South Melbourne defender Alex Gummer wants a day where all women’s NPL Grand Finals are played on the same day.
South take on Bulleen Lions on Sunday in the NPLW VIC Grand Final at AAMI Park (3.30pm) as part of the triple header with the men’s promotion-relegation playoff and the men’s Grand Final.
Gummer said it was important for the women to get the exposure, but was hopeful there would be a day devoted to the women’s finals in the near future.
“It would be really good to have the U12, U14 and U19 Grand Finals all played on the same day, so we can make our own brand,” Gummer told The Women’s Game.
“The triple header is a great idea in getting the promotion, but I think it’s also good to hopefully develop a sole day for the girls eventually.
“We’re at the promotion stage and we need to keep getting the media attention. Right now I think it’s an excellent idea to have it before the men’s final as it’ll be a huge crowd there, so hopefully the crowd gets behind us.”
The left-back has just played her second season for South and enjoyed winning the Championship last season after beating Geelong Galaxy on penalties in Broadmeadows.
She said the standard in the NPLW has increased over the years, but feels it still had a long way to go.
South topped the table this season with 63 points while the bottom five did not score over 40 points and wooden-spooners Southern United were winless this season.
“The standard in the NPLW has increased, but even know you can still see there’s a huge gap from the top and bottom teams," she said.
“It’s improved immensely, but we also need to improve on closing that gap so we have an even competition.”
It will be first v third in Sunday’s Grand Final as both teams smashed their opponents 4-0 in the semi-finals last week.
The 26-year-old said they weren’t taking Bulleen lightly despite finishing 11 points ahead of them on the table.
South have beaten Bullen three times in the regular season.
“They’re strong all over the park and they have a similar style to us, so it’ll be a great match,” she said.
“Whitney Knight and Lia Privitelli will be very dangerous, so we have to be careful and ensure they don’t get in behind.
“Caitlin Friend has got that strikers instinct and seems to pop up at the right spot at the right time. Their American import Kayla is also dangerous and drives a lot of their attack from the back and she’s really confident in doing that.
“We were fortunate to play at AAMI Park last year in the regular season against Alamein, so a lot of the girls have already played there.
“It’s a magnificent surface and the stadium itself is fantastic. It’s definitely an occasion and we need to make sure some of the girls aren’t overawed by it.”
Gummer has played the last two seasons with Melbourne Victory and she said she was still in the process of trialling to return to the W-League.
Main photo by Cindy Nitsos