One of the great rivalries in Western Australian women’s football will write its final chapter today, when Swan Districts clashes with the Coastal Titans in the WAWFL Grand Final.
Like what is happening to other women’s clubs around the country, the Coastal Titans will end up merging into a state league men’s club from next season, joining forces with Subiaco.
Fremantle best and fairest and Titans vice-captain, Dana Hooker, told Girls Play Footy she’s counting down the hours until she goes to battle against the reigning premiers.
“It’s always my favourite time of year when Grand Finals come around, if you’re lucky enough to make it,” Hooker said.
“Fortunately, this year we’ve put ourselves in a really good position… and we’ve got the home ground advantage as well.”
Hooker admitted there’s been a burning fire within the Titans after a disastrous finals campaign last year that saw them lose two champion midfielders to knee injuries, and then bow out of the finals in straight sets.
“It was definitely really disappointing and upsetting for those two girls (Kiara Bowers and Renee Forth), and the club in general, to lose those players at such a pivotal time of the year.
“But look, we’re always a hungry team to win, and to go out quite hard, and I think that fire burning within to win the premiership is always there every year, regardless of the circumstances.
“This year in particular will be the last year of the Coastal Titans; next year we will merge with Subiaco and will be Subiaco footy club.
“I guess this year it’s almost more important than anything to try and finish on a real high for the name of the club and everything it fought for all of us in general.”
Meanwhile, Swan Districts coach Nicole Graves told Girls Play Footy that she was confident her side could take out back-to-back premierships in an historic day for her club.
“We’ve created our own little bit of WA history, as we’re the first team to have all three grades (League, Reserves, Rogers Cup) in their Grand Finals.
“It shows you the depth that’s coming through that environment for us, and it’s going to be a massive day for us.”
Swan Districts was the only side to knock off the Coastal Titans throughout the WAWFL home and away season, and Groves said her team does not fear their star-studded opposition.
“I think it’s one of those interesting things that everyone highlights the AFLW players, but at the end of the day, these two teams have played off in the last few grand finals.
“All those [AFLW] names that get reeled off, our girls have played against in Grand Finals.
“It’s amusing that it’s almost a Freo intra-club game, come Grand Final day, with all those players, probably near 20.”
With AFLW players such as Kara Donnellan, Dana Hooker, Ebony Antonio and Hayley Miller, plus up-and-coming WAWFL stars looking to impress Michelle Cowan to earn a spot on the Fremantle list, as well as the Titans last ever game, it’s bound to be a ‘take no prisoners’ classic this afternoon.
The Western Australia Women’s Football League Grand Final at Medibank Oval will be streamed live on YouTube from 2:30 (AWST)/4:30pm (AEST). The match can be viewed below.