The Albatross Demons AFL team took out the South Coast New South Wales Reserve Grade Grand Final when they beat the competition favourites, the Port Kembla Blacks, on the weekend.
Albatross Demons won 9.4 (58) with the Port Kembla Blacks scoring 6.15 (51).
Albatross were definite underdogs in the lead up to the finals having been beaten by 81 points by the Port Kembla Blacks in the semi-finals, but come Grand Final day this was set to change.
Demons player, Leading Seaman Aaron Smits said the team’s emotions going onto the field were mixed.
“A lot of us were really nervous pre-game and going into the first quarter. Overall I think there was a combination of excitement and nervousness, but there was also a sense of calm in the air and a ‘don't let your mates down’ approach. I think this attitude was the biggest contributor to the Demons win.”
“When it got to half time and we were 19 points down we all knew we needed to dig deep to get the win and everybody did just that. It was truly brilliant to see so many players putting a 110% effort in on the day.”
LS Smits said that while the half time mark was tense, the 3rd quarter was a definite highlight.
“We managed to keep Port Kembla AFC goalless and we kicked five goals to take the lead going into the fourth quarter. The third quarter was massive for the Albatross AFC: we were extremely pumped up and knew that we were back in the game and that a Grand Final Victory was ours for the taking.”
The final concluded LS Smits fourth season with the Demons and he said camaraderie was definitely the team’s major strength.
“All the players were a very tight bunch, we all enjoyed playing football and we all had the same focus which brought a brilliant attitude to the club and made for a fun and enjoyable season.”
Another highlight of the day for LS Smits was being named Man of the Match.
“I was very surprised to be honest,” LS Smits said of his award.
“But, after the initial shock I was just glad to know that I had put everything I had into the game. Being recognised as the Best on Ground was a brilliant feeling and having your team mates support you for winning it makes it better. I truly believe that everyone who played on that day deserved the Best on Ground Medal, it was an enormous team effort, and we proved that anything can happen in a Grand Final.”