Jason Kennedy can sense the expectation surrounding his young Magpies heading into the 2018 Group 11 under 18s grand final on Sunday, but it doesn’t bother him.
Expectation has followed the junior Forbes boys all season.
The black and whites went through the regular season undefeated, won the minor premiership as a result, and then booked the first spot in the Apex Oval decider via a thumping 26-6 triumph over Wellington in the major semi-final.
The Magpies won’t meet the Cowboys in Sunday’s big dance, the Wellington boys were knocked off by a CYMS side that’s running hot at the back-end of the finals and Kennedy, who’s coached this Forbes group with aplomb in 2018 says his outfit is primed to fulfill its potential.
As difficult as that challenge will be against the in-form Fishies.
“Their forwards and our forwards are two great packs, so that’s a task for us on Sunday. But we’ve just concentrated and our defence this year and that won’t change now,” Kennedy said.
“I honestly believe our defence, we’ve built on that since the start of the year and we’ve made it our goal, no matter what happens with ball, to work hard without it. That’ll be important for us against CYMS.”
Kennedy said with a young side, he was hoping to send out a small crop of senior under 18s players as winners.
“Charlie goes to Sydney next year and he’s a bit of a club favourite. Dennis (Spathis) has joined us this year, he’s doing well. Special to send those guys out as well as the others,” he added.
A lot of the Forbes under 18s side plays school footy during the week or dabbles in first grade as well, and as a result Kennedy said the week off thanks to winning the major semi-final gave his side a well-earned break.
But it also allowed himself to get a look at CYMS in the preliminary final.
“They were good and they’ve got that momentum. We respect where they’ve come from,” he said.
“We probably knew six weeks ago they’d be there or there abouts so we’re ready for the challenge.”
CYMS and Forbes play in the under 18s decider from 1.15pm at Dubbo.