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Aiming for the crown

Whitsunday Sea Eagles captain, Peter Bond and Mackay City Hawks captain Chris Butcher, each with one hand on the 2010 Premiership trophy ahead of this weekend's grand final.
Whitsunday Sea Eagles captain, Peter Bond and Mackay City Hawks captain Chris Butcher, each with one hand on the 2010 Premiership trophy ahead of this weekend's grand final.

THE Whitsunday Sea Eagles will shed blood, sweat and tears to be crowned the 2010 AFL Mackay Premiers when they travel to Harrup Park this Saturday to take on the Mackay City Hawks in the premiership decider.

The Sea Eagles faced elimination last weekend when they took on the North Mackay Saints in the preliminary final.

But in true Sea Eagles style, the Whitsunday side demolished the Saints by 80 points.

Whitsunday Sea Eagles coach James McKenzie said the win restored the team with a much-needed boost ahead of this weekend's grand final clash.

“We got an awesome confidence boost out of it,” he said.

“Everyone's just buzzing and can't wait.

“There's a really good feeling about and everyone is just keen as.”

Although the win propelled the Sea Eagles into the grand final, 2010 hasn't been all smooth sailing for the local side.

After a strong start to the season the Sea Eagles looked set to again remain undefeated for the entire season – a feat they achieved last year before losing the 2009 grand final to the Eastern Swans.

But a handful of losses in the later part of the season brought the Sea Eagles back to earth.

McKenzie said that these losses had made his side a stronger and more determined outfit in 2010.

He also believes that he now understands the winning formula needed to take out this year's title.

“It all comes down to team discipline,” he said.

“If we stick to our game plan for four quarters, I think we'll win it.

“We've just got to make sure the boys are all switched on and enjoy the day and never give up.”

For some Sea Eagles players, this year's grand final will top off what has been another successful year for the men in blue, red and white.

Full forward Nick O'Reilly was the second leading goal-kicker this season while inspirational captain Peter Bond was narrowly beaten for the honour of being named AFL Mackay best and fairest player of the year and Quest player of the year.

A grand final win would also top off a great year for club veteran John Ryan who played his 200th game for the Sea Eagles earlier this year.

AFL Mackay Grand Final

  • WHEN: Saturday, September 11
  • WHERE: Harrup Park, Mackay
  • TIME: Kick-off at 2.45pm

Supporters Bus

The Whitsunday Sea Eagles will be running a supporters bus to the grand final.

  • WHERE FROM: Whitsunday Sports Park at 10am, BP at Proserpine at 10.30am
  • COST: $25 – includes return transfers and ground entry
  • MORE INFO: call Whitsunday Transit on 4946 1800

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