ALMOST a year to the day to one of the most entertaining grand finals in Shoalhaven Football history, Bomaderry and Gerringong will once again battle for the Bolden Blackmore Shield.
Unlike last year though, the two teams have endured very different paths to the grand final, which will kick-off at 3pm Saturday at Ison Park.
Nathan Aldridge’s Tigers are yet to lose a game this season, winning 18 and drawing three matches, which includes a 3-1 victory against the Breakers two weeks ago in the major semi-final.
“We aren’t worried what’s happened so far this season, that’s all behind us – we are fully focused on completing the double [after already winning the competition championship],” Aldridge said.
“It’s been a really good year for us so far and to top it off with another grand final win would be amazing.
“I’ve been trying to get the double for a couple of years now and this is our best chance.
“If we take our chances and defend well, I know we will get the desired result.”
Heading into their second straight decider, Aldridge doesn’t think it’s any different to last year.
“Our approach to the game won’t change – we’ve been successful with the way we have done things, so why change it,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on us – the boys are just really looking forward to the match, I can’t wait.”
On the other side of the ledger are Gerringong, who come into the match fresh off a penalty shoot-out win against Huskisson-Vincentia.
“The preparation this week is as good as it could be – everyone is absolutely buzzing to be in another grand final,” Breakers coach Jadon Lavington said.
”The past two grand final losses haven’t been spoken about this week, but they’re definitely in the back of our minds.”
The Breakers side will be buoyed by the return from suspension of both Andy Lockard and Luke Nolan this week – who both missed the clash against the Seagulls.
“Both sides have strength all over the park – it should be a great match-up,” Lavington said.
“Historically, the contests have been tough and physical between our sides and I don’t see this as being any different.
“We are determined to claim some silverware, after disappointingly missing out of the competition championship.”
Saturday will be a historic day for the Tigers, as they will have a team in all three men’s grand finals for the very first time.
In second grade, Bomaderry will battle Callala from 1pm, while in third grade, the Tigers are up against Huskisson for the premiership, from 11am.