Redlands United goalkeeper Brendan White has no doubt in his mind – this weekend’s NPL Queensland Grand Final is the biggest game of the season.
The Red Devils already caught the attention of the nation earlier this season when they eliminated Adelaide United from this year’s FFA Cup.
However, for White, Saturday’s clash against FNQ Heat at Perry Park is the real prize this season – and even eclipses their famous FFA Cup ‘cupset’.
“Because there’s a trophy on the line I think this is bigger than the FFA Cup game,” White said.
“We went out and played as hard as we could in that game and got a great result against Adelaide and the way we approached it was in some ways like a Grand Final.”
“But you work so hard for six months – train three night a week and play a game every week – just to get to a Grand Final and, in Australia, I think winning the Grand Final is still the biggest achievement.”
For Redlands, a win on Saturday will be extra special, with the club set to celebrate it’s hundred year anniversary in 2017.
“I think it would be a massive achievement for the club to win the Grand Final and it will be our first title in the NPL,” he agreed.
White was the NPL Queensland 2015 Safe Hands Award winner as the competition’s premier shot-stopper last season, however, a battle against osteo pubis interrupted his contributions this year.
However, he proved despite the injury setback that he is still one of the competition’s hardest goalkeepers to beat by making a crucial save in the penalty shoot-out in last weekend’s semi-final.
Somewhat surprisingly, White said there was no special secret to his success against shots from the spot.
“You have to be confident and I’m always confident in my ability against penalties,” he said of his match winning save.
“I hadn’t face the players taking the penalties before, so I just stood up as long as I could and picked a direction from their run-ups – and sometimes you’re wrong, sometimes you’re right.”
“But I don’t want the Grand Final to be decided on a penalty shoot-out. I would like to get the job done a lot earlier,” he concluded.
NPL Queensland 2016 Grand Final
FNQ Heat v Redlands
Saturday, September 3 – Kickoff 6:00PM
Perry Park, Brisbane
Admission – $5 (adults), $2 (concession), free (Under 16)
Watch via LIVE STREAM with Facebook Live at fb.com/nplqld