Another chapter in the North Launceston and Glenorchy State League rivalry will be written in Saturday’s grand final as the war of words over which team is favourite continued between the two coaches.
Glenorchy coach Aaron Cornelius was at pains in his preliminary final media conference to paint North Launceston as the best team in the state saying their second semi-final defeat was deja vu from last year’s grand final.
“Everyone has written us off and apparently we’re chokers. Why would we be the best team in the state when we just lost the game to get into the grand final to the best team in the state?” Cornelius said.
Northern Bombers coach Zane Littlejohn responded in his grand final press conference when asked if his team were the favourites this week having a home ground advantage and week off after being underdogs last year.
“Leading up to last week it probably sat pretty comfortably with me and then Aaron comes out and says he is more confident about winning this week compared to last week – and then they win that game by 94 points – so I would hate to think what he is going to do to us,” Littlejohn said.
“We are really excited about the opportunity to be able to defend our title and we’re comfortable as a footy club where we are. I’ve got no expectations on me as a coach and no expectation on our playing group to perform – we just want to make sure we go out and play it our way.”
Littlejohn said the Bombers had not discussed the possibility of making TSL history by winning three flags in a row but rather were focused on their processes.
“What we’ve spoken about is winning a premiership and giving ourselves the best opportunity – if we do win the game then three is the outcome. But I’ve said a fair bit it is about the process not the outcome – the outcome will take care of itself if you get the process right. We love playing the best sides and that is what we are going to have this week playing one of the best sides in Tassie.”
“They are well-coached and well-drilled and have been minor premiers for the last two years – to be in that situation I have no doubt they will be super hungry to make sure they get a premiership and probably the pressure is on them to make sure that happens.”
Littlejohn said his club had nothing to prove and were comfortable with what they had achieved in the past two seasons but his team had given themselves the opportunity to win another flag.
“They’ve been the minor premiers and there has been a lot of talk about Ace calling us the favourites which is fantastic if he wants to go that title but he probably needs to make sure his players understand the same because there are a lot of players in his camp who think it is theirs to lose so it will be a good challenge.
“It will be close – two good sides and it will be hard-fought between 44 players and whichever side can get the momentum at the right end of the time.
“I think it will be a fierce contest.”