The last time the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team won the Perth Football League grand final, Shane Paap was part of the successful team.
That was in 2010 when the Beach won their seventh successive flag under the tutelage of Bill Duckworth, their 10th in 12 seasons. Paap kicked three goals and was an integral part of a team that completely out-pointed Whitford.
A decade later the Beach is still searching for its 14th A-Grade premiership and Paap is now at the helm, trying to usher in another successful era as his team lines up against arch rivals Scarborough in what looms as an intriguing battle.
In his third season as senior coach, he went agonisingly close to taking his team to a grand final in 2018, denied by a miraculous goal in the dying seconds of the preliminary final and then lost an elimination final last year.
In this truncated season, the two clubs have met just once, resulting in a solid victory for the Beach over the Sea Eagles.
Everyone knows that accounts for little, especially after Scarborough’s gutsy win over Curtin University-Wesley, who finished at the top of the table after the qualifying rounds before losing by a point to North Beach and then 10 points in the preliminary final.
The advantage for Paap and his charges is that they enjoyed the week off to refresh and re-set while Scarborough and Wesley slugged it out in atrocious conditions last Saturday.
The secret to success for Paap and his team this year has been its belief and unity. They have hung tough in difficult circumstances, have persevered in tight matches and have generally found a way. That should give them great confidence going into the most significant match of the season.
Again they will look to ruckman Kyle Cranley and midfielders Adam Cockie, Joey Deegan, who won the CJ Jamieson Medal for the best player in the competition, Steve Mansfield and Craig Hosakins to lead the way.
From defence they will seek the rebound and running power of Dan Leishman to have an influence while Luke Symonds and Ned Halley will have important assignments against dangerous Scarborough forwards Mark Re and Scott Worthington.
The inventive James Garcia, captain Mitch Dwyer and Beau Witheridge, who played in that 2010 premiership will also look to hit the scoreboard.
For the fifth successive season Scott Holbrook will have the Lifenet A-Reserves in the grand final as he hunts four straight premierships. In 2016 they were denied by just four points against University but he has steered his team to success in the last three grand finals.
If the club can win with both games, it will be the first time in a decade they have won the two senior premierships. And Holbrook a long-time servant of the club and multiple A-Grade premiership player, was a member of the reserves team on that day.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v Scarborough, Steel Blue Oval, 2.45pm
Curtin University-Wesley v North Beach, Steel Blue Oval, 12.35pm