Ararat Rats will face Horsham Saints in an under-14 preliminary final clash in Horsham on Saturday.
The Rats fell just short of the Saints last time and coach Tim Shea said he expects another strong performance from the team on the weekend.
“We were really competitive against them last time with a goal after the siren last time to beat us,” he said.
“So that will give us some confidence but I know we will be competitive against them again.”
The preliminary final will be played on the Saints’ home ground at Coughlin Park but Shea said he has already told his players not to get too caught up in that.
“The bounce of the ball is a bit different there but we have to ignore the fact it is their home ground and just play football, as I told them earlier in the week.”
The team will have one change from the semi-final with Jordan Cox set to miss the match with a broken arm.
Shea said the team’s leaders will need to step up in his absence.
“Our top age players need to step up and be leaders across the ground, then we will have a good chance,” he said.
“Callum Roberts was our best player last week, so hopefully he continues his form and Jeziah Woods in the middle will also be important.
“We just need more of our onballers to get the ball and find more avenues to goal.
“Metres gained, get it into the forward line as quick as possible.
“I will be encouraging them to not waste this opportunity at a grand final.”
First bounce for the preliminary final is scheduled for 9.30am.