ROWVILLE Eagles will be all but promoted to the FFV Provisional League 2 if they beat Eltham Redbacks at Eltham this Saturday.
The Eagles moved back to top spot on the FFV Provisional League 3 ladder, beating second-placed Old Brighton 3-0.
Eagles coach Alex Halikias said his side would be "75 per cent" towards promotion if it beat the Redbacks because it would open an 11-point gap between the Eagles and third-placed Redbacks with eight games to play.
The top two teams win promotion for next season. "It's like a finals match for us: if we win it would probably eliminate them from the promotion race," he said.
The Eagles' win over Old Brighton on Saturday was powered by the return of central defenders Dragan Sember and Remus Ladar.
Halikias said the duo were his first-choice pair at the back. "Dragan was out for eight weeks, so we haven't had them together round four. It was probably one of our best games of the season. The guys did the job and were very disciplined. We had about 60-70 per cent possession for the game and scored three quality goals."
Younis Tufan, Nemanja Salamandic and Adrian Gheorghiu scored for the Eagles.
Regardless of whether the Eagles secure automatic promotion, their aim was to win the league title by finishing the season on top of the ladder, Halikias said.
"The club's goal was always to get promoted but we want to put the icing on the cake and win the league. My goal has always been to finish in top spot, and with the squad we have that would be a fair result. I've told the guys how we play over these final games will define our history."
FFV provisional league 3 ladder: Rowville Eagles 33 points, +25; Old Brighton 31, +11; Eltham Redbacks 25, 12; University of Melbourne 23, +11; Old Trinity 23, +6; Baxter 21, +5; Noble Park 20, +1; Whitehorse United 11, -3; Glen Waverley 11, -10; Brighton 10, -13; Ringwood City 6, -19; White Star Dandenong 1, -23.