Glory up for grabs in Under 12 decider
UNDER 12s: "If we win the grand final it is all well and good but if we don't it will be just as good.
"The most important thing is they all want to come off with a smile.”
Those were the words of Yamba Breakers Under 12s coach Mark Perrie, who is standing right behind his troop of players as they enter their first ever competitive grand final.
Yamba, who were the benchmark team of the competition after going undefeated, will square off against rivals Westlawn Tigers at Barry Watts Oval.
While this has been the first season that the players have been involved in competitive football, Perrie said it has been a seamless transition.
"It was almost just a natural progression for them,” he said. "They are still playing against the same kids they have been for years just now there is a bit more on the line.
"They were unbeaten for 16 games which was a great run and quite a rare record. I think they are now just looking forward to finishing off the season right.”
After coaching the same crop of youngsters for the past seven years, Perrie said his side have become "just like mates”.
And it is this relationship with the coach that has helped the players blossom throughout the 2017 season.
"We train, we work hard, we do our thing but we always have a good laugh at the end of it,” he said.
"I am just so fortunate as a coach to have the group I do. Every single one of the kids puts in. We have a 100% work rate 100% of the time.”
The Breakers will need their high work rate as they come up against a hungry Tigers outfit that is brimming with confidence after a strong 4-1 final win against Westlawn Panthers last weekend.
Tigers co-coach Liam Rodgers said his side had trained well this week and were focused on the task at hand in the decider.
"We have done a lot of basic drills this week and worked on a few strategic plays to bring Yamba undone,” Rodgers said.
"They were pretty relaxed going into last weekend's game so they should be right this week.
"I think they should be just as happy to have made a grand final, the kids have put in a lot of effort this season.”
While the Breakers have gotten the better of the ledger between the sides this year, today's grand final is anyone's game.