Newcastle Olympic’s captain Laura Hall knows all too well the feeling of losing a grand final, going down 4-2 to Warners Bay last year.
But this weekend, Hall and her Olympic side are out for redemption against premiers Broadmeadow Magic in the NPL Women’s NNSW grand final.
“I probably can’t even put it into words how much I want the win,” Hall said.
“The memory of winning our last grand final is still there and I guess knowing how hard we had to work for that.
“We have to win this weekend, it’s a non-negotiable. We have worked really hard all year. We’ve battled, we’ve made it and now we just need to do one more and go the extra mile this time.”
Hall has led her team through another successful season in 2023, finishing second on the table and fighting their way through to the grand final.
Olympic are yet to beat Magic this season, after one draw and three defeats. But Hall knows the quality of her team and that previous results only motivate them more to get the win on Sunday.
“100% we have a score to settle,” Hall said.
“We have our rivalry outside of the scorelines this year but to not have beaten them this year definitely adds some extra fire to the belly and making us want it even more this year.
“I think we have such an incredible squad, so much depth in our squad, we are a completely different team heading into the grand final this year. Lots of different players do different roles, which is something that we had to see on the weekend, with different girls stepping up and scoring goals.
“I’m so proud of the girls. We have so much talent in our squad and I am really excited to see that show on the weekend.”
Hall says the squad are excited for the match and are hoping to keep the winning momentum going from the preliminary final into this weekend’s grand final.
‘We’re pumped,” Hall said.
“I think we’re still riding the adrenaline from the weekend winning the preliminary final against Maitland.
“We are now starting to focus on the weekend but we are bringing that momentum from the weekend with us.”
Olympic bounced back from going down 3-1 to Magic in the qualifying final to defeat Maitland 3-1 in a dominant performance. Hall thinks the two physical finals have better prepared them for a fiery grand final match.
“I think it’s a really good thing to have two big and difficult games in the lead-up to the grand final,” Hall said.
“Everyone has come out of it injury free but we have really had to battle on the weekend, so I think that is only going to serve us on Sunday knowing what we need to do for another 90 minutes.”
Hall admits that there are advantages for Magic playing at home but doesn’t believe it will impact the outcome of the match, with an abundance of Olympic supporters expected in the stands.
“Potentially of knowing the field but we have been here a lot this season. I think the crowd will be pretty even in terms of support but we know the field, it’s a big pitch, we know how they play on it and we have come up against them here a few times here already. I don’t think it will be something that will make the match go one way or the other,” Hall said.
Hall will lead the Olympic side out to fight for the championship at Magic Park on Sunday at 5pm.
Find out all match day information for this weekend’s grand finals here.
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