It’s so Saints-sational
AFTER all the particular and unseen pressures going through a sporting season unbeaten can bring, Sawtell-Toormina coach Jim Angel seems relieved the final chapter is about to play out.
While always gracious about the constant questioning about the team's unblemished status, it must have been tedious at times but he has so far avoided the usual traps and kept the feet of his players on the ground.
"Yeah, I'm glad we got here eventually but as I keep saying to the boys, it would be terrible to fall at the last stage and that seems to keep their heads out of the clouds," Angel said.
"We did have a problem or two with Port Macquarie in that second semi-final and it's possibly been our worst moment so far.
"Getting stuck in the opening quarter and in the run to half time wasn't our finest moment.
"To be honest, there were some moments of pretty average footy, so no wonder it was a wake-up call.
"However, then coming out and kicking 11 goals to one in a quarter showed we can quickly turn things around and is one reason I'll always be confident we can do this."
Saints have always been favoured to defend their 2014 title and apart from that hiccup in the major semi, everything has pretty much gone to script.
The Magpies have provided a perfect foil, particularly after the challenge of Coffs Breakers fell away with the serious injury to Jay Guthrie.
While the Magpies delivered the low moment, they were on the receiving end of Angel's proudest achievement so far.
"When we beat Port at Port the first time, some of their most dedicated supporters came up and congratulated us on the display," he revealed.
"When your opponents comment you're playing a good style of footy, that's when you know you're on the right track and we took it from there."
Angel is a firm believer in keeping the atmosphere around the squad as normal as possible when the pointy end arrives and has followed a structured plan in the days since the second semi win.
"The boys got together to watch Breakers and Magpies and have a day out," he said.
"Training on Tuesday went fine with another great session on Thursday.
"We'll get to the ground in time to cheer on the reserve grade side and head for the sheds to get changed at half time, just like we normally do.
"Sure, things are different but there's no need to play the game six times in your head before the real thing gets going
"Just relax, enjoy the moment, and then get down to business."
C.ex Coffs International Stadium
Seniors: Sawtell-Toormina v Port Macquarie (2.45pm)
Reserves: Sawtell-Toormina v Macleay Valley (12.50pm)
Under 18s: Port Macquarie v Coffs Harbour (10.45am)
Under 11s: Sawtell-Toormina v Port Macquarie (9.30am)
Under 13s: Sawtell-Toormina v Port Macquarie (10.50am)
Under 15s: Macleay Valley v Coffs Harbour (12.10pm)