Melton Wolves will play off for the Gridiron Victoria men’s division 2 championship in just their second season.
After finishing bottom last season, the Wolves have surprised everyone, including themselves, with their improvement.
The Wolves finished the regular season in second, earning themselves a finals berth.
On Saturday, they easily accounted for Western Crusaders II to seal a grand final spot.
The club’s president and men’s coach, Tiff Lykke, said the development of the side had been remarkable.
Lykke, the first female coach of a men’s side in Australia, said that despite being a minority sport, the club had 50 players for its men’s side.
“We’ve been around two and half years,” she said. “After finishing bottom last season, our focus was on improving this year.
“The hard work and sacrifices you make have paid off.”
The Wolves entered their semi-final against the Crusaders as favourites, having won both the regular season games between the sides.
The Wolves were able to control the game from start to finish for a 20-0 win.
Making the grand final even more special for the Wolves, it will be played at their home ground in Melton.
They will play Northern Raiders, who defeated Monash Barbarians 7-6 in the other semi-final.
Lykke said Gridiron Victoria chose the location weeks ago.
“The chance to win the championship game at your home ground is pretty amazing,” she said. “I think our ground is the best ground. When they asked, we weren’t going to say no.”
Lykke believes the grand final will be an even match, with the sides 1-1 in the head-to-head record this season.
The Raiders finished on top of the ladder, one win ahead of the Wolves.
“They won the first match and we won the second,” she said. “It is going to be a good match and I think evenly matched. Those who don’t look at the scores will think they are favourites, as they finished on top of the ladder.”
Whatever the result, the Wolves will keep on building momentum.
Lykke said they would likely remain in division 2 next season, regardless of the grand final result.
She said they would look to add a women’s side and would eventually like to have junior teams.
The grand final will run from 11am at MacPherson Park Recreation Reserve, Melton, on Saturday.
The division 1 grand final, Vic Bowl XXXIII, will follow, with the Western Raiders playing Melbourne Uni Royals.