MONARO Panthers coach Angelo Maralit says the side’s dreams of an inaugural ACT Women’s Premier League title remain well and truly alive.
But he admits the Premier League newcomers face a mental hurdle if they are to overcome competition powerhouse Belconnen United in next month’s finals.
The Panthers are already assured a finals berth with two rounds of the regular season to play after a stellar first year in the top flight of ACT competition.
But Monaro’s record pales in comparison to that of championship favourites Belconnen who are currently on a 19-game unbeaten run.
The Panthers have come up against United three times this season and three times Belconnen has walked away with the points.
Last Sunday saw United secure a 3-0 victory over Monaro at Riverside Oval and Maralit acknowledged the north-Canberra club had so far had the wood over his charges.
“There might be a little bit [of a mental barrier] there but knowing my players, they’re all desperate to beat Belconnen,” Maralit said. “Everyone wants to beat the best so that’ll be motivation for our girls when it counts.
“One for one Belconnen has got the strongest players in the competition in every position so they’re a very strong squad but they’re not unbeatable.
“On our day we can beat any team in the competition so for us it’s just about being consistent enough to execute our game plan and finishing our opportunities.”
The Panthers were without three of their best against Belconnen with star strike pairing Ashleigh and Brittany Palombi and key centre-back Steph Coates all unavailable.
The Panthers will take on Canberra FC at Deakin Stadium on Sunday before meeting Canberra Olympic at Riverside in the final round on September 1.