NOT EVEN A SWOOPING magpie could hold the Biloela Valleys Ladies' team back.
As Valleys Ladies took to the Clinton Field in Gladstone last Saturday to vie for the grand final, a friendly magpie decided it wanted to play as well.
"Our win didn't come without something unexpected happening,” player Brae Lee said.
"Never did we think we would have to contend with the resident magpie.”
No one was safe as the bird swooped Valleys and the team they were playing against, Central Cubs.
"It was in fine form, swooping any player or spectator it didn't seem to like,” Brae said.
"Lucky it wasn't biased and it swooped both teams, which made for an interesting time.”
The swooping magpie fired determination in the ladies to play harder as they gave the game their all and came out on top.
"Probably helped with our adrenaline level the day though and made us more determined to get the ball in the back of the net.”
The preliminary final game was a tough game with only one goal scored throughout that game.
"A game against any team in the ladies' second division comp this year has been hard games,” Brae said.
"The game on Saturday against Central Cubs was no different.”
The Biloela crew were a bit unsure at the start.
The Cubs had a larger team with more on the bench.
"The Valleys ladies were a bit quiet in the first 10 minutes and played careful football,” Brae said.
" Once we got ourselves sorted and started passing the ball well we really came into the game.”
As the ball moved around the field changing possession, both teams brought their A game.
"Our defence, as always, was really strong,” Brae said.
"Midfield did an amazing job bringing the ball through to the forwards.
"Unfortunately we couldn't finish a few plays off but the team worked really hard to get the goal that was a perfect pass from Step Wailes on to Yanah Floridis to finish off. Cubs are a quality side of young ladies that play good football.”
This weekend Valleys Ladies will be playing Meteors in Gladstone for the grand final.
"This weekend will be tough,” Brae said.
"Meteors are a good quality side with players that have played together for a long time.
"Every game we have played this season against them we have had to dig deep and play our absolute best.”
The Meteors are at the top of the ladder and are the strongest team of the season.
"We have faced Meteors four times this season and we have gone down each time,” Brae said.
"Hopefully that will change this weekend when it matters the most.
"All our games have been very close and our losses only occurred in the final minutes of games.
"Meteors have only scored eight goals against us all season and we have scored three against them.”
The ladies have been working hard at training, working on their strengths and weaknesses.
"Working on our possession and passing and making the right decisions has been a focus,” Brae said.
"We are lucky enough to have the support of the men's teams to still come and give us the chance to play in our positions and work on things that need fine tuning.
"Having the opportunity to talk things through has helped a lot.”
With a total of 19 players in the team, each lady has their own role.
"Everyone in the team knows their jobs and what and where they need to be on the field,” Brae said.
"We have grown a lot over the season.
"Silvia, our Italian import, is learning the Aussie way and doing really well.”
Just as important as the players is the support crew.
"Everyone supports and encourages everyone both on and off the field in some way, shape or form,” Brae said.
"Coach/player Mel Kummerow and manager Ray Nevell have always been there to help anyone not understanding things and it doesn't take long to 'get it'.
"Jason Williams has also helped us understand things making better choices on the field in regards to passes.
So our team isn't just those running around on the park week in, week out; it's the whole Valleys football club helping us.”
At the end of the day, being in the grand final is an incredible for the Valleys Ladies.
"It feels amazing,” Brae said. "The last few years we have really struggled to get wins on the board and have a really good chance at the grand final.
"We had a shot at semi's last year but a goal difference on the leader board was the difference in the end.
"For myself, I only took up football to make up numbers a few years ago so there was a ladies' team in the competition.
"I think the whole team is over the moon and will be ready to play on the weekend.”