NFL Girls Under 18 Grand Final Preview – Lions v Falcons


The South Morang Lions deserve to be favourites in the NFL Girls U18s Grand Final, being played this Sunday. They didn’t drop a game during the season proper, with an average winning margin of over 50 points. At their best they are a force to admire.


The Lions come up against the Darebin Falcons, last year’s Premiers but Third placed at the end of this year’s Home and Away season. They overcame their nemesis, Diamond Creek in the Preliminary Final to meet the Lions in this most special day.


I think the Falcons have the Lions measure. The Falcons have come close to beating the Lions, notably just a few weeks ago when they fell agonizingly short by three points. The two closest games the Lions have had this season have been against the Falcons. And Darebin has form and history. They have won the last 4 Premierships, so they know victory and they have a hunger.


They are led by their coach, Jess, a formidable coach (and Seniors player) as well as an unassuming character. She manages both the ‘quiet’ conversation with her players and an intense passion that only the best coaches convey convincingly. It’s like the blood in the eye that Dylan sings about. It’s about winning at any cost, while understanding each player’s ability and contribution and how that can be wrapped up into a team’s optimum performance.


The Falcons have now won their last three games in a row and that wouldn’t hurt their confidence. They know they can beat the Lions. To do so, their best players are going to have to play their best game of the year. Again, I think they can do it.


They are top heavy with top notch talent. Gena, Rechelle, Lauren, Mei, Karly and Karmen are the unofficial team leaders, both in skills and maturity. Mei is Captain. Between these six players is the kind of talent that clubs dream of and it’s no surprise that most of them have been around for the previous 4 Premierships. If they can take control the game is the Falcons to win.


However, the team does not rest on their talent. The developing leaders include Dani, Grace, Cat, Eliza, Vanessa and Xena. Sunday is their day to shine. They have been good to outstanding during the season but the Falcons need them to reach deep into their talent and play the game of their career.


The Falcons depth is such that the team is much more than those mentioned. Anastasia (daughter of fellow Almanacer, Phil Dimitriadis) is in her first season at the Falcons and has already stamped an impression that suggests she will be in the Leadership group soon. Our daughter, Mercedes missed most of last season with a broken ankle but has come back this year and stood up as an improving player.


Jess will undoubtedly ask her team to run and keep running, to keep it physical (they are a superb tackling team), to play position but to find the loose player and make the play. She will ask and her team will follow.  Mostly, she will ask her charges to enjoy the experience, to savour the moment.


They have it in them to win. Jess knows it, the team knows it. I suspect the South Morang Lions know it. Around 5pm this Sunday afternoon the game will be decided. Both teams deserve the Premiership but I have my allegiance. So, go Falcons. As the team song says, “We’re fanFalcontastic, and we never, ever, ever, miss a goal”!


  1. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Excellent preview Rick. Girls were gutsy last week. If they start well today we are a big show. Go FALCONS !!!

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