They've been forced to take the long road to the Premier League grand final, but Coniston captain Lukas Stergiou insists that his troops wouldn't have wanted it any other way in 2023.
After finishing the regular season in fourth position, Cono faced the tricky prospect of needing to win three finals in a row to book their spot in this Sunday's decider at WIN Stadium.
Coniston's dream run began with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Bulli in week one of the finals before coming from a goal down to beat Wollongong Olympic 2-1 the following week. Last Sunday, they then ensured they would meet Cringila in this year's grand final when Daniel Loe's late header secured a 1-0 win over champions Albion Park.
"Going back a few weeks, we knew that if we could get into that top five, we would be a real chance. So everyone is confident coming into this weekend," Stergiou told the Mercury.
"We're coming off some good results - even going back to that win against Bulli. We've scored some goals and conceded very few. So everyone is over the moon, but we still know that there's a job to do.
"Everyone's healthy, everyone's fit and everyone's available for selection so we're confident of the position that we're in."
Meanwhile, Cringila advanced to the 2023 grand final a week ago - but they've also taken a tough path to get to this position.
After finishing the season in second spot, the Lions had to overcome an extra-time thriller against Olympic in the first week of finals, eventually prevailing 3-2. Crini were then in all sorts of trouble against Albion Park, falling 2-0 down after seven minutes, before fighting back to secure a 3-2 come-from-behind win.
That victory ensured that they enjoyed a week off before this year's decider.
"For us, getting those 90 minutes week in, week out, it's been about having that consistency. And getting those results and playing the way we have, it's the best preparation that can have leading into a grand final," Stergiou said.
"Cringila obviously had a week off and that can be a benefit if you have injuries or whatever, but sometimes it can work against you. We saw it with Albion Park: they finished first, had a week off, came off a loss and came off another loss.
"But I think we've had the best preparation possible. There's not much more we can do except have a good week at training and see how we go on Sunday."
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