No matter the result, Saturday’s WAFLW grand final between Subiaco and Peel Thunder at Provident Financial Oval will have a fairytale ending.
For the Lions, it comes on the back of a near-perfect season which has been tarnished by injuries to seven of their best 22. But despite the odds, they have lost just one game in 2020.
For the Thunder, victory would cap off a remarkable turn in fortunes and see the Mandurah team go from wooden spooners in 2019 to the second-ever WAFLW premiers.
Lions captain Hayley Miller has plenty of motivation, having been part of the undefeated Fremantle AFLW side which was denied the chance to play for a premiership earlier this year because of the coronavirus crisis.
“It was pretty disappointing when all of that went down and you’re just left wanting more. There was no finish to that season,” she said.
“To be here in the grand final, hopefully, we go one better. I am really hungry to finish the season strong.
“I will definitely be trying to lead from the front and use my experience in big games to will my team over the line.”
Miller’s side has been devastated by injury, with fellow Docker Janelle Cuthbertson (MCL), West Coast’s Beatrice Devlyn (hamstring), Lara Filocamo (ankle), Claire Ortlepp (ankle) and Rianna Matulin (ACL) all unavailable for the decider.
But Subiaco still have plenty of experience in the team and Miller could not use injuries as an excuse.
“We’ll capitalise on the fact (Peel Thunder) are a young team,” she said.
“We will try to rattle them early and put a lot of pressure on their young girls.”
Peel Thunder co-captain Abby Barnden said she was confident her team could get their first WAFLW win over Subiaco in the decider.
“This year our big focus was team footy, I think last year we struggled to gel with having a lot of younger girls come up and having our older players there,” she said.
“I think it will be a tough one, it’s definitely not going to be an easy game, but I think we can match them and hopefully tip them at the end there.
“For us it’s about playing team footy, making sure we back ourselves and come at the footy harder. Subiaco are definitely a hard hit-out, they’ve got a lot of grit so we need to match that and top it off.”