Women’s and Men’s Premier League Grand Final Previews

Our Men’s and Women’s Premier League Grand Finals are the apex of our competitions with Grand Finals this weekend at Hensley Athletic Field.

To find out what it means to all our Clubs involved, we delved into their minds!

Whatever the outcome this weekend, we wish them all the best!

Women’s Premier League First Grade

Dunbar Rovers (Premiers)

What a historic year it has been for Women’s football in Australia and to add to that another historic year for Dunbar Rovers WPL. 

Starting with some key players returning and a number of fresh faces including a new Head Coach, the year started strong with the side taking games convincingly. 
As the season progressed, the Rovers took part in a few cups along side the regular season making a deep run to the quarter finals of the State Cup and participating in the first ever Sapphire Cup Reaching round 3 but unfortunately getting knocked out by NPL1 side Macarthur Rams. 
Moving on the Rovers continued to focus on the WPL season, with only having one loss all year the Dunbar Rovers WPL side locked up the league finishing in the top spot ahead of familiar faces Coogee United, thus locking in Champions of Champions.
Now with the league secure and Champions of Champions ahead, the Dunbar Rovers WPL are looking to solidify what has been an amazing year with the privilege of Winning the Grand Final and lifting the trophy once more. 
“Every player on this team has contributed to ensuring Dunbar Rovers WPL team will become a recognizable name in women’s football, to win the Grand Final would move us one step closer to continuing to build on the legacy” – Jonathon Pampinella Dunbar Rovers WPL Head Coach 

Coogee United

Coming into the season after the turnover of some influential players in the offseason, we were quietly confident that we would figure in the top 4 again. A slow start to the season with injuries, an unexpected early loss, and the usual European Grand Tour for a number of players, meant that we had to dig deep into our bag of tricks to find new ways of winning each week.

However, the turning of the guard unearthed some gems. We found new leaders within our group, and saw the opportunity for new players to step into the spotlight – leading team management to feel excited for this weekend and enthused for what the future holds.

We’re wary of a good Dunbar team with some clear match winners, but quietly confident we can match them given the league Head to Head reading 1 win for Coogee and 2 hard fought draws, sitting level on points at the end of the season.

Good luck to all teams experiencing the magic of a weekend of football in September!

Up the Coog!

Men’s Premier League

First Grade:

Glebe Gorillas (Premiers)

This year the First Grade were looking to retain our league title from last season, which was the first time we had won it in our history. We knew it would be tough as we lost our manager Declan Moore due to family commitments, so we had to look for a new manager. Ian Hillier stepped up to the plate as player/manager and we haven’t looked back since.

After a good start in the league, we went through a tricky patch. We lost a few key players to injury and two players joined NPL clubs. We dropped points in games perhaps we should have won. This meant that Phoenix opened up a five point gap at the top. The turning point was when we played Phoenix for the second time in the league and grabbed a last-minute winner. We were down to 9 men at the time which made the result even more special. Since then we won our last 5 games in a row and won the league on the last day of the season, beating Phoenix away 2-0.

We are entering the final in good form. Defensively we have been solid, with goalkeeper Reece Richardson having another good season, along with solid centre-backs in front of him – Aaron O’Raw and Chris Lynch. Going forward Liam Ireland has bagged plenty of goals this season, and forwards Rupert Murray and Des Ford are available. We are also welcoming back a few players from injury and suspension such as Archie, Robbo and Dermy. If we play to our strengths we are confident of getting the win. Having said all that, we know that anything can happen in a final and Coogee will be bang up for it. They always make it tough and it should be a great game!

Coogee United

The season for the Coogee United Prems team has been a challenge to say the least. New management duo of Quinny and Rob was welcomed by all. The season was started with a lot of fresh faces and a lot of new tactics which we found hard to grasp. 3 defeats in our opening 4 games was new territory for us and something needed to be changed and quickly. 13-games without a loss was exactly what we needed, but, with 7 of them being draws, this did not satisfy the club’s expectations. Coming into the back end of the season, it was time for us to step up like we do every season and cement our place in the final.

Two away games to Waverley Old Boys and Phoenix was never going to be easy, but a last minute winner in the semi finals meant that, yet again, we will be representing in the Grand Final, confident to beat current holders Glebe Gorillas.

Reserve Grade (*Premiers Dunbar Rovers):

Coogee United

The season has been a tough one in the Men’s Reserve grade for Coogee United. Under new management with new fresh ideas, we went into the season very optimistic with Paddy preparing us well pre-season and Baz in the background ensuring the high standards. There was a harsh reality hit after the opening defeat to Glebe Gorillas which made us all rethink the season ahead. However, from there the season took off, we went on a 10-game unbeaten streak that took us to the helm of the table and proved we belonged at the top. Mid-season, we had a lot of movement, losing key valuable players through this time which caught up with us and resulted in a couple of uncharacteristic defeats.

From July, we haven’t looked back, racking up another 6-game unbeaten streak finishing the season second. Our semi-finals game against league winners Dunbar Rovers was arguably the best performance of the season, dispatching them 3-0 to storm into the final. We go into the final brimming with confidence and hoping to leave the victors. 

Glebe Wanderers

In what has being an up and down season for the Glebe boys we had a slow start to the season.
With a few hard to swallow defeats with some soul searching and some truth and honesty discussions with each other, we managed to turn a corner and go on a decent run and grab one of the coveted finals spots. All that’s left now is to finish the job on Saturday and clinch back to back
Grand final wins but we won’t be underestimating Coogee our old enemy !!

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