'Daunting but excited' Swans up for the test
NICHOLAS Thiele has his Eastern Swans women flying high.
Ahead of the club's first foray into finals footy since returning to the Senior Women's competition, Thiele laid praise at the feet of his enthusiastic playing group.
"It started off as 'we're just in the competition to improve and compete' and now we've managed to get enough points to sneak into the finals,” the proud coach said.
"All of them are first year footballers so to be playing finals is really exciting. We're over the moon.”
The Swans play North Mackay Saints in a twilight elimination final at Magpies Sporting Club tomorrow.
It took until Round 8 for the Swans to record their first win of the campaign, but since then Thiele's team has proved they belong in the post-season with some stunning wins and hard-fought, close defeats.
"All the girls have improved out of sight from when they started to now. To be playing finals footy is super - I'm really happy as a coach of the side to see how they have progressed,” Thiele said.
With finals fever hitting Rogers Oval, competition for spots has been fierce.
A confident Thiele said the Swans would have their "strongest team for the year” for tomorrow's do-or-die final.
The last time the Swans and Saints met, only five points separated the two sides.
"Going by our last couple of games against the Saints - they've been really close - there's no reason at all our girls can't get across the line,” Thiele said.
The coach offered an insight into how the Swans can overcome the Saints, who have won all three of their encounters this season.
"We just need to play our style that we've developed through the back end of the season,” Thiele said.
"Get the ball on the outside; if we can get it into space and get some run, we have some good wingers and a few key forwards.
"The Saints have some really class players and finals experience so they know what it's all about. This is the first step for our girls.
"It will be daunting and they'll be super excited. We just have to make sure once we cross that line we keep a level head.”