APM SANFL Inclusive League Grand Final Preview

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The Kenilworth Football Club will meet Christies Beach at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval in the Grand Final of the 2022 APM SANFL Inclusive League this Saturday.

Teams are comprised of males aged 15 and above with a disability, and this year competed across 14 minor rounds – the longest home-and-away season since the competition began in 1992.

Christies Beach, coached by Nhim Couch, finished minor premier following an outstanding season which saw the Saints win 11 games to qualify for the finals series.

The club has had to fight its way to the top of the competition, having won just four games across the previous three seasons.

In its first year in the SANFL-run competition, Couch said the club struggled to find enough players to fill the team.

“Our success this season has largely been due to the support from the club and commitment of the boys, they’ve been terrific all season with their dedication to training and match-days,” said Couch.

“We train a couple of times per week for one-and-a-half hours, which is a big commitment for the players and coaches, but we’ve seen it pay dividends in the way we’ve been able to run out games.

“Heading into the Grand Final, we’re in some strong form and there’s a lot of positivity around the club, so hopefully the boys can gain some reward for their efforts.”

Action from an earlier meeting between Christies Beech and Kenilworth. Picture – Craig Blake Wildside Photography Australia

Standing in their road are a powerhouse Kenilworth side eager to avenge for last season’s one-point Grand Final loss to Eastern Park.

Four-time premier, the Kookaburras finished second on the ladder this season but lost to Christies Beach in the first week of finals.

However, benefiting from the double-chance, Kenilworth pulled off a 26-point win at home to five-time reigning premier Eastern Park to set-up a rematch with the Saints.

 The SANFL APM Inclusive League expanded in 2022 to have seven competing teams – Tea Tree Gully, Kilburn, Eastern Park, Goodwood Saints, Salisbury, Kenilworth and Christies Beach.

Now in its 31st year of competition having been formed in 1992, the Inclusive League has grown in popularity significantly since its inception, with over 150 players signing up to participate this season.

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