LEITCHVILLE-Gunbower captain Daniel Couwenberg has had enough of feeling the sting that accompanies back-to-back grand final losses.
Nothing can be done about missed opportunities of the past, but Couwenberg and the Bombers have the opportunity on Saturday to ensure it doesn’t happen again and ease some of their 2015-16 disappointment when they meet North Bendigo in the Heathcote District league grand final at Huntly.
It will be the third grand final meeting in a row between the two clubs, with the Bulldogs having won the previous two.
“It definitely burns a lot… it’s always tough losing a grand final, especially two in a row to the same team,” Couwenberg said on Wednesday.
“North Bendigo has been good enough to take its chance the past two years and we haven’t been.”
This time, though, Couwenberg says the Bombers are a stronger contested-ball side and expects that to hold them in better stead on Saturday as they aim to win their first premiership since 1995.
Recruits Matt Pollock and Matt Ladson have both been crucial in the engine room for the Bombers, who are on a 12-game winning streak, while Liam Guinan has added some more late-season midfield grunt.
“With our contested footy, we’ve been a lot stronger over the footy this year… when it’s your time to go, you go,” Couwenberg said.
“We’ve got a fairly good knowledge of the way North Bendigo plays. We’ll have our plans in place and we’re confident in the strategies.
“There’s obviously a very fierce rivalry between the two clubs. I came to the club two years ago and it has certainly built into something.
“We feel we’ve prepared well and we just want to win that flag.”
The Bombers are the only team to have beaten North Bendigo this year, and have done so twice, including in the second semi-final by 10 points.
The Bulldogs and Bombers are the first Heathcote District league clubs since Mount Pleasant and Heathcote (1992-95) to play at least three-consecutive grand finals against each other.
North Bendigo has been good enough to take its chance the past two years and we haven’t beenDaniel Couwenberg