MANOR LAKES V CAROLINE SPRINGS – GRAND FINAL
STORM CHASING PREMIERSHIP GLORY
By KRISTEN ALEBAKIS
MANOR Lakes has been working towards Saturday’s Victoria University Polytechnic Senior Women’s Grand Final for the past 12 months.
The Storm reached last year’s decider in the combined WRFL/EDFL Competition, but lost to a dominant Keilor team.
This season they have been a force to be reckoned with. They have had the perfect season to date, winning all their games. Their percentage at the end of the regular season was 2708%.
Coach Nathan Smithwick said while the season had been perfect, there was still work to be done.
“We still have one more game and we’re looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
“The position we have put ourselves in within a game has allowed us to rest some players who were sore for whatever reason.”
Smithwick said the club was excited about potentially creating history and winning the inaugural WRFL Senior Women’s Premiership.
“It would mean the world to everyone involved in the team,” he said.
“A lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears have gone into everything we have done.
“Every one of our players are high on confidence and it shows not only at training, but also the past few games. We are happy and excited for the upcoming game.”
Manor Lakes will take on Caroline Springs in Saturday’s Grand Final. The two teams have been the best performed teams in the Women’s competition, finishing in first and second place on the ladder after the home and away season.
The Storm defeated the Lakers by 60-points in the Second Semi Final two weeks ago and will go into the decider full of confidence.
Finally, Smithwick wanted to thank all the people behind the scenes, who put in countless amounts of hours each week to help support him and the team.
“I want to think anyone who has helped throughout this season. Jake my assistant has been fantastic, my two amazing trainers, Cheryl and Leanne. Alisa for being a fantastic team manager. Stu, Aaron, Jay, Luke for all the jobs they do week in week out, but also a massive thank you to Shane and the club for their support,” he said.
“Lastly, to my players, coaching you all has been absolutely amazing over the past two seasons, Thank you for listening to me, believing in the things I teach you and being such caring and amazing people. I am so proud of you all.”
EXCITED LAKERS ARE UP FOR THE CHALLENGE
By KRISTEN ALEBAKIS
CAROLINE Springs coach Anthea Stathakis says the commitment and hard work put in by each of her players this season is the reason why they are playing off in the Grand Final.
“Our goals at the beginning of the season were to achieve and play a high standard of football,” she said.
“The want of the team to improve and play a good brand of football has helped us win more games than what we had anticipated.”
The Lakers defeated Spotswood by 28-points in Saturday’s Preliminary Final, earning a spot in the Victoria University Polytechnic Senior Women’s Grand Final and a shot at taking on Manor Lakes.
Stathakis said this season they have had their challenges, but the group has managed to grow and learn.
“Like every other club, in a hard hitting competition, you suffer your injuries and it is basically the manner in which you are able to manage your losses, which helps you move forward and continue to play a good brand of football,” she said.
“The support of our Senior Players and Coaching Staff has seen expediential growth and confidence in our younger players to trust their instinct and skills to help us get across the line in all of our games.”
At the beginning of the season, Stathakis said her goal was to play and win the Grand Final. She said being able to hold up the Premiership Cup would be a great honour.
“For us to win, it would be the ultimate achievement of the goals that we set a as a team at the start of the season,” she said.
“Leading into the Grand Final, obviously nerves are up, enthusiasm is up, excitement is up. We now need to put that all on the field on Grand Final day, play the best we can possibly play and hope to bring home the silverware.”
Stathakis said she wanted to thank all the volunteers at Caroline Springs Football Club
“A big thankyou to my playing group for the support they have given me throughout the year. I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls, who are and will always have a special place in my heart,” she said.
VU POLYTECHNIC SENIOR WOMEN’S GRAND FINAL
Manor Lakes v Caroline Springs
Saturday – Avalon Airport Oval, 5.15pm