Navarre will be looking to reach its seventh consecutive Maryborough Castlemaine District Football League (MCDFL) senior grand final when it takes on Natte Bealiba on Saturday.
The Grasshoppers have not missed a senior football grand final since joining the MCDFL in 2011.
Any niggling injuries and soreness were put to rest for Navarre over the last two weeks, after a qualifying final win saw the minor premiers earn a week off and proceed straight to the preliminary finals.
Navarre assistant coach Matt Newton said a week off is always welcome, no matter when it occurs.
“I think the week off definitely helps us rest any niggling injuries,” he said.
“We had a full training session in the week off and we encouraged our players to keep active.
“We have a few blokes that have played for quite some time and been in this situation before, so they know how to look after themselves and prepare best for the weekend.”
Newton said the main factor with the week off is ensuring the younger players in the team do not become complacent.
“It is up to the senior guys to reignite the passion in the younger guys if needed and rev them up to get going once again,” he said.
“I think once the younger guys are up and about our whole team lifts.”
The Grasshoppers are coming up against a Swans side that endured a grueling semi-final win against Talbot last weekend.
The team’s met just once this year, with Navarre claiming a tight eight-point win.
“It always seems to be close when we play Natte, no matter the situation,” Newton said.
“They are experienced, strong and like to move the ball quickly.
“I think the key message for us is rather than trying to stop their ball movement it will be about keeping the ball out of their hands as much as possible.”
The Grasshoppers will nearly have a full squad to pick from ahead of the final, with the cast of injured players from the back end of the season recovering to full fitness.
“Billy Parry is probably unlikely to get up, but we will have about 28 to 29 guys to pick from,” Newton said.
“It is a bit of a headache for the coaching panel but it is a good problem to have at this time of the year.”
The minor premiers have won their last 12 games and are by far the most in-form side in the competition.
Newton said the chance of another grand final is an exciting prospect.
“The main message for our boys is to enjoy the day. They have done the hard work throughout the year,” he said.
“From previous years I have found preliminary finals to nearly be more exciting than the grand final.
“It is exciting for our team, our club and our supporters to be in a preliminary final again and hopefully we can get the job done and move on to another grand final.”
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