K rock Football

On the edge of history

Geelong Falcons coach Jason Armistead with captain Lucy McEvoy (right) and vice-captain Olivia Purcell. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

GEELONG Falcons Girls coach Jason Armistead says an appearance in Saturday’s TAC Cup Grand Final is the result of his players’ appetite for hard work.

The Falcons enter the inaugural decider at Werribee’s Avalon Airport Oval as slight favourites, having beaten opponents Northern Knights in Round 8 as part of a perfect home-and-away season.

“We’ve given them opportunities about what they can do extra,” Armistead said. “We had an extra Friday night session in pre-season that was optional, and we had great numbers turn up to that.

“Then we also had Bewsy’s (Geelong great Andrew Bews) gym on a Saturday morning, which was just a cardio session, and some of those sessions we’d had 12-15 girls as well.

“We’ve thrown things out to them that they can use, and they’ve taken them on board. It’s a bit of a balancing act.

“It’s like coaching locally as well. You can’t expect them to be at everything, but if you give them the options there about how hard they can work, it’s just up to them.

“That’s why I say the way they’ve gone about it has been exceptional.”

 

Armistead says the depth of the Falcons’ list is a key factor behind his charges suffering just one loss in 14 games across the competition’s first two years.

“This year, I reckon we’ve been picking from 35 players right from the start of the season,” he said.

“Even last year, our depth wasn’t as strong, but the competition wasn’t as strong either.

“But we still had 15 really strong players in our side, so I think that’s definitely been one of our strengths.”

Having experienced premiership success himself twice at South Barwon, Armistead can appreciate what a win will mean for the Falcons.

“I’ll just be happy for the girls. All the work they’ve put in, that’s what it’s about,” he said.

“It’s a player’s game. I’m happy for all the players and all the staff who have done all the work over the journey.

“That’s what it’ll be for me. I’ll be pretty proud of what everyone’s achieved.”

And Armistead’s put it on the bottom-age members of the squad to make sure those playing their final game at TAC Cup level bow out in the right fashion.

“I spoke about it a little bit last week before the game, that this is the last time that they’ll play together, and the younger girls have got a responsibility to send the older girls out in style,” he said.

Twitter: @tom_king79

TAC CUP GIRLS GRAND FINAL

GEELONG FALCONS (1st) vs. NORTHERN KNIGHTS (2nd)

Avalon Airport Oval

Saturday, May 19, 12:30pm

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