VU Western Spurs and Greensborough will clash in the Mirvac Division 3 Women’s grand final at Epping Recreation Reserve on Sunday.
VU Western Spurs finished atop the table and head into the grand final in fantastic form, having won their past five matches.
As a result of finishing top of the ladder, the Spurs sat out the week one of the finals, before enjoying another rest of preliminary final weekend courtesy of a 16-point win over Laurimar in the second semi – which gave them the short route into the grand final.
Despite playing just one match over the past three weeks, Spurs coach Doreen Roberts believes her side has embraced the lead-up to the grand final.
“We’ve gone about it the way we have all season, just keeping things the same and keeping everyone in a really good routine,” Roberts told NFNL.org.au.
“It was a long season because we didn’t have any byes throughout the year, but all the girls have been really keen to keep getting down to the club. We’ve had some pretty intense training sessions with game simulation just to keep everyone ready.
“We’ve been able to rest while Greensborough haven’t, but they’ve also had the momentum of playing. We’ll wait and see on the weekend which one was better off but I’ll back our girls every day because I think having the break has done us some good.”
Greensborough overcame a hard-fought route to progress to the grand final after losing its qualifying final to Laurimar by two points.
This meant they met Hurstbridge in a knockout first semi final, where they accounted for an in-form Bridges line-up by 63 points. They then came full circle to defeat Laurimar in the preliminary final – having not conceded a goal in their past two wins.
Greensborough coach Stewart Lewis is confident of his side being able to carry its winning formula into the grand final.
“When we played Laurimar the first time it was a wet track and we’re a running side, so a dry track suits us. That helped us on the weekend,” Lewis said.
“At the start of the finals, the girls wanted to continue to play footy and thought that it’d be a bit more detrimental to have a bye.”
VU Western Spurs and Greensborough have had two close encounters this season, with the Spurs victorious in both clashes.
They won the first match by 11 points in Round 11 and then claimed a six-point thriller when they played off for the minor premiership in the final round of the season.
The Spurs will take heart out of their past victories over Greensborough, according to Roberts.
“We’ll take a lot of confidence out of our wins over Greensborough but at the same time we saw them play on the weekend against Laurimar and they’re obviously a great side,” Roberts said.
“Greensborough are very dangerous and it’s going to be a matter of who gets the upper hand on the day and who lasts the longest.”
With the welcome return of key players to the side, Lewis has full belief that his side has the ability to cause an upset in the biggest game of the season.
“We’ve got two players coming back in who will most likely sure up our backline and we’ve tinkered with our forward line,” Lewis said.
“We’ve got a fairly robust midfield that runs deep and we’re pretty confident that whatever the Spurs throw at us, we’ll handle it quite well.”
With a VU Western Spurs team remarkably featuring in the grand final in each of the three women’s divisions, Roberts’ side will kick off proceedings on what will be an historic day for the club, regardless of how many premierships they come away with.
“I wouldn’t say there is pressure to win because we know that regardless of what the result is, our club is incredibly proud of us and what we’ve been able to achieve this year,” she said.
“We are going for history and we want to win all three and I truly believe that we can. We can set up a really big day for our club which would be amazing.
“We’ll support each other no matter what, win or lose across all the divisions. We’ll be equally as proud of each other no matter the result but hopefully we’ll have a big club photo with all three premiership cups.”
Lewis and his Greensborough side are doing their best to maintain a sense of normality in the lead-up to the club’s first women’s grand final.
“It’s business as usual. We’ll get together on Saturday night and watch our win against Laurimar and hopefully get everyone on a high and settle their nerves,” Lewis said.
“The girls are quite comfortable knowing that they’ve made the grand final and whatever way the result goes, they’re more than happy that the club is now in a position where we have good advertising for the club.”
The first bounce of the Mirvac Division 3 Women’s grand final between VU Western Spurs and Greensborough is at 9:30am on Sunday at Epping Recreation Reserve.