One step away

MCDFL - Navarre is ready and raring to go as it looks to go one step further and claim the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football League premiership on Sunday.

First they must overcome a tough Carisbrook outfit who just three weeks ago, defeated the Grasshoppers by 20 points in the qualifying final and forced them to make the grand final the hard way.

Since then, Navarre hasn't looked back and last week downed Maldon by 23 points to progress through to Sunday's premiership decider.

Navarre coach Daniel Parkin said Sunday's match will come down to 'who turns up to play.'

"Whoever hits the body hardest to get first use of the ball will win," Parkin said, adding the match will come down to every contest.

"The players on the field (Navarre and Carisbrook) are identical. The difference between the home and away season, when we won, is that we came to play and then in the final they came to play. People have asked 'who do you think will win?' Flip a coin."

Navarre had a light skills session in Ballarat on Tuesday night and met last night, where they spoke about match ups and set ups with Parkin saying the mood around the club was good.

However, in doubt ahead of Sunday's match is defender Jayden Fowkes, who rolled an ankle in the under 17.5s preliminary final last weekend.

His loss was a blow to the Grasshoppers, but his 15 year old brother Josh showed last week he can easily slot in and play a role.

Jesse Hannett is back in the mix though, after missing the past two matches with a shoulder injury.

Carisbrook were in fine form at the weekend in their 38 point win against minor premiers Lexton and Parkin is aware of the challenge that awaits him and his players on Sunday.

"They were 'on' at the weekend. If they bring that game on Sunday, they're going to be hard to beat," Parkin said.

Parkin highlighted that it was 'really important' to shut down Carisbrook's main runners, who are highly disciplined and tend to stick to their team structure.

Navarre has to also be mindful of the Redbacks three main focal points in the forward line, with Nathan Wright, Thomas Wright and Jackson Bowen all in good form.

Daniel Fitzell, Tom Kaye and Sam Robertson will again be relied heavily upon to keep the trio quiet but help must come from the likes of Bryce Tickner, Ben Scott and Jeremy Harrington through the midfield.

Parkin said tomorrow he is looking to not only his forwards to kick goals, but midfielders and flankers must stand up and contribute.

In the end though, it will all come down to all 22 players stepping up and playing their role.

"The better players aren't going to win you the game. It is up to the bottom five or six to stand up and have a ripper of a game to get the team over the line," Parkin said.

"The top 10-15 play good (football) week in, week out but coming into the grand final, you need them all to stand up and play at the intensity that it requires."

Sunday's likely lineup:

B: S Benham D Fitzell J Fowkes

HB: T Kaye S Robertson J Driscoll

C: B Moloney D Parkin B Tickner

HF: J Rathgeber A Driscoll N Murphy

F: L Hannett K Brennan B Scott

R: R Murphy D Reading B Crichton

Interchange (from): J Harrington, B Lovison, B Parry, M Newton, J Hannett.

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