Lions’ women one game from the perfect season

Before the season, as they battled for survival, the finals seemed well out of reach for Sunbury Lions women’s football team.

Now the Lions are one win away from the perfect season, having won every game so far in the west division of the Victorian Women’s Football League.

The Lions reached the grand final with a win over Melton Centrals on Saturday.

Sunbury came out firing, leading by 19 points at quarter-time and extending that in every quarter to win 10.13 (73) – 5.1 (31).

For Lions coach Kerry Saunders, finals were a long time coming, with the side now anxious for them to start.

“For the last few weeks we were keen to get through without slipping up,” she said before the Centrals game. “The girls have been really keen to get onto playing finals.

“The youth girls who have played for us during the year have now joined us at training since their seasons have finished. They’ve added youth and entertainment.”

Saunders says having the youth girls involved in the finals is beneficial for both them and the club.

“We’ve been lucky to get some of the Craigieburn youth girls to come across and play,” she said. “They gave us a hand when we needed them in horrible weather and they’re part of the team now.

“At the start of the year they never thought they’d be playing senior footy finals for us.”

Saunders says many of the side have played in finals and grand finals with the club previously, and she coached Wyndhamvale Suns to a premiership last year.

“Some players have never played finals before and it’s about making sure everyone knows you have to keep working hard to make grand finals,” she said.

The Lions will have almost a full squad to choose from for the grand final.

“Lyndal Hayes has hurt her knee, but we’re hoping she will be fit,” Saunders says. “And Natasha Hardy is expected to get plaster off her arm in the week of the grand final.”

The Lions will play either Manor Lakes or Melton Centrals in the grand final, at Coburg City Oval from 10am on Sunday, August 30.