Footscray through to grand final


Tara Murray

Footscray held its nerve to come from behind to seal a Hockey Victoria Women’s premier league grand final spot.

The Bulldogs trailed 2-0 at three quarter time of their preliminary final clash on Saturday against Southern United.

The game was far from over with the Bulldogs levelling the scores at 2-2.

They would eventually win in a shoot out, 6-5.

Bulldogs coach Alex Shirley said it was really exciting to have made it through to the final game of the season.

“The work the girls have put in and to come out like this after two lost seasons with the expectation of full season this year,” he said.

“We set the expectation to finish in the top four. Once we looked like achieving that, the girls started to aim for the premiership.

“We made the top four and then it’s been take it one week at a time. Hopefully we have one more win to come.”

Shirley said while some teams would panic being done 2-0 at three quarter time in the preliminary final, the group knew what they had to do.

He said they had trained for this situation throughout the year.

“The girls fought really hard,” he said.

“We’ve trained through the season practicing playing where we were a goal or two goals down.

“We put in a change in formation and talked about having to make those changes. In the final game of the season we were 2-0 at half time against Essendon before coming back to have a 2-2 draw.

Shirley said it was nerve wrecking during the shoot out. He shouldn’t have worried.

“It can be lottery at times,” he said. “Our keeper Ash Wells, .who is knew to the club this year, used to play for Australia.

“We had a lot of faith in her.”

The Bulldogs now face Essendon in the grand final.

The two teams have played twice this season, with the Bulldogs yet to beat them.

“The first time we lost and the second time we drew 2-2,” Shirley said.

“It will be a really tough game and they don’t have any weaknesses. We have confidence that we can get it done.”