Boambee coach Neil Witherdin is already celebrating ahead of the women’s 2nd Division grand final against Urunga on Saturday.
That’s because he says it’s more about the journey this time than the destination.
The Eagles lost five players from the team which took to the pitch in last year’s decider – again, against Urunga – so Neil said just to make the 2020 Big Dance had been a mighty achievement.
“At training last night we were all extremely happy to be in the grand final because that was our goal,” he said.
“The players we brought in this year have either never played soccer before, or they’ve come up from the second and third divisions.
“It’s been very difficult for us. Urunga have gone ahead (compared to last year) and we’ve gone backwards.
“But we’re just going to go in and enjoy it and have fun. We’ll try and work hard for the full 90 minutes and not be influenced by the result.
“Urunga are so well coached, so dominant and so well structured. To be honest it will be a bloody miracle if we win.”
Urunga coach Trevor Martin said the Raiders were “quietly confident” ahead of the decider – but were mindful that they need to be ‘on’.
“They’ve (Boambee) got a good squad and some talented players,” Trevor said.
Boambee finished second on the ladder in the regular season, well adrift of a Urunga team who in 14 matches scored 161 goals and conceded just four. Sublime stuff.
“It’s been a work in progress and this year it’s all fallen into place,” Trevor said.
While the superb effort across the regular season has beyond impressed, the Urunga coach said it was important for the team to perform on grand final day and deliver the high quality football they have shown throughout 2020.
Boambee’s Neil said it had been a pleasure to coach the new look Eagles, and made special mention of the senior playing group.
“The way they’ve supported and carried the younger ones who have come in has been so good,” he said.
“And it’s terrific to see those senior players go into another grand final.”
Photo courtesy Brad Greenshields