Ready to attack
IT was always going to be the case.
The two heavyweights of the Football Far North Coast Women's First Division were destined to clash in tonight's grand final.
Not many would have predicted the “upset” the Tumbulgum Rangers intend to inflict on minor premiers Goonellabah FC.
“I believe we can do them,” striker/defender Sandra Zietlow said.
“We're very confident in our ability.
“They are a hard powerful team, who rely on their strength on the ball, but if we play a good ball game and keep it on the deck we'll get up.
“We should have had them in the semi-final, but conceded a goal in the last 30 seconds of extra time to go down 3-2, so hopefully we can have them this time.”
Welcoming their goalkeeper back from a seven-week lay-off, the Rangers will be at near full strength when they run onto Caniba Street Reserve tonight.
Adding to the Rangers' fire and passion are the hardships inflicted on the runners-up by FFNC administrators to simply take to the field for the 6.15pm kick off.
For the women who work, they must race down the Pacific Highway to South Lismore and sprint on to the pitch.
The trip down takes at least an hour and quarter and there will be no time to get changed, warm-up, or even sneak a quick practice session before the coin toss.
“It's a massive problem for us,” Zietlow said.
“Many of the girls work in Tweed and several of them have to car pool, so it's going to be a real rush.
“We'll be getting changed in the cars on the way down and even then will be lucky to make it in time.
“We risk forfeiting if we are late and that would be very unfair on all the girls.”
The two teams have been neck and neck throughout the season, dropping just two of their 18 fixtures each and both recording a lone draw with Lennox Head.
However both the Rangers' losses came at the hands of Goonellabah - a shock 6-1 hammering in May and respectable 1-0 in August, which accounted for seven of the 15 goals they conceded all year - while Goonellabah went down to both Bangalow and Lismore Workers.
Should they carry into the final the form that has seen them concede just two goals in their final nine outings while banging home an average greater than three, there is no reason why Tumbulgum cannot turn the tables and return home with the silverware.