Braidwood Under 13s coach Fred Saunders is cautious but quietly confident that his side can take out the Open Under 13 Combined Division Four and Five this season.
Braidwood currently sit on top of the nine-team ladder, with 31 points, nine wins, four draws, and a single loss for the season.
This puts them six points ahead of second-placed Majura FC, who need to win by a large margin this weekend against Radford to have any chance of leapfrogging the current table-toppers.
Regardless of the result, Saunders will take incredible pride from what his side has achieved this season.
“Right at the start of the season, when we were talking about getting a team, there were some people running around in some elements of the community going ‘Aw, what’s the point?’” Saunders said.
“’[You’re] taking a team over there that’s not gonna be competitive.’ I just said to ‘em ‘well, we’re gonna take them over anyway’.”
The youngsters did more than just compete, they have defied all expectations and dominated the competition.
As the junior division doesn’t have a finals series, the premiership will go to the team at the top of the ladder following this weekend’s last round of matches.
On Saturday, Braidwood will face off against Burgmann, who are currently second-last on the ladder. However, Saunders expects that Burgmann will prove tougher than many expect.
“I’m expecting a competitive game, and that’s what I said to the kids last night at training,” Saunders said.
“Just because we’re sitting where we are on the ladder, and Burgmann are effectively coming last on the ladder, doesn’t mean it’s gonna be a pushover and an easy game by any stretch of the imagination.”
Braidwood are coming off a hotly contested draw against Queanbeyan City FC, which Saunders said was made all the more competitive by playing in Queanbeyan.
“Last time we played ‘em, I think we beat them [8-0],” he said. “But that was in Braidwood. When you go over to Canberra, you know you’re gonna face the strongest team that they’ve got.”
This weekend’s final match of the season between Braidwood and Burgmann will take place at the Braidwood Rec Grounds from 12.30pm on Saturday September 8.