THERE has been a strange feeling hanging over Hanwood Oval this week.
For the first time, sister clubs Hanwood Football Club and Hanwood Juniors will face off in the biggest game of the year, as they clash for the Griffith Football first grade title.
Fans of the game have this week speculated the Hanwood derby will produce a decider with less intensity and passion, that has become a staple of past grand finals.
But officials from both camps said once the teams cross the white line, there will be no holding back,
"I'm sure when it comes down to the game it's going to be competitive, because they (Juniors) want to prove something to us," Hanwood FC coach Michael Catanzariti said.
"It's our local derby we might get along off the field, but on it things can get a bit fiery sometimes.
"So it's going to be a pride thing as well because the rivalry has become more spirited over the years and this year we've had some tough encounters with them."
Juniors' Ross Patane said his side were ready to shed themselves of the "little brother" tag and silence the doubters once-and-for-all.
"Both sides really want to win this weekend, just because it's Hanwood versus Hanwood, doesn't mean that both sides aren't hungry," Patane said.
"No one really gave Juniors a chance of making the grand final this year and they have disposed of some pretty good sides in he lead-up to the grand final.
"Their opposition isn't a weak side and they know that, but they'll play the game the way they have so far that has got them to the final."
Juniors earnt their place in the decider with a nail-biting extra-time win against Wests Soccer Club last weekend, where Carlin Gugliemino was the hero for his side, after scoring from a high-class free kick.
And both sides are preparing to play beyond 90 minutes on Sunday, saying there is nothing between the sides on paper.
"We've got to take every chance we get against them because they're a champion side no doubt about it, and if we don't take those opportunities we'll lose," Patane said.
“But our guys in defence have done such a great job in the last month, but we just need to find that little bit more in attack and make the most of what we have in the side.”
Catanzariti preached the virtues of his side maintaing their composure at all times, saying Juniors will make them pay for even the smallest lapses.
“Judging off the two finals, they’ve got their team and they do the basics very well and they give you very little to attack them with,” he said.
“We just have to be patient and bide our time, because the minute we lose our discipline and go away from what we’re trying to do.
“The minute we lose our shape, that’s where they can really punish us because they’re very disciplined and structured, it’s not going to be a blow out like the last time we played them that’s for sure.”
Hanwood’s Kris Angel (foot) and Michael Bresolin (ankle) are the main injury concerns heading into the weekend.
“I’ll stick to the guys that have got us there, those guys like Michael Musitano and Jason Bertacco are there if needed, but I’ve got confidence on my starting 11,” Catanzariti said.
“But things could change if these other two guys (Angel and Musitano) aren’t able to come through their injuries.”