Back-to-back titles the aim for young Meteors
HOCKEY: Meteors women's coach Wayne Chapman is quietly confident his team can spring an upset in today's CQHL grand final against Rockhampton rivals Southern Suburbs.
The best two sides will meet at Rockhampton's Kalka Shades from 5.15pm with Meteors aiming for back-to-back premierships.
Both sides had tough semi-final encounters last week; Meteors had a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Wanderers, while Southern Suburbs defeated Frenchville Rovers 3-2 in extra time to qualify for the decider.
Southern Suburbs won both games against Meteors during the regular season, but Chapman said his side was understrength for those fixtures.
"We haven't been full strength all year and those two games we had our least strongest teams and it just happened to be against our arch rivals," he said.
"This week we are full strength for the first time in a while so hopefully everybody will show up with their A-game and put one over them again.
"They've got a good coach who watches a lot of hockey so she would be looking at things and this week we won't be playing anything like we did last week."
While Meteors are hoping to go back-to-back, Southern Suburbs manager Lee Tunny said her side was looking to "get one back" on their Gladstone rivals after last year's grand final shoo tout heartbreak.
"It will be a bit of a grudge match," Tunny said.
"They beat us last year in the final so we'd love to get one back on them. We've beaten them both times this year but there hasn't been a lot in it.
"It will be a tough hard game. We'll need to control the ball and convert our chances."
The match will be the first time both sides have played on the new Kalka Shades synthetic surface, a potential advantage for Meteors according to Chapman.
"The other surface is very different to (Gladstone) and those girls hate playing on this one and we hate playing on (theirs), but the new one is completely different," he said.
"So it's an even playing field and a bit of pressure on them being minor premiers and it's their home turf.
"They also whinge about here and think they are so good up there - it will be interesting to see if they can back that up."
Chapman said claiming back-to-back titles would be fantastic given the player turnover his side has experience this year.
"We've got nearly a complete new group with eight new players," he said.
"We lost a lot of senior players and we've got a lot of juniors in the team this year.
"It will big for our club because we have a lot of girls here and they are good role models and the juniors come watch.
"So it will be good to fuel the young kids - they always talk about wanting to be in the big team so it would be good to keep that vibe going."
2019 Head to Head
Round 2: Souths 3 def. Meteors 0
Round 9: Souths 5 def. Meteors 2
Women's A1 Ladder
Souths (1st): Played 12, Won 9, Lost 3 (27 points)
Meteors (2nd): Played 12, Won 7, Lost 5 (21 points).