A grand final sweep is on the cards for the Inverell Saints as all three grades face their rivals at Varley Oval this Saturday.
“It’s fantastic! We’re over the moon that we’re able to get all three in the grand final,” Saints president Jason Gobbert said. He hopes the town will come together for the historic moment.
“It’s never been done before.”
The women’s team regained their confidence last weekend when they took on the New England Nomads after a pair of losses to the Tamworth Kangaroos.
Leading from the outset, the locals kept their form throughout, securing a convincing win of 8.13-61 to 2.6-18. While an injury took rising star Kyla Hamilton out of the game early on, Gobbert said Georgia Strang proved her worth on the day.
As they prepare to get their revenge on the Kangaroos this Saturday, Gobbert said the Saints were “a team to be reckoned with”.
“There’s a fair rivalry between the two teams now, so I’m pretty sure they do not want to lose to the Kangaroos,” he said. While he admitted Tamworth was tough, mobile and had a strong midfield, Gobbert said Inverell’s strength was their ability to work as a tight unit.
“I think they’re really close, and they’re really driven to win. They hate losing,” he said.
The juniors will be looking to make their mark on Saturday after reaching the grand final through a forfeit from Armidale caused by a personal tragedy.
“That’s not the way you want to go into a grand final,” Gobbert said.
Their main rivals, facing the Moree Suns will prove a challenge, said Gobbert.
“They’ve got the leading goal kicker and current best and fairest player of the league on their side in Daniel Brown. He’s a fantastic player and if Inverell wants to win, they’ve just got to nullify his impact,” he said.
With the junior captain and star goal kicker Lachlan Martin out with an injury, while brothers Ethan and Jordan Sue-Fong rejoin, the locals will have to adjust to a new team chemistry.
“It gives the opportunity for someone else to stand up and take the bull by the horns and kick some goals,” Gobbert said.
Senior coach Justin Pay will have a full, uninjured squad to choose from for the grand final.
“There’s no excuses come Saturday,” Gobbert said.
The locals will be working to take down last year’s reigning champions the Gunnedah Bulldogs. Formidable opponents, the Bulldogs’ strongest players include last years’ best and fairest Jacob Spackman and experienced representative captain Andrew George.
Gobbert said the Saints’ best strategy will be to stick to Pay’s game plan.
“It’s worked all year. It’s worked against Gunnedah in the last couple of games, so there’s no reason to go away from that. If we stay disciplined and follow his game plan, I’m quietly confident that we can get the job done,” he said.
Locals are welcome to come and support the Saints, with the Juniors playing at 10am, the Women at noon and the Seniors at 2.10pm. The canteen will be open from 9.30am, the bar will operate from noon and gold coin donations will be collected for the Lawlor family fundraiser.