I have been asked about the 2015 NEAFL Grand Final a number of times. I was there, I remember it (most of it), I certainly know my heart was pumping when we won by a point after the scores were level at the 28-minute mark of the final term. But to this day I haven’t seen a replay.
It’s not that I haven’t wanted to watch the replay, the time just got away from me and before I knew it preparations for the 2016 season begun.
Our games against Aspley are always close. Last year we played four times and the games were decided by a combined total of 34 points.
The boys who have been around for a few years, like Cam Ilett, who is set to play his 100th NEAFL game this weekend, and Eddie Sansbury, who has played up here in the NTFL but wears the Aspley colours in the NEAFL, know and respect each other well.
Thunder and Aspley have built a mutual respect for each other in my time as coach. It has been built as one of the great rivalries in the NEAFL competition and our past encounters have been a great contest, but when the siren sounds players acknowledge the respect for each other.
Last week was a bit of a reality check for our boys and there’s no better challenge to bounce back than to come up against an in-form side that has consistently proven they are competition contenders.
The fact it happens to be the Grand Final rematch is just a bonus for our fans.
We hope last week’s set back is a set up to get it right.
See you 6:30pm tonight at TIO Stadium, where we hope to put on as good a show as last year.