AFTER taking Wagga Tigers to the brink of a premiership, Matt Rava is looking forward to going all the way with Osborne on Saturday.
Rava has spent the past two seasons as Osborne coach and will lead the Cats into battle when they take on Jindera in Saturday’s Hume League grand final at Walbundrie.
Rava is no stranger to premiership success, winning six flags with Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong during their golden era.
Now at 33, it has been six years since Rava has played on grand final day but he is excited about returning to the big stage.
“Yeah definitely, it’s a grand final, it’s hard not to be,” Rava said.
“It’s totally different to being a young bloke, just playing in it.
“I think my point of view on the whole approach of it is a bit different now but I’m excited about it for sure.”
Rava spent three years in his most recent stint at Wagga Tigers, the last two seasons as senior coach.
He took them within four points of a grand final appearance in 2015, before being replaced by Shaun Campbell. The rest is now history as Tigers went on to win the 2016 Riverina League premiership.
“I was proud of the boys, obviously I’m mates with all of the players and that sort of stuff,” he said.
“I had a lot to do with them for three years so I was stoked to see them get the win and that the hard work paid off.
“It’s been a very similar path (at Osborne), development wise, with a young group and I’m hoping to get some reward with this one.
“I’m really excited about it.”
Osborne went through most of the season undefeated. They suffered their first loss to Jindera in round 18, but then reversed the result a fortnight later with a nine-point win in the second semi-final.
Rava is confident his team can complete the job on Saturday.
“We’ve proven through the year that we’re able to beat anyone on our day,” he said.
“More often than not we’ve got a solid block of contributors so that’s what we look for every week. We talk about the 21 contributors and we’ve been really good in that aspect.
“If we can turn up and everyone contributes we’ll go a long way.”
Recently crowned Azzi Medallist Jamie Parr will be one player Osborne look to for a big game, while young gun Connor Galvin, key forward Andrew Johnston and defenders Duncan McMaster and Andrew Clarke are also keys to success.
Midfielders Marty Bahr, Pat Delaney and Stephen Doig also have important roles to play.