IN AMONGST all the red and black, there will be a serious tinge of blue at UTAS Stadium on Saturday.
Launceston has teams in two of the three State League grand finals and is every chance of winning both, just ask TSLW captain Kate Child and development league star Jacob Boyd.
The Blues’ seconds were crowned minor premiers and have lost just two matches for the season. “I’ve been at Launceston since under-9s, I’ve been here my whole life really,” Boyd, 17, said.
“I’ve played in a couple of grand finals. We lost the under-15s grand final to North and I had a school grand final, so I’m hoping for a win this weekend.
“The whole year around the footy club has been positive and we’ve only lost a couple of games this year [in the development league], but one of them has been to Clarence – it’s going to be a great game.”
Child, 35, said she is calm leading into her maiden decider and that she was determined to keep her teammates focused on the job ahead.
The female Blues have not lost to Glenorchy this season and Child is keen to ensure complacency does not come back to haunt them.
“I don’t want the team going in thinking that just because we have beaten them all year it is going to happen again. We’ve worked hard so we want to win,” she said.
A strong crowd is expected at the Northern home of football to see three state premiers crowned.
North Launceston is hunting its third premiership in four seasons, while Lauderdale is hoping to make club history after making it through to its first TSL finale.
DL: Launceston v Clarence – 10.10am
TSLW: Launceston v Glenorchy – 1.15pm
TSL: North Launceston v Lauderdale – 3.30pm
FITNESS could be the hidden advantage Launceston possesses over its development league grand finalist Clarence.
Young Blues half-forward Jacob Boyd, 17, is keen to see success at Windsor Park having already played in two losing deciders throughout his fledgling career.
The former Riverside High and now Launceston College student made his senior debut against Tigers at home last season and has played four senior games in total.
His 14 matches in the twos this year have yielded 17 goals.
“It’s been a pretty good year for me. I’ve been lucky with no injuries, played a few Mariners games and under-17s state stuff along with a couple of senior games as well,” Boyd said.
“Seniors is a bit more physical but I’m hoping to play more senior football next year and be a key asset to that team moving forward.”
Boyd said Sam Lonergan’s first season as club coach had been a massive influence and that the Roos would be no easy beats on game day.
“We’ve got a really good chance, if we play four quarters of footy we can beat anyone,” he said.
“We’re the fitter team so hopefully we can run them off their legs.
“We have a good even team, which also helps.”
Clarence were too good for the Tigers in the preliminary final and defeated Launceston in their first encounter this season, however, the ledger sits 3-1 in Launceston’s favour with all three home and away games being decided by 11 points.
Mariners ruck-forward Tim Auckland has been dominating all year for the Blues alongside Zac Oldenhof, who has booted 34 goals to date.
Launceston’s midfield will be reliant on Jared Dakin, Miller Hodge, Lachie Gee and former Deloraine coach Ben Killalea.
Veterans Cam Downie and Jordan Harris will also be on deck to calm the youngsters in what is tipped to be a high-pressure match.
The Roos line-up will include some senior experience with Keren Howlett, Tyson Hanslow, Justin O’Brien, Kyle Palmer-Hughes and James Brenner all vital.
Clarence key forward Luke Murfitt-Cowen will give Launceston’s coaching staff something to think about, as will his support crew in Tom Birchall, Trent Hope and Harry Richmond.
Key defenders Harry Bailey and Alex Gaul will hold down the backline posts, while Zac Mastrocola and Shane Bradford will be tasked with winning the midfield battle.
GLENORCHY proved on Saturday that it will be no pushover for Launceston in a battle for silverware on Saturday.
The Magpies knocked TSLW minor premier Clarence out in straight sets at Bellerive Oval on the weekend to keep their dream alive.
The Blues, led by skipper Kate Child and coach Alex Gibbins, are yet to lose to Glenorchy in three encounters this season, however, a combined margin of just 18 points separates the two outfits.
“We’ve definitely grown and become as one throughout the season,” Child said.
“Our skill set has been a major focus and we’ve become a very versatile team with a lot of players that can play in a lot of positions – that’s our key advantage.
“Glenorchy are a very tough team so we’ve just got outsmart them.”
Launceston will rely on Georgia Hill, Daria Bannister and Naomi Celebre to kick a winning score and key midfield competent Courtney Webb and Abbey Green to shine.
Glenorchy forward Kate Rattenbury is arguably the best set shot in the competition and is in hot form after converting five goals already this finals series.
She will be well supported by younger sister Janelle and Nietta Lynch with Jasmine Tate-Turvey, Zabreena Manjerovic, Elise and Brienna Barwick all dangerous players for Launceston to watch.
First bounce is at 1.15pm.