Swifts, Bombers approach final with different philosophies
SWIFTS coach Damian O'Donohue prepared his charges for today's A-Grade semi final by hosting a "Mexican Gangsters” soiree at the club last weekend.
His counterpart Daniel Roos used the break to ramp up the Bombers' training workload.
O'Donohue wanted to give his side a "chance to unwind after a long year”, and reset the batteries for what he hopes will be a successful finals campaign.
Roos used last season's upset grand final defeat as a blueprint for how to better prepare his team for the rigours of finals footy.
Two different approaches to achieving the same goal - a place in the grand final.
Just whose approach will prove the most fruitful will only be known after 80 minutes of football this afternoon.
O'Donohue believes Fassifern have earned the right to be considered premiership favourites.
The Bombers'15-game win streak would be a fair reason to agree.
But Roos knows the risks of being too complacent.
"I learnt a lot last year with how our players responded,” Roos said referencing the grand final defeat to Goodna.
"A lot of the guys involved last year are here again. They're not allowing the new guys to switch off.”
The Fassifern boss believes there is a better feeling at training this season compared to last.
"The players are still really enjoying their football and being with each other. That's probably different this year to last year,” he said.
It has been 20 days since the Bombers last played a competitive fixture.
O'Donohue believes that could play into the Bluebirds' favour.
"It could go either way. They could be nice and fresh or a bit rusty, hopefully it's the latter,” the 2018 Senior Coach of the Year said.
Having suffered through a minor injury crisis in recent months, O'Donohue said his side would enter today's match "pretty close to full strength” with winger Aaron Nemani the only major out.
"It's a whole new bench now,” O'Donohue said.
"You can see in the intensity in their training., the boys are really looking forward to the challenge.
"They know Fassifern are the team to beat. They know they have to play their best to compete.”
A-Grade Major Semi-Final: Today (3.30pm) - Fassifern Bombers v Swifts Bluebirds at North Ipswich Reserve