There is no time like a second semi-final against the reigning premier to bring on a teenager for her A-grade debut.
With Kyabram taking part in a goal scoring frenzy, Shepparton United coach Di Hanslow looked to different ways to stop the flow.
Known for eccentric ways to try and win a game, Hanslow sent debutant Olivia Kirby, 16, into goal keeper during the third quarter.
The rising star was forced to line up against premiership goaler Elle Groves, having already competed with the under-17s that morning.
But Hanslow said Kirby had been in her thinking across the year as a potential A-grade player.
‘‘She’s been really great, especially towards the end of the season, and I’ve had it in my mind to give her an opportunity, but at times it just hasn’t quite happened,’’ she said.
‘‘She had a great game (Saturday) morning and we thought she’s obviously coming into some really good form, she’s got great footwork and speed and we thought that was definitely needed.
‘‘We thought let’s give it a shot and she was really good and didn’t get the opportunity to get nervous, she had no idea that was going to happen.’’
With Kirby’s move into goal keeper, another under-17s talent in Elle Brooks was sent from defence into goal shooter and the resulting changes led to the Demons scoring their first goal after Kyabram piled on 18 unanswered.
‘‘We were playing Elle Brooks, she’d already played a full game in juniors in the morning and we switched her from defence to goals,’’ Hanslow said.
‘‘Poor kid, she’s only 15 years of age, we don’t ask for much at United,’’ she added with a smile.
Brooks had come in as the replacement for Megan Trevaskis, who was sidelined for the season with a foot injury.
But the regular goal keeper has still remained heavily involved in the team’s season, assisting from the sidelines.
Laura Cole has been another under-17 ace brought into the A-grade side during the season, with the talented basketballer taking the court in the elimination final against Echuca.
The star trio helped United’s under-17s to victory against Shepparton before the A-grade clash at Rochester on Saturday morning.
The win earned the undefeated side a spot in the junior grand final, leaving them with solely a top tier preliminary final to focus on next week.