Despite their only loss in the past two senior women’s seasons coming in last year’s cup final, Albury City is not going to let this year’s knockout phase define their 2018 campaign.
St Pats await them in Sunday’s semi-final.
City coach Robert Brown was surprised his side went through the league unbeaten, but said it shows the mark of a champion team.
Brown said the cup final defeat against Boomers last year hasn’t been mentioned at all.
“There’s a reason why you have league champions and cup winners,” Brown said.
“A champion team wins a league, we’ve done that, a good team will win a grand final.
“We’ve achieved the main thing, we’re league winners, we’ve done it twice in a row and haven’t dropped a point in those two seasons.
“We’ve got nothing to prove to anybody, there’s no pressure really on us at all.”
Brown takes confidence from the fact City weren’t as dominant as last season, but still won every game.
“We started the season without a recognised striker and recognised goalkeeper and we’ve had 24 players play first grade for us this year,” he said.
“The fact we’ve worked through that and managed to meet those challenges has been really reassuring.
“We had 20 at training on Tuesday night, which makes it hard when you can only select 16, and it was one of our best sessions.
“It won’t be a disappointing year because winning a league is harder than winning a cup.
“If you’re a good team and you have three weeks work of luck, you’re going to be a grand final winner.
“You can’t win a league by having a couple of weeks of good luck, you’ve got to be more than a good team every week of the season.
“Irrespective of what happens, it’s been a great year for the girls.
“No-one can take away what they’ve achieved this year and last year.”
St Pats captain Claire Mahoney said her side is taking a “nothing to lose” approach into the game.
“It would be great to get a win this weekend when it means the most,” Mahoney said.
“We’ve definitely had a few close games with them and given them a run.
“I think out of all teams, they’d definitely be a little bit frightened coming up against us.”
Mahoney has been incredibly proud of St Pats’ effort so far.
“It’s the first time we’ve been in a semi-final in quite a long time, so that’s an awesome step to even make it to the semi-final,” she said.
“You’re always going to be nervous in a semi-final, but I think it’s a good thing.
“We’ve got to learn not to drop our heads and play to the 90th minute.
“They’re such a strong team, so if we’re up we don’t won’t to lose that lead.”
St Pats have had an uninterrupted run to the final four, playing the last eight games in a row.
“I feel like it’s been a good thing because the few weeks we did have off we came back and we’re a bit sluggish,” Mahoney added.