well.
"If we turn up and play at that level, then I think we will get the win."
As good as United have been this season, if they have had a bogey side it has been Blacktown, who recently knocked them out of the FFA Cup in the Round of 32, but Payne says no one at United is paying too much attention to that.
"Nothing has been said of it. We still believe we can control the game and if we do that we are confident of the win," he said.
Whatever happens, Payne has no doubt about his affinity for Sydney United 58.
"I’m loving it here. Honestly, it’s been the best club I have played at in the league," he said.
"It is very professional. We get fed after every session, everything is washed and everything is ready for us when we get to the ground.
"It is like an A-League club, so hopefully we can reward the club with more success."
Sunday 28th August
Sydney United 58 v Blacktown City @ Sydney United Sports Centre
-By Matt Galea