THE Leongatha Parrots have gone with an unchanged line-up for their senior grand final match against Maffra in the finale to the 2018 Gippsland League season this Saturday at Morwell starting at 2.30pm.
The Parrots had a light training run on Thursday, interspersed with several tactics sessions on the ground followed by team selections in a packed Grandstand Function Room at the Leongatha Recreation Reserve.
A sprinkling of former club greats joined the teams for Saturday; the Under 13s netball, Reserves football and Seniors football, for a counter meal and team announcements including Tim ‘Barny’ Maxwell down from the Gold Coast, Billy Clark, Darryl Vernon and a welcome guest, last year’s premiership coach Beau Vernon, the reigning West Gippsland premiership coach after Phillip Island’s demolition of Koo Wee Rup.
Coach Paul Carbis addressed the club after it was announced that win, lose or draw; he has signed on to coach the club again in 2019.
“I’ve got to admit that after coming to Leongatha from a couple of roles where I’ve had to rebuild teams, the prospect of taking over a team that had just won the premiership, thanks Beau, was a totally different challenge for me and after a couple of early losses at the start of the season, I probably wondered if I was the right man for the job myself but I’m delighted to be coming back again next year.”
Carbis then focused on the job in hand and made mention of the 37 players who have played their role with the Seniors this year.
“Obviously you’ve got to pick 22 from that 37 but the very pleasing thing for me, especially after the Drouin game when we realised the style of football we need to play, each time we’ve had players come in, they’ve played their role and we haven’t missed a beat,” he said, noting that the team had been able to hold the opposition teams defensively while winning by better than a six-goal margin since that fateful match against Drouin.
The teams were announced with the 22 who played against Maffra in the second semi-final named as expected, with Louis Riseley selected as emergency, but also named in the Reserves.
Coach of the Reserves Joel Renden praised the team selected in the Reserves grand final noting that while Maffra had been the standout performer during the year, the Parrots had their best chance of winning this Saturday.
The club also wished Georgia Riseley and her Under 13s well in their grand final urging supporters to get there for the 8:30am start to cheer the girls along.
Grand Final Day arrangements
The starting times and teams for this Saturday’s TRFM Gippsland League Grand Final matches at Morwell Recreation Reserve are as follows:
* 8:30am FOURTHS Sale v Bairnsdale
* 8:30am 13&U Sale v Leongatha
* 9:45am 15&U Sale v Bairnsdale
* 10:30am THIRDS Traralgon v Bairnsdale
* 11:00am 17&U Traralgon v Maffra
* 12:15pm C GRADE Traralgon v Maffra
* 12:30pm RESERVES Leongatha v Maffra
* 1:30pm B GRADE Traralgon v Moe
* 2:30pm SENIORS Leongatha Maffra
* 3:00pm A GRADE Traralgon Moe