IT doesn't matter whether they play at 10.30 in the morning or 10.30 at night, Oakleigh Chargers are ready for battle against Gippsland Power in the TAC Cup grand final at Etihad Stadium this Sunday morning.
The Chargers will look to continue their excellent finals form, which has had them rise from outside the top four to make the grand final against the minor premier Power, the form side all season.
Chargers coach Justin Wenke said his side had hit form at the best time of the year.
He said his side had performed well during its morning matches this season, including two finals wins at 11.15am.
"With such a huge prize on the line it wouldn't matter when they played.
"We played our first two finals matches in the morning. We like the early games. I think it replicates a school day and the boys don't mind it.
"Sometimes when it comes to the afternoon games the boys sleep in later, which changes what they are used to."
On Saturday, the Chargers had to beat out North Ballarat Rebels in their preliminary final clash at Visy Park, Carlton, and they did it in style, winning by 83 points.
Wenke said his side had focused on being strong around the football and establishing possession of the ball before looking to attack.
"We were just able to win the ball at the coalface.
"We had a really strong focus on winning the ball before we try to run and create. We also had terrific efficiency in our forward line with about 70 per cent efficiency, which was about our highest percentage of the season."
Forward efficiency is the number of times the team went inside 50 against how many scores [goals or behinds] were created.
Forward-midfielder Jackson MacRae was named best player with three goals and a number of scoring assists. Centre half-back Sam Collins and captain Ryan Exon also played key roles in the win.
Wenke has urged his players to enjoy the lead-up to the grand final and the chance to play on Etihad Stadium.
"I mentioned to the boys that for some of them it might be their only chance to play on an AFL ground and they should make the most of it.
"We like playing on good-sized grounds — they suit our style of play."
After being forced to chop and change the side at regular intervals during the season due to having a number of players who play private school football, Wenke said the current Chargers side had come into its own in the past six weeks following the end of the private school season.
"The team is more settled and the guys who have come back have probably played seven of our last 10 games.
"The kids we have are very coachable, listen to instructions and execute our game plan.
"I think we are playing a very attractive brand of football that's good to watch and we are getting some high scores as well.
"Gippsland has been the No. 1 side during the home and away season if you look at contested possessions and clearances, but we look at the finals as a different season and we have put some good form on the board.
"We need to match Gippsland and then make sure we can run out and find some open space."
Scores: Oakleigh Chargers 3.7 10.10 14.15 17.17 (119) d North Ballarat Rebels 0.2 1.3 5.4 5.6 (36)
Goals: Oakleigh Chargers: J MacRae, A Franetic, K Jaksch 3, J Collopy, E Walmsley 2, J Billings, T Cutler, J Toohey, L McDonald. North Ballarat Rebels: L Herbert 3, J Neade 2. Best: Oakleigh Chargers: J MacRae, S Collins, R Exon, L McDonald, J Billings, S Raru. North Ballarat Rebels: K Hendy, L Cassidy, D Barry, T Blake, T Mackenzie, L Herbert.