Traralgon City sights set on historic double

Traralgon City women are hoping to become the first senior team in the club’s history to do the league-cup double when they take on Fortuna ’60 in the Browne/Huizer Cup final tomorrow.

The two teams will face off at Latrobe City Sports Stadium for their second clash in as many weeks, after going head-to-head in the final round of the Latrobe Valley Soccer League home and away season.

Despite winning that encounter 6-2, Roosters coach Duncan Hanlon said he was taking nothing for granted.

“Obviously beating them on Saturday, it gives us a bit of confidence,” Hanlon said.

“But you can’t go in thinking you beat them on the weekend, we can beat them again because finals games are completely different.”

City has enjoyed a dream run this season, winning 22 of its 24 games to win the league ahead of rival Tyers Lightning.

Hanlon said a win tomorrow would be the icing on the cake for club members who have waited so long for the Roosters to enjoy senior success.

“It’ll be exciting times for everyone, not just for the girls,” he said.

“I guess for the girls it’s been a long season to get this far.

“To lose a game would probably leave them a bit sour, but to win it will put them over the moon.”

The Roosters have aimed to play possession football and Hanlon said spectators could expect more of the same during tomorrow’s game.

“We like to keep the ball on the ground and move the ball around,” he said.

“We don’t like these big long kicks and hope people run onto it, because it’s anyone’s game.”

Hanlon said he expected the game to be won in the midfield and for his opponents to change their approach after their last encounter.

Fortuna coach Greg Shankland did not share his opposite number’s enthusiasm and said he would go into the game with an injury-depleted side.

“We’re struggling at the moment because we’ve had bad foot and shoulder injuries,” Shankland said.

“I’ve got 13 and 14 year-olds playing in a women’s side.”

As a result of the injuries, he said Fortuna would play without a bench as only 11 players would be available.

He said the players would have to adapt their style.

“The smartest thing is play with their feet rather than getting caught up (taking on the opposition’s players),” Shankland said.

“If we’ve got possession of the ball the opposition don’t and they’re running around chasing, which for us is ideal because we don’t have the substitutes.”

He said this season was his team’s first playing together and they had exceeded expectations.

“We thought we’d be 10th place on the ladder and we’re actually fourth – it’s been quite an achievement from the club’s point of view,” Shankland said.

“The girls have seen how far they’ve come in a short period of time.”

As a result, he said he was viewing this match as an opportunity for his players to get some experience playing together on the big stage.

“It’s all about developing – I don’t really mind about the final result,” he said.

“The girls have to learn to play together… and enjoy the experience.”