After a 13-1 season, Bendigo Thunder claimed the minor premiership of the Northpark NFLW Division 1 competition.
Aiming for finals at the beginning of the year, the Thunder have well and truly achieved that goal and have booked themselves a place in Saturday’s second semi final against Diamond Creek Women at Preston City Oval.
Thunder coach Cherie O’Neill is excited by her side’s prospects after their outstanding home and away form but is not prepared to look too far ahead in a strong finals series that still includes the VU Western Spurs, Diamond Creek Women’s and Melbourne University.
“We’ve been very happy with the girls and have been very impressed with how they have been playing,” O’Neill said.
“We’re pretty excited about the finals but we are trying to keep a bit of a lid on it.
“In the back of our minds we have the memory of our grand final loss last year so we know it’s not over until the siren goes.”
After suffering their first loss of the season against Darebin in the final home and away round, O’Neill acknowledges that her side has room for improvement.
“We finished with a loss which was a bit disappointing but overall we’ve been very happy with the season we’ve had,” she said.
“We have taken a bit out of our loss. Our structures fell away a little bit and we had a few little undisciplined acts that we will have a chat about at training and then we will move on and focus on our finals campaign.”
After having a rest in the opening week of the finals, O’Neill intended to bring her side together to regroup.
“We are going to do some team-building orientated things at training and work on a few of the things that we need to improve on.
“We need to take it one game at a time and try and conquer those and keep focused.”