In his first season at the helm, Jake Stephenson is only one game away from winning the #NPLWNSW Championship when they face the Macarthur Rams in the Grand Final.
The last time the Tigers were here was in 2019 under the tutelage of Jason Eagar, that day went the way of Sydney University as the Tigers fell in a penalty shoot-out.
Stephenson will look to go one better than his predecessor when they travel to Valentine Sports Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers were in the top four for most of the season but almost missed out on a finals place on the last day of the season where Uni dismantled them.
Only seven days later and the Tigers returned the favour where it hurt most, in the semi-final.
“The players lifted themselves and wanted to perform at the highest level. They’re great people so we openly acknowledged the areas to improve then did not dwell on the result,” the Tigers coach said.
“We analysed the game, outlined the problems and then coached the solution. We focused heavily on ‘the what if’s’ of the game and worked on scenarios. We also had a team pizza night, that always helps!”
Stephenson and his team enjoyed the victory on Sunday, in particular in front of a healthy crowd with a large number of Northern Tigers juniors.
“The Senior players enjoyed their moment after Sunday’s win, particularly as they very much wanted to perform to their potential in the lead up to the game all week.”
“As we also look to inspire the next generation of players, it was fantastic to see many young Tigers players and fans at VSP supporting the team and playing their part in the First Grade making a grand final.”
The Tigers come up against a difficult and in form opponent in the Macarthur Rams and Stephenson has full confidence in his team to get the job done.
“Our expectations are to be as competitive as possible going into a grand final. We have respect for Macarthur Rams and for the season they have had,” Stephenson said.
“They are a strong opponent with technical players. Yet if we play to our strengths and embrace the opportunity we hope to come out victorious and create history for Northern Tigers.”
Don’t miss out on this Sunday’s NPL NSW Women’s Grand Final at Valentine Sports Park 1 with kick off set for 3pm.
Those that cannot make the match can watch it LIVE and EXCLUSIVE only on NPL.TV.
-By NPL NSW Women’s Chief Writer and Commentator Nikola Pozder