An injection of youth this season has seen the Penrith Ramettes qualify for their first Finals campaign since 2016.
The Ramettes will play an Elimination Final this Saturday morning against the South West Sydney Blues in the AFL Sydney Women’s Division Two competition.
The third vs fourth blockbuster will see one team advance to the next round, while the other will be licking their wounds after a tough season on the paddock.
Speaking with the Weekender, first-year Ramettes coach Nathan White believes his side are a good chance of victory at Rosedale Oval after a strong performance against Minor Premiers Pennant Hills last round.
“We are coming off a really good win, we just managed to knock off the Minor Premiers on the weekend with a convincing win,” he said.
“That was very pleasing and it was their best performance by a long way. It’s really pleasing to see them get to this point and improve so much.”
The Ramettes finished the regular season in third place on the ladder, with seven wins and four losses to their name.
After a few dominant seasons last decade followed by several down years, things are starting to look up again for Penrith’s top female team.
White said the future looks bright for the Ramettes thanks to the introduction of some talented local juniors and up and coming players.
“We’ve added an injection of youth, so we’ve got some juniors that have stepped up that could still be playing juniors but are playing in the seniors for us,” he said.
“We’ve also managed to get some local juniors back who were playing elsewhere. Some of their friends have got in their ear and said, ‘we’re on a good thing here, so how about you come back and play?’.
“So, it’s an injection of new youth to go with that experience, that’s been the real key.”
If the Ramettes do manage to knock off the Blues this weekend, it will be the first time this season they’ve beaten the girls from South West. In Round 2, Penrith went down 26-6 while in Round 11, they were flogged 51-6.
White said his side now compared to earlier this year is remarkably different.
“They are coming on in leaps and bounds. They are a different team to what we started with. We’re set to field a strong team this weekend. If they can produce what they produced last Saturday, they are a very good chance,” he said.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.