MAIDEN Gully YCW hasn’t wasted any time dwelling on last weekend’s Loddon Valley league second semi-final defeat to Newbridge.
Rather, coach Wayne Mitrovic says his side is excited by the opportunity to again play for a spot in the grand final.
The Eagles will take on Mitiamo in Saturday’s preliminary final at Marong, with the winner to advance to the premiership decider against Newbridge the following week.
The Eagles have used up their double chance following their 50-point defeat to the Maroons last week.
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“We’ve earned another crack at it and the group is still feeling really positive,” Mitrovic said on Friday.
“We’ve tried to focus on the positives out of the game against Newbridge. This time of the year isn’t about getting fitness, it’s about having some fun on the training track and enjoying being involved in September.
“Like last week, we’re only win one off getting into a grand final and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to play in a game where a win will get you through to a grannie.
"It’s still a bit hard to believe from where we’ve come from, but the reality is we’re now going into a 50-50 game where if we do everything right we’re going to give ourselves a chance of playing in a grand final.”
It has been 16 years since the Eagles played in a grand final, with their last appearance on the big stage their 2002 premiership win against Calivil United.
But standing in their way is a Mitiamo side that has won its past five games, including two cut-throat finals against Pyramid Hill (one point) and Bears Lagoon-Serpentine (79).
And in what is a rarity for coach Andy Grant this season, he will taken an unchanged line-up into what is Mitiamo’s third preliminary final in the past four years.
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“The belief in the footy is that if we play to our potential then it’s going to take a good team to beat us,” Grant said.
“We’ve won two finals now and it’s a great opportunity for the boys on Saturday.
“We’ve had multiple changes to our side throughout the year, but we’ve been able to settle it down over the past few weeks with most of our list available.”
Maiden Gully YCW and Mitiamo have met twice this season for one win apiece.
The Eagles won by 23 points in round three, while the Superoos were 31-point victors in round 12.
Saturday’s preliminary final starts at 2.15pm.
ADAM BOURKE - Maiden Gully YCW.
LUKE WEST - Mitiamo.
WILLIAM VALLELY - Mitiamo.
KIERAN ILES - Mitiamo.
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