Jets are feeling more "confident, but not cocky” says midfielder Alex Armstrong as the squad counts down to the NPL Women’s Under 23 Grand Final.
Lions, who finished runners-up on the ladder, await Jets’ young side at Perry Park on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm.
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It’s a remarkable finish to a remarkable second half of the season for Jets, who were one off bottom after round 10, but in fourth after round 15 - and held it to the end.
They finished the regular season beating premiers Gold Coast United 2-1 and Lions 1-0, before Sunday’s dramatic 3-2 win over Gold Coast in the semi-final.
“There’s a very positive feeling in the squad, everyone’s feeling good,” said Alex, who was captain in the absence of Sarah Evans for the semi.
“We’re on a winning streak and that builds confidence, but we’re not cocky. We managed to keep Lions out, by our fingertips, in the last round.
“They will definitely come out stronger on Saturday (in the grand final) and probably have more subs on the bench.
“We have to be prepared, have a game plan and have a good warm-up before the game. If we do, I think we’ll have a chance.”
Alex is one of the more experienced players in our young squad having been with Jets five years ago, then joining ACE and Brisbane City before re-joining us this season.
The 22-year-old has been a key figure in midfield this year but says defence has been the key to Jets’ surge up the table and into the finals.
“In the first round we conceded 20 goals and were coming last, or next to last, in the competition,” Alex said.
“In the second round we only conceded six goals. Defence has been our game changer. They keep us in the match.”
It has also been the platform for strikers Khiana Shervey (10 goals in 8 games) and Alex Mackie (6 goals in 14 games) to help secure 19 points from the last 24.
Khiana scored twice and Alex Mackie won and converted the late penalty in the semi-final at Gold Coast United on Sunday.
“I fell to the ground (on the final whistle)!” Alex Armstrong said of the semi-final.
"Everyone else was celebrating …. I was so exhausted. I didn’t think it was possible.
I was so excited.
"This is the best bunch of girls I’ve played with.”