It’ll be a new experience for the whole Northern Knights list this weekend, with the club playing TAC Cup finals for the first time in four years.
The last time the Knights made finals was in 2013, when they lost to Eastern Ranges in a semi-final. On that day, a kid named Marcus Bontempelli kicked two goals for the Knights.
None of the current playing group was old enough to be part of that squad but Knights’ coach Justin Wenke said the club would make sure they enjoyed the finals experience this week.
“It’s a good opportunity to have a crack at finals,” he said. “We had a good win against Murray Bushrangers last week to seal our spot.”
The Knights, who finished eighth, know they have a challenge on their hands to get a finals win. They are yet to beat a top four team this season.
They play minor premiers Oakleigh Chargers.
“It’s back to 0-0 and hopefully we get good conditions and start well,” Wenke said.
“We played well last week and for a half this week [against finals] sides, but now there’s no points or percentage on offer.
“We’ve got a bit of an underdog status. Not even our 19-year-old players have played finals with us.
“We’ve got nothing to lose and we’re going to enjoy the week and the game. We want to play well in the first quarter and get momentum …you never know what will happen.”
The Knights enter the finals on the back of a loss to Sandringham Dragons on Saturday.
After an even first half the Dragons did all the damage in the third quarter, winning 14.13 (97)-8.4 (52).
Wenke said not for the first time this season they had little lapses which cost them dearly.
“We had a reasonable start and were competitive for the first half,” he said. “We were outplayed in the second half. They kicked 5.3 to nothing in the third quarter with the breeze.”
It was all single goalkickers for the Knights, while Hamish Brayshaw kicked five goals for the Dragons in a best-on-ground performance.
Tom McKenzie, Christian Farchione, Matthew Harman and Alexander Federico were named the Knights best.