WAFLW Grand Final day for 2022 is here and it will be East Fremantle taking on Claremont with the premiership cup up for grabs at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday.
The Sharks and Tigers have been the two standout teams of the WAFLW season for 2022 and it's only fitting they will now meet in Saturday's Grand Final at Claremont's Revo Fitness Stadium.
East Fremantle went through the 2022 season with a perfect 14-0 record and then kept their undefeated streak going by beating Claremont in the second semi-final to advance into Saturday's Grand Final.
Claremont had earned a second opportunity and beat Swan Districts in a hard fought preliminary final last Sunday to earn their way into the Grand Final which just happens to be at their home ground.
It will be a second WAFLW Grand Final appearance for East Fremantle on the back of winning the inaugural premiership in 2019.
Claremont has reached their first Grand Final in what is the fourth season since the WA Women's Football League converted to the WAFLW competition to work in conjunction with the growing of AFLW.
Grand Final day at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday will begin with the Youth Girls Rogers Cup decider between East Fremantle and Peel Thunder which will begin at 9.45am.
The WAFLW Reserves Grand Final will then see East Fremantle take on Claremont with bounce down at 12.15pm.
WAFLW GRAND FINAL
EAST FREMANTLE v CLAREMONT
East Fremantle has the chance to complete a perfect season in Saturday's WAFLW Grand Final at Revo Fitness Stadium but Claremont has been hot on their heels all season setting up a fascinating match up.
East Fremantle might have gone through the season undefeated winning all 14 matches of the home and away season in the WAFLW for 2022 and then booked in a spot in the Grand Final by beating Claremont in the second semi-final but it was only by five points.
However, the Tigers have been impressive throughout the 2022 season as well to end up finishing the season in second position to earn the finals double chance, which they made the most of by beating Swan Districts in last Sunday's preliminary final.
The two teams have met three times so far in 2022 starting back in Round 3 with East Fremantle winning a thriller in what was a battle of undefeated teams at this point but it was only a two-point thriller.
The Sharks managed to win by 26 points in Northampton against the Tigers in Round 11 in a result that ended up sewing up the minor premiership for East Fremantle.
It wasn’t until the second semi-final when the two teams met again and that was at New Choice Homes Park with a spot in the Grand Final up for grabs.
In challenging conditions, Claremont was able to kick the only goal and keep East Fremantle scoreless in the first half but the Sharks responded to end up winning 2.2 (14) to 1.3 (9) to stay unbeaten and book a Grand Final spot.
Both teams as you would expect were well represented in the WAFLW Team of the Year announced during the week.
Alex Williams, Hayley O'Donnell, Sharon Wong, Larissa Versaci, Julia Teakle, Ashleigh Gomes and Ashlee Atkins were all named from East Fremantle.
Claremont was represented by Paige Hamilton-Smith, Madi Scanlon, Kate Orme, Ella Smith and Tessa Doumanis.
East Fremantle coach Matt Templeton was named Coach of the Year back on Monday night at the WAFLW Awards as well but he's now excited for Saturday's Grand Final and doesn’t feel any sense of pressure in trying to complete the unbeaten season.
"There's a lot of excitement around the place and it's almost tinged with a little bit of sadness as well because we've had a great season, but we've made a point of really enjoying each other's company and having a good time while we've gone about it down at Shark Land this year," Templeman told 91.3 SportFM.
"The fact that it's all coming to an end there's a bit of an emotional attachment to that as well. Personally I'd like the season to go for another six or seven weeks but obviously we're hoping for it to finish how we hope.
"Externally I've had a lot of people talk about the pressure of us being undefeated and not wanting to lose the Grand Final after that, but I think that's just from people looking at it from the outside. For us, we're well aware of how close the games have been against Claremont and how evenly the two teams are matched.
"We've got up over them a couple of times with some really close matches so when Grand Finals come around, however you get there doesn’t really matter. It's all about who's the best team on the day so that undefeated streak is more of a storyline from the outside more so than it is for us."
Claremont coach Jack Schwarze knows it's a big job ahead of the Tigers to try and hand East Fremantle its first loss of the season if they want to win the premiership, but it's a task he doesn’t feel is beyond his team.
"We're absolutely hoping for the result and we're really confident that as long as we put our best foot forward that we've got the process and system to do it," Schwarze told 91.3 SportFM.
"I'm feeling excited and nervous and everything throughout the week, but at the end of the day I'm actually feeling really calm because everything is as we expected it to be. Our preparation is done and now it's in the fate of the game.
"Winning is why we do this, we do it to be premiers and as a group internally we spoke about all our whys. Why we play footy, why we coach and why we're involved. It almost always comes back to flags and friendships so to be able to have a bond like this as a group is what you dream of.
"Our theme for the last sort of six weeks has been Grand Final stories. We've had everybody across the club – the staff, players and coaches tell their story before training. So every training we've had one or two tell a story about what their experience has been and some of them have never been there.
"Others have been there and lost and others have been there and won so we're just riding that emotion and that's what we want to achieve. That's what we're going for so we visualise and hope for it, and when it comes we'll be ready. If it doesn’t then we'll wear it because that's the journey of football."
Tickets can be bought at the gate or online to save time! Get your online tickets here: https://www.intix.com.au/events/waflwgrandfinal