It will be a history-making day in the Western Region Football League this Saturday.
Recent expansion clubs Wyndham Suns and minor premiers Point Cook Centrals will be gunning for their first senior flags when they meet in the division 3 grand final at Avalon Airport Oval.
Suns coach Michael Boothey said it was a motivating factor for the players ahead of the big day.
“We can create history for the club,” he said.
“If we can win, these players will go down as being part of the first senior premiership for the club.
“Point Cook Centrals would be the same as well, so both clubs have a fair bit of history riding on this.”
Wyndham advanced to the grand final on the back of a remarkable 27-point win over Tarneit in the preliminary final at Pennell Reserve on Sunday.
The Suns trailed at three-quarter time by four points and began the last quarter a man down after a yellow card was issued to star forward Steven Neralic, but they proceeded to kick the last five goals of the game – two coming while they were a man down – to storm to victory.
“We knew it was going to be a close game, but it was too close,” Boothey said.
“I’m glad it finished the way it did because I don’t think I could’ve handled the nerves much longer.
“We were a player short for the first 10 minutes of the last quarter, so we were sort of looking down the barrel a bit.
“The boys seemed to lift when the chips are down and we’re up against it.”
It is that never-say-die attitude that Boothey loves about his Wyndham team.
It was the second time in as many weeks that the Suns have had to play a man short in a cut-throat final and delivered the goods.
“The same thing happened last week,” Boothey said.
“We were a player short in the third quarter and came out and kicked five goals against Braybrook in the semis.
“The boys certainly find something when they have to, which is a characteristic that you want in the side.
“It must be in the mindset of knowing they need to work harder.
“It’s almost like, I’ve got to roll up, I’ve got to get to that contest, I’ve got to run harder.
“It’s a really strange thing, but it’s good that the players are able to lift and do that.”
Wyndham will need all hands on deck to overcome Point Cook Centrals.
After toppling arch rivals Tarneit on the back of five goals to Steven Neralic, three goals each to Hayden Iannacone and Haidyn Boothey and dominant play from Paul Tomelty and Chris DeBono, the Suns will now face another team in Point Cook Centrals that they have built up a strong rivalry with since their arrival in senior football in 2015.
Three of the Suns stars – spearhead Neralic, DeBono and Ryan Barnwell – are former Point Cook Centrals players.
DeBono and Barnwell were former captains of the Sharks.
“There are a lot of guys in division 3 who
have moved around the clubs,” Boothey said. “There’s three players off the top of my head who have played at Sanctuary Lakes.
“That makes it a bit more interesting.”
Point Cook Centrals have been in the senior competition since 2013, when they entered as the Sanctuary Lakes Sharks before changing their name in the off season.