By Josh Ward.
It’s set to be an enthralling Division 2 Grand Final at Walker Park this Sunday when a dominant Boronia side comes up against a red-hot Heathmont.
The Hawks have been a step ahead of every side in a very even division all year long and booked their spot in the Grand Final a fortnight ago.
Having had two byes throughout the finals series, senior coach Matt Clark recently said that there was plenty of excitement amongst the side heading into their first grand final in five years.
“Getting the week off either side has been really good for our group’s fitness, resting up, training and being prepared but it also builds up a little bit of a gap where the excitement is (high),” Clark said.
They face a Jets outfit that has started to get back to its best form having won their last four games, including coming from behind and defeating Templestowe in the Preliminary Final.
Heathmont senior coach Scott Hamill recently said it was a great feeling for the side to be back on the biggest stage of them all for the first time in six years.
“It’s a lot of reward for the hard work that’s been put in over the last 12 months. Not only the last 12 months but we’ve had a clear focus the last six weeks to where we wanna be,” Hamill said.
With Boronia having the two byes Clark added that the lineup has continued to set high standards throughout them.
“We’ve done full match sim’s on Saturday’s, we’ve had really solid sessions on the non-playing weekends and we’ve been able to build that intensity whilst managing the group.”
It’s been the opposite for the Jets who’ve played across all three weekends, with Hamill adding that they’re starting to click into gear once again.
“We were pretty depleted with injuries and we’ve had some sore bodies running around but we’ve just managed them well and got them all back.”
With how strong the Jets have been in recent weeks Clark believes that limiting their strong ball movement and getting on top in the midfield will be key for victory.
“We’ve defended well all year and I think that’s a cornerstone of our game and we build our attack from that. We’ve got good mechanisms in place and hopefully they can stand up on the big day.”
For Hamill he believes that whoever brings the most intensity on the day will hold them in good stead for victory.
“Anything can happen on the day, the pressure’s on. I guess who capitalises on the moments more (will get the win).”
Victory for Boronia would mean their first premiership since that 2018 Division 3 Grand Final win over Ringwood and a second premiership in 2023 alongside their senior women’s side.
Clark said that it would mean everything to win another premiership having put in the hard yards over the past 12 months to get to this position.
“We know how hard they are to come across and anytime you’re in it we know the importance of it and the legacy that we’ll be remembered by at the club.”
For the Jets it would mean their first premiership since their success 12 years ago in Division 4 as well as a sixth senior premiership for the club.
Hamill added that victory would be a reward for all the hard work put in by the players, the coaching staff and the people behind the scenes at the club.
“The work that goes in behind the scenes by the committee, the supporters and the support staff we have on a Saturday it’s gonna mean a lot to a lot of people around the club.”