New South Wales Thunder U/19 Men have every right to feel confident heading into Friday’s FFA National Futsal Championship decider.
Lead by Futsalroos head-coach Rob Varela, Thunder’s supremacy has been on display all week.
They topped the under 19 men’s ladder with a 100-percent win ratio before storming their way to the Grand Final with a 4-2 win against Queensland Metro.
As a consequence they’ll go into Friday’s big dance against state rivals NSW Lightning as heavy favorites – something captain Jacob Basden embraces.
He says when he leads his side onto the AIS arena; the pressure that comes with the favourites tag won’t be an issue.
“We accept it,” Basden said.
“It is true that being favourites may in fact result in the downfall of a team.
“Going through the group stage undefeated can create a sense of complacency within a team, the team is very aware that there will be extra incentive to beat us.
“We’re confident that if we implement what we have learnt and practiced at training for a full 40-minutes, the result will take care of itself.“
Despite Thunder’s impressive unbeaten record, Basden believes his side are yet to reach their full potential.
The 19-year-old pivot says they’ve have played well in patches but not for a whole game.
“We’re very pleased with the results so far,” Basden said.
“We are playing [and winning] against the best futsal talent that the nation has to offer… but we haven’t yet put in a full 40-minute performance.
“We know that we have to be at our best [to beat NSW Lightning].”
In comparison to Thunder, NSW Lightning’s route to the decider was less straightforward.
After one win, one draw, and two losses – a triumph in the last group game saw them leaf-frog Capital Football into a finals spot, where they would prevail against a Solomon Island’s side bound for this years Youth Olympics.
While Thunder have won every game to this point in the championship, suggesting it’ll take something special to stop them, this is the grand final and, on the day, anything can happen.