Yuraygir mountain awaits Bobcats in Under 13s decider
"WE'VE already won,” was the comment from Maclean Green coach Craig Moran.
It wasn't a statement of over-confidence, but rather a glowing appraisal of what his team has already achieved this season just to reach the grand final.
"I was happy just to win some games but they've finished third and made our way into the grand final,” he said. "As far as I'm concerned we've won already.
"I've been coaching kids and playing sport forever and I've never been more proud of a group of people; everyone from the parents to the kids playing.
"We're a real tight-knit team who are all mates and have had campfires together. We work on the motto 'do it for your mate, not yourself'.”
The side typifies the strong culture of women's football in Maclean, with girls making up more than half the side.
Last weekend Maclean Green pulled out its most courageous performance of the season to beat second-placed Yamba Breakers 2-1 in extra time.
Today an even tougher proposition awaits at Barry Watts Oval in Maclean in the form of minor premiers Yuraygir Utd FC Bears.
"It's hard to beat the Yamba and Yuraygir teams,” said Moran, who has coached his playing unit since under-6s. "They're flawless across the board, so just to compete with them and hold them at bay is a victory.”
This year Adrian Deville took on head coaching responsibilities for the Bears in place of Peter Lynch, and has done an exceptional job, with the side dropping just one match throughout the preliminary rounds.
Yuryagir FC Utd president Jake Trevillian was confident the team will put in a good performance in the decider.
"It's been a good team effort this year from a group of girls and boys who have grown up playing together,” Trevillian said.
"They have been a bit light on for subs lately and will be carrying a couple of injuries into the game. So we're expecting a tough game against Maclean, who always seem to be harder to beat on their home ground.”
The future looks bright for Yuraygir FC's junior ranks, with its Under-10s undefeated across all competition for a third season in a row.