North Launceston is relishing the underdog tag ahead of its highly anticipated semi-final clash with Launceston on the weekend.
The Bombers enter the clash as the second-best side from the regular season, an unusual position for the club which has had top billing every year since 2017.
Far from being fazed, Bombers coach Bradley Cox-Goodyer said the side welcomed the lessened expectations compared to past finals campaigns.
"We'll go in with no expectations which is great, it's probably the first time in a couple of years where North Launceston isn't expected to win a final, that's great in a sense," he said.
"We can go out and play with a bit of freedom which is what the kids can do.
"They're going to go out and make mistakes but as long as they don't let it sit in the back of their mind, I'm sure, they'll be fine and play the way they played to get into the position now don't go into their shells."
The midfield battle promises to be one to watch with the likes of Ben Simpson and Jay Foon likely to match up against TSL player of the season Jay Blackberry and Jake Hinds.
Cox-Goodyer pointed to the midfield as an area of emphasis for the Bombers.
"We're putting a lot of emphasis on our leaders around the ball to be able to stem the flow and get the ball going our way," he said.
"We've got full faith in our defenders to be able to get the job done so if we get the ball going our way and control the forward half it'll go a long way."
The Bombers expect to enter the game with a relatively clean bill of health ahead of their match-up with the Blues.
"On the weekend against Glenorchy was the first time we had a full list to pick from all year," Cox-Goodyer said.
"We've got it right at the right time of the year, we've been able to get some rest into some key players throughout the year and now they're fit and firing."
This finals series marks Cox-Goodyer's first as coach of the Bombers but he said he was trying to stay as cam
"It's about preparing the group and getting them to understand the magnitude and the chance they have to play in a grand final," he said.
"We've got a quite good understanding of how they play the game and what they'd like to do."
Meanwhile, Launceston is fit and firing ahead with a plethora of choices available for selection this week.
The selection committee meeting promises to produce several headaches for coach Mitch Thorp after the Blues younger players impressed against Lauderdale last round.
The Blues key players like Michael Musicka, Cody Thorp and Fletcher Seymour are all ready to take their place after being rested last week.
"We played 36 players this year, so everyone in this group has played a role in getting us to this point and now we're at the pointy end so the squeeze is on," Thorp said.
"We managed some players at the end of the year so last week we rested seven or eight of our best 22 and that was always the plan given the nature of the season.
"We'll have some significant changes this week, there's a couple of younger guys that really did put their hand up who'll hold their spot in the side."
Thorp nominated Jayden Hinds as one young player who had impressed against Lauderdale and would be considered for the North Launceston fixture.
"[Hinds] played round one and played the last round, and played in the midfield and did a really good job, what we know with [him] is he's super competitive and clean at ground level," he said.
The winner of Launceston and North Launceston will advance to the TSL grand final while the loser will await the winner of Clarence and Kingborough in a preliminary final next week.
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