YOOGALI Soccer Club's successful Real Juice Cup campaign has come at a cost, with club veteran Steve Crombie ruled out for 12 months with a knee injury.
In a hammerblow for the newly-crowned knockout champions, Crombie's season came to a premature end on the weekend when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Coach Sante Donadel, who was in Melbourne when YSC outclassed Hanwood FC 1-0 in the final on Sunday, said the news was "terrible".
"He's done all the hard work and he's been there since day one of the pre-season. He was looking really good," he said.
"That's football unfortunately. Everyone goes through the same thing. You've just got to deal with it as it comes.
"Hopefully that's the last major injury we have for the year.
"He'll still be helping us out, don't worry he'll always be there, but it's a big loss."
Matthew Gilston's Real Juice Cup was also wrecked by injury, with swelling in his knee forcing him out of the tournament after just the first game.
"We only had two subs for the last game, apparently a few major injuries and a couple of twisted ankles," Donadel said.
"And the boys still pulled through. That tells me I've got something to work with there."
The club will not seek a replacement for Crombie, who has been with YSC for close to a decade.
"He is an important part of our club more than anything else. But we're lucky this year so far, we've got a bit of depth there," Donadel said.
"What we've got right now, we've got."
YSC will have the weekend off before the club's pre-season hits the home stretch, with a friendly against reigning champions Hanwood Juniors pencilled in for Thursday, followed by a trip to face Shepparton South.