Alanna Kennedy and Caitlin Foord are no strangers to W-League grand finals.
Last season, Kennedy was part of the Melbourne City side that secured the Championship title over Sydney FC, while Foord played for Perth Glory when they were beaten to the trophy by City in 2014-15.
Now back in the big dance, the two Matildas stars are preparing with their Sydney FC teammates to host Glory this Saturday at Jubilee Stadium.
They are hoping to secure the Championship trophy for the Sky Blues for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign.
“I know what to expect,” Kennedy told The Women’s Game.
“I know in terms of it being a big game and the nerves in the lead-up to it. I know I have to prepare myself just like any other game … I’ve experienced [Grand Finals, and] I know it’s going to be a different level of football, so I’m prepared to come up against that and to bring it myself.”
Foord, on the other hand, hasn’t played in a Grand Final for four years, having injured her foot while playing for Sydney against Newcastle Jets in last season’s semi-final. Although she was sitting on the sidelines for the final, she still felt all the emotions when Sydney lost to Melbourne City 2-0.
“We definitely don’t want to be feeling that again,” she said.
“I think you just have to focus on yourself and the team and [try] to do your best job for the team. At the end of the day, the team that takes their chances is gonna win.”
Kennedy has felt her fair share of finals heartbreak as well but believes those experiences have made her resilient and prepared for any possible outcome.
“I’ve experienced [losing] plenty of times in different leagues and matches. It doesn’t really get any easier, to be honest,” she said.
“We have to hope that doesn’t happen. If it happens, I know how to deal with it. There’s not much you can do about it other than just let time pass.”
While it’s expected that the two best teams of the regular season will face off in the Grand Final, this season is different. It’s the first time since the 2013-14 campaign that the two teams that finished third and fourth will play each other in the final.