Swanettes coach ‘hoping for nice little Cinderella story’
AFL: Coach Matt Finch is hoping his Yeppoon Swanettes can complete their Cinderella story in the AFL Capricornia women’s competition this season.
They are featuring in the finals for the first time in five years and are just one win away from the big dance.
They are into Saturday’s semi against Glenmore after a hard-fought, 19-point win over Gladstone in the first week of playoffs.
Finch is in his first year at the helm of the Swanettes and cannot speak highly enough of his playing group, several of whom are in their first year of Aussie rules.
He said they had shown dramatic improvement in all aspects of the game and were now starting to believe they could do something special.
“At the start of the year, we were going on a journey together and the journey’s not finished until that final hooter goes,” he said.
“It’s been exciting so far; we’ve had our ups and downs but we’ve taken it to teams when we were written off.
“In our first game against Panthers we got beaten 88-nil. The last time we played them it was 20-3.
“When I started I appointed a leadership group, and they’ve been fantastic with taking the younger players under their wing, teaching and guiding them.
“These girls are not just a team, they’re more like a family.
“We’re just hoping for a nice little Cinderella story at the end of the season.”
Finch said the Swanettes showed some mettle in their win against Gladstone last weekend.
“I take my hat off to how those Gladstone girls came out. They came out fast and hard at the ball, and it really threw us off our guard.
“In that last quarter we had to throw the whole egg basket at them.
“It was great to see how the girls fought and worked hard for each other to get that win.”
Finch said Luci Buttenshaw was outstanding, directing the traffic down the forward line, and speedy winger Sophia Wilson also impressed.
Two players - Rileigh Mohamed and Georgia Harris – also kicked their first goals.
Finch is excited for Saturday’s match-up against Glenmore but knows they are a tough proposition.
The key would be shutting down their strong midfield.
“Glenmore are a very skilful team, they’re well drilled,” Finch said.
“Whoever wins the battle of the midfield will control a lot of that game.
“If we can do that, we will have a good shot.”
Finch said his experienced quartet of Buttenshaw, Tamara Creamer, Lauren Moss and Natalie Robertson, who has the unenviable task of taking on Bulls sensation Meagan Rickertt, would need to lead the way.
Young guns Ella Calleja, Skye Anthony and Devon Moore would also have a big influence on the game.
AFL Capricornia semi-finals this weekend
2.25pm Saturday: Glenmore v Yeppoon, Swan Park, Yeppoon
2.25pm Sunday: Panthers v Brothers, Boyne Island Oval, Boyne Island
4pm Saturday: Yeppoon v Glenmore, Swan Park, Yeppoon
4pm Sunday: BITS v Brothers, Boyne Island Oval, Boyne Island