Giant Marrar forward Fred Sleeth is gunning for his second premiership in six months on Saturday.
Back in March, Sleeth was a key defender for Southern Districts who won the Northern Territory Football League grand final by just a point.
“For me mate, two grannies in one year, I’m happy with that – in the big dance again!” Sleeth said.
Now based south of the Gold Coast, Sleeth, 28, answered a mid-year call from Bombers coach Shane Lenon to join Marrar.
“Sparksy got on to me and said, ‘Look, we’re a chance down here. Get down here,” Sleeth said. “I’ve played with him at Collingullie before so I knew he was a ripper bloke, a ripper coach, and I knew he’d be fair dinkum, that they’d be around the money, playing for top spot. So I got in the car and I got on a plane.”
A controversial ruling, counting reserve grade and first grade appearances on the same day, allowed him and Curtis Allen to qualify for finals in two weeks. Sleeth says they’ve been right at home at the club.
“Unbelievable mate. They’re bang on what Sparks said – a ripper bunch of blokes and I reckon they’re going to give the title a fair shake,” he said.
The grand final will be Sleeth’s third straight game against North Wagga. He was impressed with the Bombers’ second semi-final victory against the Saints, in which he kicked three goals.
“It was at the right time and it was nice to get the chocolates – just to get it done, especially to come from behind all day and finally scrape over them in a solid contest,” he said.
“It’s a good contest every time we’ve played them and they’re a good spirited side. But it was a tornado the first time and then sleety/rainy the second time, so pretty crappy conditions.”
Sleeth’s combination with retiring full-forward Brad Turner could be crucial, with the pair switching seamlessly between deep forward and up the ground.
“It’s been good to work with Fred the last couple of weeks, just getting to know how he plays,” Turner said.
“We worked pretty well together the last game. There was always talk of swapping and that sort of thing but we never really talked on the field – we just knew when to do it.”