A CLASSIC derby battle is setting the scene for this weekend’s Group 20 under 18s grand final.
The Leeton Greens will line up against the undefeated Yanco-Wamoon Hawks on Sunday in the premiership match in what is sure to be a thrilling game.
Leeton coach Jayke Stevenson has predicted the game will go down to the final minutes and was hopeful it would be his side holding up the premiership trophy at the end.
Both sides have been neck-and-neck all season, but the Greens will go in as underdogs having not yet been able to get one over their rivals in 2018.
Their last match up in the major semi-final was a close affair, with the Hawks winning by four points.
Stevenson while the team would have liked to have won that match, the loss also worked in their favour.
“After we lost that game we played the Point (Darlington Point-Coleambally) in the prelim and we had a really good win to make the grand final,” he said.
“It was probably our best game all year, so we’ll definitely take the confidence and momentum from that into the grand final.”
Several of the Greens 18s side have had the privilege of playing first grade in 2018, which will also hold them in good stead on Sunday.
The team has been working hard all year and finished the home and away season in second spot behind the Hawks.
Training throughout finals has been focused on the team’s structure and focusing on areas that needed work.
“We’ve been working on our defence a lot,” Stevenson said.
“That’s going to be pretty crucial on Sunday. I think whoever can keep hold of the ball and builds the momentum will win.
“It’s going to be a really interesting game. I know the boys are up for it.”
For many of Leeton’s players Sunday will mark their last game in the under 18s before they officially step up to senior football next year.
With many key players in their side, Stevenson said he was looking for a well-rounded effort from everyone.
However, he said the side’s senior players would need to lead from the front and take control of the match.
“There’s probably around four to six of the boys who will be playing their last game of 18s,” Stevenson said.
“Obviously they will be wanting to finish on a good note. I know they can do it. They just have to play out the full game.”
When asked what his final words of wisdom to his charges would be, Stevenson said he would urge them to play hard, leave nothing in the tank and enjoy the moment.
“There will be some nerves, but they’ll just need to settle,” he said.
Greens have the guts for glory
THE Leeton Greens have grand final glory firmly in their sights after a solid finals campaign.
The young side, like other teams in the under 18s competition, have had to contend with an up and down season due to less clubs entering their division.
However, as with Yanco-Wamoon, this has allowed several young Leeton players to step up to first grade and gain experience.
Those skills have been brought back to the under 18s, particularly during the finals.
Among the top performers in Leeton’s side is Elwyn Ravu, who took out the league best and fairest honour in the under 18s.
Leeton’s road to the grand final
Leeton 42 d Darlington Point-Coleambally
Yanco-Wamoon 16 d Leeton 12
Leeton 48 d Darlington Point-Coleambally 12
Important dates for Leeton Greens
The Greens will be holding their presentation night on September 21 at the Leeton Soldiers Club, starting at 6.30pm.
Tickets are available at the club.
ON OCTOBER 17 the Greens will hold their annual general meeting at the Leeton Soldiers Club at 7pm. All welcome.
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