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Dookie is finals-hardened

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September 14, 2017

Kayla Woodhouse has strengthened Dookie's defence since joining this year from Tallygraroopna.

Jayne Young forms part of Dookie's speedy midcourt.

From two wins to a grand final.

Dookie United is hoping to complete its meteoric rise from finishing second bottom last year to a premiership this season.

Having lost the 2015 grand final, coach Jodie Fleming was expecting her side to be on the right side of the ledger in Saturday’s premiership decider against Waaia.

‘‘We’ve built a side, a lot of the girls who were in the grand final the year before (in 2015) went off to have babies, we also had a whole heap go off to uni and this year we were able to get a few of those back,’’ she said.

‘‘We recruited a few more and those ones that built last year have just improved out of sight over the summer as well as during the season, so it’s happened quite quickly I must admit.

‘‘I’ve just been so impressed by them and I’m just lucky to have a good mix of youth and experience.’’

Kayla Woodhouse’s inclusion from Tallygaroopna has been invaluable in defence alongside Kayla Sutherland, with Georgia Caruana a young talent down the opposite end showing skill as good as any experienced performer.

Through the midcourt the club boasts Belinda Rankin, who will match up against the likes of Lukies medallist Taylah Shanahan, Emma McDonald and Amy Brooks.

Pocket rocket Rankin was runner-up in the league best-and-fairest count and will look to keep that form running for 60 more minutes.

‘‘She’s just speed on legs, she just goes, she’s just one of those players that has no idea how good she is, which is nice in one way, she’s always looking to improve,’’ Fleming said.

‘‘She’s just dynamic, she’s hard to stop, she’s a great feeder.’’

Rankin will have Laura Henderson, Sophie Harmer and Caruana among those presenting in the goal ring.

United enters the grand final on the back of a stirling preliminary win against Katunga, and Fleming was thrilled with how her side was performing at the business end of the season.

‘‘Last week they played the game I’ve been waiting for them to play all year, they got it together, which I knew they had in them,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s going to be fantastic on Saturday, I think the two best teams are in it.’’

Like Waaia, Fleming has 10 players to rotate between and has already shown this season its best can match it with the Bombers.

United fell three goals short of the Bombers in round five, before five goals was the margin in round 12.

On the road to the grand final, Fleming’s side lost to the Swans in the qualifying final, before using the second chance to defeat Shepparton East in the first semi-final.

Fleming said it was the perfect preparation for Saturday’s match.

‘‘We’re actually thrilled, I wanted the girls to play the whole way through,’’ she said.

‘‘I don’t think we’re good with a week off, we haven’t been all season, every time there has been a bye we’ve played shocking a week after, so I’m so thrilled they’ve played and they’ve come off two fantastic games.’’

PDNL GRAND FINALS

Saturday at Katandra Recreation Reserve

A-grade: Waaia v Dookie, 2pm.

B-grade: Katunga v Waaia, 12.45pm.

C-grade: Dookie United v Waaia, 2pm.

C-reserve: Waaia v Dookie United, 12.45pm.

Under-17: Tungamah v Rennie, 11am.

Under-15: Tungamah v Shepparton East, 9.45am.

Under-13: Rennie v Waaia, 11am.

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