Patterson looking for his final puzzle piece

FINALISTS: Vaughan Patterson and the White Eagles are one of many clubs playing finals football this weekend. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

FINALISTS: Vaughan Patterson and the White Eagles are one of many clubs playing finals football this weekend. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

Vaughan Patterson has had a near perfect 24 months on and off the pitch but the White Eagles midfielder has one missing piece to complete it.

The 25-year-old won a League Championship title and George Naylor Medal in 2015 when with the Fury all while he worked a near 100-page thesis for his Material Engineering at the University of Wollongong.

That University work was completed in 2016, but Patterson still had unfinished business on the football pitch.

The Corrimal resident still yearned for a grand final success. Patterson has been beaten on grand final day three times in the past four years.

He played in the Fury's beaten grand final side last season and was also part of the Bulli team which fell in back-to-back deciders Dapto-Dandaloo and Port Kembla.

On Sunday he will suit up for Albion Park against his former club – now known as Kemblawarra Fury – determined to complete his trophy cabinet.

“It would be massive to win one,” Patterson said.

“I played in two with Bulli and then one last year with Fury but I think this is a big one for me. I am playing with a good bunch of lads and [coach Jeff Allport], everything he has done this year has been really good for the club.

“He has helped bring it back to where it should be. Hopefully we can get a lot of supporters down to have a look.”

Patterson and the White Eagles will more than likely head into the grand final as favourites against a Fury side which won the League Championship with a round remaining in the season.

Park finished third on the ladder but have been outstanding since the middle of the season that saw them beat virtually all of their rivals. Patterson thinks he can pinpoint when their momentum started to build for their devastating title run.

“We had a lot of players I think at the start of the year which sort of dwindled down to our basic sort of 15 by about halfway through. I don’t think it was a coincidence that that was when we started getting a winning run going,” he said.

“I think the Asian boys have obviously had a good year, and have crazy link up.

“I think Mitch Del Turco has had a really good year as well and the base at the back when we had Mark Every and Shannon Fielding come in.”

Patterson has had a strong debut campaign at the White Eagles to back up his George Naylor Medal winning season.

He was overseas when the awards night was held last year, but remains humbled by the accolade which saw him named the Illawarra Premier League’s best player.

“It was a pretty big surprise," he said.

“I thought I had a good year and the club did really well.

"It was pretty exciting.”

Park are expected to have a full complement of players to choose from for the decider.

IPL – Grand Final

Albion Park White Eagles vs Kemblawarra Fury

Sunday, 2.30pm

WIN Stadium

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