Nobody in sight of Windsor Park will be cheering for Sam Lonergan’s boys more so than Alex Gibbins’ girls.
As Launceston’s reserves advanced into the TSL development league grand final, the TSLW Blues joined clubmates at the big dance on the biggest stage in the state.
“They’re rapt, mate,” coach Alex Gibbins said, “they are just absolutely rapt. We’re really excited about the day.”
Not bad for a competition that didn’t exist last year to one celebrating its showpiece game wedged between the traditional TSL deciders.
The 2016 grand final would attract 6,128 to UTAS Stadium, but should Launceston beat Lauderdale in Saturday’s TSL preliminary final, the crowd for the crosstown finale with North Launceston could surpass 10,000 fans.
That would exceed numbers at the Hawthorn and Brisbane AFL clash this year.
Gibbins said the occasion won’t overawe the Blues.
“We’ve got big-game players and they’ve proven that when they’ve been on rep footy,” he said.
“They’ll shine and they did it again (on Sunday).
“I think they’ll bring it on grand final day, too.”
Gibbins said keeping the girls grounded will be hard having to wait another weekend for their biggest game of not only the year, but possibly their short careers.
“We’ve had bye rounds during the year, however, that final (against Clarence) has been four games in a row and a couple of hard ones,” Gibbins said.
“So it will all be about rehabilitation.
“We want to get our bodies 100 percent ready and then we will ramp training up ready for the grand final.”