Penrith Ramettes assistant coach Jennifer Brown is confident her side has what it takes to go all the way in this year’s AFL Sydney Women’s Division 2 finals.
Brown, who is now the team’s assistant coach after having a baby three months ago, captained the Ramettes in the 2014 finals, and believes her side is in a good position to go one better this season.
Last year Penrith made it all the way to the preliminary final before being bundled out by the Wollongong Saints 57-29.
Brown said after a slow start to the season, the Ramettes have really hit their stride of late.
“We were certainly finding our feet during the first half of the year,” she told the Weekender.
“Our start to the season was a bit disruptive due to rain and scheduling, and our squad featured many new players.
“16 rounds on, those players are really starting to develop and I think we have a strong chance of at least making it to the Grand Final, if not potentially winning it all.
Last Saturday the Ramettes, who finished fourth during the regular season, played in an Elimination Final against the fifth-placed Blacktown Magic.
Despite losing to the Magic on both occasions this year, the Ramettes prevailed with flying colours, winning comfortably 65-23.
“I wouldn’t say we did it easily but we were lucky to have a few of our key players back on board. When we played Blacktown earlier this year, both times we had players missing through injury and rep duty,” Brown said.
“Everything just worked for us last weekend and to beat Blacktown quite convincingly puts us in a wonderful position leading into the rest of the finals.”
This Sunday the Ramettes will travel to Henson Park to take on the UTS Shamrocks at 12pm.
The semi-final match-up will be a familiar sight for both sides who have met each other in the same fixture twice in two seasons.
“UTS are strong but we’ve beaten them in the semis these last two years,” Brown said.
“If we continue our wonderful streak, then hypothetically we should take the win out.”
Gosford finished the season on top with Brown nominating the girls from the Central Coast as Penrith’s toughest competition so far.
“Gosford are our main rivals this season. They were the minor premiers and we lost both times to them this season,” she said.
– Nathan Taylor
Nathan Taylor is the Western Weekender’s award-winning sports journalist. Nathan is also the Weekender’s Deputy Editor.