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AFLW: Small things to make big difference

Michael Whiting, AFL Media   March 24, 2017 6:05 PM

AFLW Grand Final Presser Hear from the coaches and captain's in the official AFLW Grand Final Presser.
My dad's won eight [SANFL] cups, so he's been telling me it's the biggest mountain to climb

THERE was a mixture of tension and excitement on the eve of Saturday's inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Grand Final, with Adelaide and the Brisbane Lions both expecting the decider to go down to the wire.

Adelaide coach Bec Goddard and co-captains Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall sat alongside Lions mentor Craig Starcevich and skipper Emma Zielke in a lengthy match-eve press conference on Friday.

Phillips, as she has been for much of the season, was the centre of attention, saying she'd this week leant on her legendary Port Adelaide and Collingwood father Greg and brother-in-law Shaun Burgoyne, the Hawthorn and former Port Adelaide star, for advice.

"My dad's won eight [SANFL] cups, so he's been telling me it's the biggest mountain to climb," Phillips said.

"[He's said] just to take it as it comes, enjoy the week, enjoy the game, but it's going to be a hard-fought battle, probably the hardest game you've played in.

The two-time WNBA champion said she thought the match would come down to the "one per cent things".

Starcevich and Zielke echoed her thoughts.

The Lions have been undefeated with six wins and a draw, but in all but one of those matches, they were pushed to the final minutes.

Zielke said the Lions quickly got over the debacle over the venue for the Grand Final early in the week.

"Craig addressed it and it's been put to the side," she said.

"It's a Grand Final and it's the biggest game of our careers at this point, so that hasn't taken anything away from it.

"We know what's on the line and we're just really excited to be there."

Light drizzle continued on the Gold Coast on Friday as it has for much of the week, and rain is also expected on Saturday.