FOR the second consecutive year, the South Fremantle Football Club have stamped themselves as one of the strongest teams in the competition.
With their ninth consecutive win over the weekend, and having won 16 of their 20 games this year, the second-placed Bulldogs are well positioned for a serious crack at this year’s flag.
Last year’s premiers Peel Thunder, the team that knocked them out of the 2016 finals in the penultimate game, stand in their way in this Saturday’s qualifying final.
South Fremantle football manager David Depane said the players had put in the added mile this year through extra training sessions, higher standards and stronger leadership, which had helped them finish second and secure the coveted double chance.
“Our ability to play to team structures has been our biggest asset and we have always felt that if we play our way, follow the game plan and everyone performs their role for the team, the results will look after themselves,” he said.
“There is no doubt our forward line has functioned very well during the season. We are very lucky that we have some potent forwards who all have the ability to kick bags of goals on their given day and the good thing is when one has a quiet day, another pops up and performs well.
“Our midfield group share the load and while we have a couple of players who accumulate disposals, it is the whole group who have performed well through there and our defence is an unheralded group who go about their business from week to week and rebound the ball with precision when required.”
He said their goal at the beginning of the season was to win 12 games, which would qualify them for the final, and while they were pleased with how the season had played out and where they had finished, they would take the finals as they come.
“We are there at least, that’s the first box ticked,” he said. “All five sides that made the finals are very capable of playing good football on their day.
“We believe that our best football is as good as anyone’s and the key for us is to produce our best football during Septem-ber. If we can do this then we are a confident we can have a successful finals campaign.”
The reserves side will also play finals after finishing top of the ladder.
South Fremantle take on Peel Thunder at home in the qualifying final from 2.10pm, September 2.