WAGGA City Wanderers under 23 coach Dave Leonard is quietly confident of his team's chances of snaring back-to-back NPL titles on Sunday.
The Wanderers 23 will be hoping lightning can strike twice as they look to upset the undefeated ANU team on grand final day for the second consecutive year.
It is a big effort for the Wanderers to again progress to the grand final at Deakin Stadium on Sunday, given a handful of the first grade team are still eligible to be playing under 23s.
Leonard is proud of his Wanderers team for again qualifying for the big dance.
"Pretty stoked, we've got a big chance of going back to back so I'm quietly confident," Leonard said.
"We did the same thing last season. ANU were undefeated and we were the only team to beat them and that was in the GF. We're hoping history repeats.
"The boys tracked very much as we did last year, we got off to a slow start and built momentum into it as we did last season. The only difference was last year we were a little bit indifferent through the season where as we've had to stay pretty strong the back end this year.
"The boys have been playing incredibly well for the last four weeks and look pretty unbeatable to be honest."
While happy with his men, Leonard acknowledges the task at hand.
"ANU are a good side, they really are and they've been unbeaten all year," he said.
"For us, our starts, have been an issue for us, the first 15 minutes we invite teams into the game when we can't really afford to do that this time around. We did that last time against ANU, they scored three goals in about seven minutes and end up beating us 3-2 and realistically we ended up dominating the rest of the game.
"So definitely the start is a key, the boys know that but once we get going, we're hard to beat."
The Wanderers 23s won the club's first silverware last season and Leonard understands the opportunity that presents itself to his team again on Sunday.
"It's huge. Like I said to the boys, some players are unlucky to go through their whole career and not win a grand final or may not play in one, some may win a handful but to go back-to-back is pretty huge," he said.
"These boys have got the opportunity to weave their names in the very fabric of the club and that's huge.
"Back to back would be really nice. We're flying under the radar at the moment, we're certainly the underdogs but in all fairness, probably the in-form team right now just by score results."
Wanderers 23s captain Kyle Yeates has been a rock for the team this year at centre back, while Jacob Ochieng has been prolific at striker.
"Defensively at the moment, I'm really pleased with the back four. We've had four clean sheets, which is extremely important, because clean sheets win matches," Leonard said.
"Scoring doesn't seem to be a problem, we can score two or three goals and generally if you can score that you win games.
"We're strong across the park, our midfield allow us that push forward, which is our big strength, and they defend really well with our back four and give us big numbers in that transition. We're just a well-rounded team."
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