It couldn't have worked out better for this finals series as the two run away clubs now have the chance to battle for the holy grail and the big winners cup. Also bragging rights to be crowned the finals champion.
Its always been about winning the league but the finals series is also starting to become a big thing as well.
Somerset host the game again for the second year strait and will be full of confidence going into this game.
Nigel Brown said this"Somerset Sharks are eagerly awaiting our opportunity to take another bite at Riverside Olympic. There has been a lot of discussion about how Olympic should have been premiers as they went through the season undefeated, however facts show that we won more games, therefore earned more points, and the team with the most points wins.
There will be no excuses this week, both teams no doubt will have forced changes due to player unavailability, however both clubs have good depth and I'm sure they will bring a more than competitive and hungry side down to Shark Park.
The Sharks will be missing only two players from their normal squad, but they are big losses. 2013 George Dale winner, Kaimon Johnson is out until 2016 after having a shoulder reconstruction prior to the Burnie game 2 weeks ago. Our captain and midfield general, Keegan Wells, has work commitments which he cannot avoid, and indeed had last weeks game been on the Saturday, he would have had to miss that one.
We welcome back the experienced Garry Hamilton and I imagine that youngster Matty Jordan should hold his spot after a great debut last Sunday. Matty turned 16 on the Saturday prior and was promoted straight into the first eleven where, after the usual settling in period, really played well and managed to grab 2 goals for himself at the same time.
We have injury worries with Astyn Johnson and Elliot Stewart both coming off early last week, however I believe they will both be right for Saturday's clash.
No doubt we will play this game no different to all the others over the past 2 years,that is to settle into a fast and strong passing game with emphasis on attack and scoring more goals that the opposition. It was noticable last week that the main difference between us and Rangers was their inability to score goals, Olympic have a reasonable forward line and no doubt will test the pace of our defensive line. However we now boast a four prong scoring attack with Johnson, Nettleton, Smith and Jordan all capable of scoring multiple times.
I am hoping to see a high scoring, free flowing final, something like 6-3. Plenty to entertain the crowd and ensure a memorable match for all concerned and a great reward for a club that has worked its butt off for the past two years to rebuild itself.
On the other hand Riverside will be out for redemption after leading the pack only to have the title swept from under their feet in the last round.
Coach Wayne Penfold said this"There are a couple of little niggles after the Semi Final clash with Devonport, but otherwise the squad won’t change from that game.
Somerset are the Champions so they are obviously a very good side. They haven’t conceded a lot of goals, but have scored plenty. In the two contests we had with them this year though we had a win and a draw, each time with only 10 men. Other teams seemed to struggle against Somerset, but certainly gave us a run for our money on a few occasions. I'm not sure if it’s because we match up well against Somerset and didn't hold any fear going into those contests or what it is, but we were the oThere has been a great rivalry between the two clubs this year as we separated ourselves from the rest of the pack very early in the season. This made it a two horse race and provided a great finish to the NPL season. We weren’t quite good enough to take the title off their hands and they havenly team to take points of Somerset this year.
The Final is an opportunity for us to get some reward for the season we have had. It wouldn’t be a common occurrence that a team that finishes the season undefeated misses out on a title. That in itself is motivation to play well. Like I previously stated though, we aren’t intimidated by Somerset and we will go into the game looking to take the contest to them and try to play the good brand of football that we have shown all season. Possession football is what we are about and we will not change our approach for this game. I think there are some areas in Somerset’s play that we can take advantage of and if we can execute those then we will get the result that we want.
It would obviously mean a lot for the players and myself to win the Final. We will have a bus load of supporters down to watch the game so we will want to give them something to cheer about at the final whistle also. The title was the main focus for the year and we fell just short, so we really want to take out the Finals series.
If we can play to our strengths and maintain possession of the ball and take our chances in front of goal then that will be key to our success. We have been creating plenty of chances but not capitalising on them. Somerset have proven to be a good defensive side, so if we have limited chances, we need to be clinical and put them away. Limiting the opportunities for Somerset’s lethal strikers will also be critical. They have scored close to 100 goals this season which is a huge tally so we need to be very tight defensively.
The same squad will turn out for the match on Saturday. The final line-up won’t be decided upon until our final training session or on the morning of Saturday.
This will be a great game and are expecting a large crowd
SHARK PARK 2PM SATURDAY