It has been a season of firsts for Westbourne Grammarians in Victorian Amateur Football Association women’s division 3.
The Warriors have ticked off the milestones – first game, first goal, first win, first finals appearance, first finals win.
And now they can add first grand final to that growing list.
Inaugural coach Emma Pawlowski will be in charge of the Warriors’ big day when they take on Preston Bullants in the grand final at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Sunday morning.
Pawlowski will implore her team to cherish the moment.
“Sometimes people can go through their whole lives without playing in a grand final, so I want the girls to remember this week and enjoy the moments that will come,” she said.
Westbourne’s appearance in the season decider is a superb feat considering where the team was at five months ago. When the Warriors played in a pre-season tournament, they had to borrow overflow players from opposition teams just to have enough bodies to compete.
The Warriors started pre-season with eight players, then four left. By the time the tournament came around, they had a grand total of 11.
Fast forward five months and Pawlowski has 30 players to choose from and there will be some heartbreak at the selection table.
“We’ve been recruiting throughout the season,” she said.
“We gained a full forward in round three, a really good ruck in round five, about five or six players from Caroline Springs – and the team also kept learning.”
Westbourne will head into the grand final on the back of an eight-game winning streak. The Warriors are full of confidence after beating MCC by 36 points in the preliminary final on Sunday.
Victoria Pettit, Samantha Radlof, Sarah Knight and Rennae Robinson were driving forces in the midfield.
Knight and Robinson rotated tagging roles on MCC’s Holly Bailey, the league best-and-fairest winner, and limited her impact.
In defence, Shannon Colgan and Caitlyn Snow were outstanding, while Brianna Herman and Lauren Spark kicked two goals apiece.
Westbourne has one more “first” to achieve for 2018 – win a premiership.
Pawlowski is confident.
“This week will just be as fun as possible, but we will be sticking to our game. It’s as simple as that.”