Heidelberg have enjoyed being the powerhouse of Victorian football in the past two years.

The Bergers were crowned 2018 NPL VIC champions on Sunday after a 2-1 win over Avondale FC at AAMI Park.

Former Bergers striker Kenny Athiu was snapped up by Melbourne Victory last season.

Zahra, a former Perth Glory and Melbourne City player, called for A-League clubs to have a look at their current squad.

“We probably have the best team outside the A-League in Australia and I think we’ve proven that in the last two seasons,” Zahra told FTBL.

“Collectively we’ve been really well balanced and everyone has contributed, so it’s been a good year across the whole board.

“I’m actually quite surprised players like Alex Schiavo, Andrew Cartanos and Josh Wilkins in particular haven’t had a sniff or even a trial. This year we’ve had no player get called up to trial with an A-League club.

“It’s sort of a bit of an injustice for our players and I definitely think we have some talent that could step up to the next level and should get an opportunity.

“A lot of NPL players get noticed more in New South Wales as opposed to Melbourne because there are more teams there.

“All those things get frustrating where you have to wait until the FFA Cup to get noticed and there’s all that recycling happens as opposed to giving an opportunity to new talent.”



Celebrations for Sunday night’s Grand Final triumph were put on hold as they face Bentleigh away in tomorrow night’s FFA Cup quarter-final.

Zahra said the heartache of losing last year’s Grand Final and losing in the NPL nationals semi-final during the week motivated them on Sunday.

He said they were keen to prolong their season in the cup.

“Just quietly, we’re hoping to be the first NPL club to make the FFA Cup Final,” he said.

“We don’t want to overdo ourselves, we’re hoping we can get past this result tomorrow night and if we get a home final anything can happen.

“To be the first NPL team in the Final would be massive for both the club and players as well.

“The club have done so much for us behind the scenes that to gain a little bit more exposure to the club and the board, it’d be extra special for them and us as well.

“There’s no more Victorian football, so you’d hope people are getting as much NPL football into them before next season. We’re hoping for a good crowd.”