BATTLE READY: The Grafton Ghosts reserve grade side has kept calm and level headed this week ahead of tomorrow’s grand final clash. Photo: Greg Moss
BATTLE READY: The Grafton Ghosts reserve grade side has kept calm and level headed this week ahead of tomorrow’s grand final clash. Photo: Greg Moss

Ghosts reserves will rely on discipline to win

THE Grafton Ghosts reserve grade side has prided itself on sheer defensive effort in recent weeks and the game plan for tomorrow's grand final will be no different.

"It is going to be a little bit of boring footy to begin with, but that is just how we play," reserve grade coach Warwick Brown said. "We wear down opposition sides by playing good defensive football and winning the game of field position.

"Then once we wear them down, our boys can start to play a bit more free-flowing footy. With the halves pairing we have and Jake Frame coming off the bench, there will be a lot of ad-libbed footy in the second half."

The Ghosts come up against a strong Sawtell Panthers side that has been the cream of the competition this season, only losing one match all year - to the Grafton Ghosts.

"We are the only side who has beat Sawtell all season," Brown said. "And I still do not think we played our best football against the Panthers. So to beat them once and then only just lose and not playing our best, I take some positives out of that.

"Last week we played really well against the Rebels and I think if we play like that on Sunday we should have no problem retaining the premiership."

The Grafton Ghosts have retained a good complement of players from the side that won the reserve grade crown last season, with a lot of the more experienced heads working to guide any younger boys this week.

Last year's premiership-winning captain-coach Phil Warby has been a level head in the side all season and has worked to keep the younger boys in the club focused in the anticipation for tomorrow's Grand Final.

"We are pretty lucky we have majority of last year's squad still there," Warby said. "We have a couple of boys who missed the final last year like Jay Olsen, who broke his hand in round one last year and had to watch from the sidelines as we lifted the trophy. He hasn't missed a game this year and is really pumped up ahead of Sunday.

"We have a few new blokes around the club this season who have not been to a grand final before but we are trying to keep a lid on excitement levels and making sure the boys keep level headed.

"Anything can happen on a grand final day but we are prepared for what happens."

The experienced Warby may not even take the field tomorrow, with the veteran player preparing to fall on his sword if Matt Grayson can make it home from a family holiday in time for kick-off.

"I am more than willing to give up my spot for him to come back and play," Warby said. "He won't get in until late Sunday morning, but if he arrives on time I will take a seat on the bench.

"I have won first grade premierships, I have captained the club. I have done it all. I would be more happy to see Matty out there."



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