[Image: Patrick Kearney]
Puma F-League rivalries shift outdoors this Sunday when some of the state’s top futsal talents clash again in the PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland Women’s Grand Final.
Seven players from the recent Puma F-League decider will meet again at Walton Bridge Reserve as The Gap and Olympic FC strive to be crowned champions.
Olympic trio Nat Tathem (pictured above; right), Rebekah Horsey and Jessica McLean have extra incentive to cause an upset after being part of the South Brisbane side which lost to Galaxy FC, whose squad includes Gap players Jess Dillon (pictured above; left) Noran Abaza and Ashleigh Bucknall.
“I don’t know whether it will be revenge as such, we do have Lorena (Maggio) in our team who played for Galaxy,” Tathem said.
“Although we were upset at the time, we were more proud to have the trophy coming back to Queensland because that’s never happened before.
“But for Bek, JJ (McLean) and myself, winning over Noran, Ash and Jess wouldn’t be a bad thing!”
Tathem, Olympic’s captain, again combined futsal and football committments with success this season.
The midfielder acknowledges the challenge of competing in two elite competitions, but a premiership with South Brisbane and second Grand Final in two weeks ensures the extra effort is worthwhile.
“On the weekends when I’ve got two F-League games and an outdoor game it gets to me sometimes,” she said.
“This year it has been pretty good, I only had two games that clashed but Football Queensland were pretty good to reorganise the games because we do have so many people in our team playing both.
“I think I enjoy both too much to be able to give up one of them.”
Dillon exemplified the extraordinary committment by immediately flying from Sydney to Brisbane after Galaxy’s Grand Final win to be part of The Gap’s final regular season fixture later that same day.
With a second championship of the season in her sights, the former Perth Glory player agreed that the benefits of futsal outweighed the extra workload.
“It’s definitely helped,” she said of futsal’s impact on her game.
“Obviously it clashes with outdoor which (The Gap coach) Rob (Askew) doesn’t like, but he likes the game itself and it helps with your first touch, movement off the ball, things like that.”
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Women’s Queensland 2016 Grand Final
The Gap FC v Olympic FC
Sunday, 4 September
Walton Bridge Reserve, Brisbane
Watch via LIVE STREAM with Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/nplqld