Tigers set to pounce
WHEN it comes to playing finals, “it's a whole new competition”.
It's an old cliché, but one which Tweed Coast Tigers coach Paul Kelly is taking to heart and instilling into his players on the eve of their finals debut in the Summerland League Australian Rules competition.
Since their introduction into the league this year, the fledgling Tigers have overcome a slow start to develop into a formidable side who accounted for premiers Byron Bay in their last match of the season.
However, Kelly knows his side can't rest on their laurels and will need to be switched on from the very start when they play Ballina in the elimination final in Lismore tomorrow.
“We have benefited by having the bye in the last round of the regular season, getting over some niggling injuries and allowing a couple of our more experienced players to come back into the side,” Kelly said.
“It's been a great season so far, but it will all count for nothing if we stumble against Ballina tomorrow.
“They beat us convincingly in the opening round but then we have gotten over the top of them twice now but it's all a different game in the finals.
“You don't get any second chance so we need to be switched on mentally.
“Our training sessions this week and been great, there's plenty of excitement in the team and the club and we are looking forward to giving this a red, hot go.”
For the Tweed Coast, not only will it be their first ever finals appearance but also the first time they have played on the Australian Rules ground in Lismore, Mortimer Oval.
“I couldn't even tell you what it looks like,” Kelly laughed.
“Still, it's got four posts at either end and the dynamic of the game doesn't change.
“We have to get use to playing on unfamiliar grounds if we are to chase the flag.
“We are now in total control of our own destiny from here on in.”
The Tweed Coast- Ballina match kicks off at noon at Mortimer Ovalwith the second major semi between Lismore and Byron to follow immediately afterwards.
The winner of the Tweed Coast-Ballina match will play the loser of the Lismore-Byron game next week.
“We have a supporters' bus and a team bus both leaving Pottsville tomorrow morning,” Kelly said.
“The supporters' bus will be leaving at 10am and we would like to encourage as many Tweed people as possible to come down to Lismore to cheer us on.”