MELBOURNE women’s coach Mick Stinear says his team’s sole focus is on Saturday afternoon’s clash against Fremantle at Casey Fields – not looking ahead to a potential Grand Final clash against the Brisbane Lions the following week.
The most likely scenario – if Melbourne is to make the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Grand Final is as follows:
- If Melbourne defeats Fremantle, and Collingwood beats Adelaide at Olympic Park Oval on Sunday, then the red and blue will take on the Lions in the inaugural AFLW Grand Final. This will be played in Queensland, with the date and time to be confirmed.
- But if Demons lose to Freo, then the Dees are out of the Grand Final race.
- Another scenario – albeit unlikely – is if Melbourne and Adelaide both win, then the Demons would need to win by a huge margin – around 70 points to overcome the Crows’ percentage and claim a place in the Grand Final.
- Carlton and Collingwood are also distant chances to make the Grand Final, but are more in the mathematical category.
Despite the possibilities, Stinear said the team wasn’t getting too far ahead.
“Our group plays the best, when they just go out there and play footy – and play with freedom and flair,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“We won’t be thinking about anything else, other than being able to play our best footy and that’ll be the best thing for us. We just need to focus on each contest and letting the girls play.
“They’ve been a fantastic group to work with and I do believe they really deserve an opportunity [to play in the Grand Final], but they’ve got to earn that right as well. The girls are starting to appreciate the investment made in them – as people and as footballers. They’re starting to repay that, and their professionalism has been outstanding – we’ve laid a good foundation for future success.”
Stinear said he was delighted with his side’s ability to bounce back on the road, after it went down to the GWS Giants at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney in round five.
“We were disappointed with our output against GWS and we thought we could’ve performed a lot better, so it was good to get on the road again and spend more time together,” he said.
“It could’ve been easy to get frustrated, but we got back together and really focused on putting in a four quarter effort against Adelaide.
“The time we had in Darwin was a great opportunity and as coaches we honed in on three key areas that we thought would be the key areas against Adelaide. Then it was about the players being able to execute it – and that was the challenge, but they were able to stand up and execute exactly how we wanted it.”
After trailing Adelaide at quarter-time, Stinear said his team had the courage and confidence to take it on in the second term, which eventuated into a win.
“When we looked to use the space at Marrara (TIO Stadium), they made it hard work for Adelaide,” he said.
“It’s a week where we’ve gained a lot of confidence from the win over Adelaide and we’re looking to play four quarters this week – as our starts haven’t been great.
“The exciting thing for us is that we’ve got a great opportunity to play four quarters against Fremantle, who have a similar style of game, so it should be a good, open game.”