Midfield battle looms

THE centre of the park is shaping up as the major battleground for tomorrow night's first division grand final between BTFC and Clinton at Wolves.

“I think our key players will be our midfielders,” BTFC Coach Grant Nicholson said.

“Dominic Tanner and Nathan Brooks work well together and our midfield always works really hard for us.”

Clinton's Andrew Pelling, who is at the helm in the absence of Coach Neil Hamilton, echoed Nicholson's sentiments.

“If we can keep control of the midfield we can win from there,” he said.

Minor premiers BTFC will go into the decider with ample confidence after their 3-1 win over Clinton in the major semi-final, but will be conscious of the fact that they were drubbed 4-0 by the same side at the end of the regular season.

Boyne Tannum has been the form team of the competition this season and Nicholson believes his winning formula should carry his team to grand final glory.

“We've been winning games all year so we know what we're doing, nothing has really changed,” he said.

“I know grand finals are a bigger game, it's easy to say they're just another game but they're not, but we're confident that if we do what we've been doing well it should hold us in good stead.”

Clinton will rely on their attacking nous to get them over the line with in-form marksman Charlie Keenan and Scott Rouse looming as the biggest threats to the BTFC defence.

“We expect them to come out firing but we'll be ready for it,” Nicholson said.

On the other side of the coin, Pelling felt that BTFC's returning personnel could pose some serious problems for Clinton.

“The two Gillett boys weren't there last time so they strengthen them,” he said.

“It depends who they put out; they were missing a couple when we played them last so they'll be quite hard,” he said.

Given the recent downpour, both sides were happy to be playing at the meticulously maintained Wolves ground as opposed to traditional grand final host Marley Brown Oval.

“It's a nice flat surface so you get a good bounce of the ball,” Pelling said.

The game kicks off at 7pm.

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