WHEN a player runs on to Martens Oval they are not playing for national pride or a huge pay packet, they are out there to have fun with their mates and at Across The Waves this season a unique comradery has helped it make the Four Cities League grand final.
After a dominant season ATW beat Bingera 3-0 at the weekend in the semi-final, two goals to Matthew Martin and one to Jacob Trudgian earned a place in the decider.
To be successful against the best teams in the Wide Bay means the players have to take their football seriously and the undefeated season shows they have, but coach Jason De Papi said each one of them is also enjoying themselves.
"It is business, but at the same time everyone is having fun," De Papi said.
"Everything is clicking for us, everyone coming to training and they all hang out together off the field."
In the lead up to Saturday's grand final De Papi admits the mood will become more serious but he knew his players will prepare for the game with a smile on their faces.
ATW's opponent will be Moore Park after the Ricky Taylor-led team upset favourites Gympie Diggers on its home ground 2-0. Dan Hardy put the visitors ahead 1-0 before the half-time break before Anthony Grant sealed the win later in the game.
Moore Park held up in the face of an early onslaught from Gympie before regrouping to put pressure on its opposition to force costly errors. Taylor said he knew his team won't be favourites in the biggest game of its season.
"We were underdogs against Gympie and we made it to the grand final. Everyone was ecstatic because we were written off early in the season," Taylor said.
"I am sure it will be a good game against Waves this week."
In the Three Cities League semi-finals Bingera and Sunbury will play off for the inaugural trophy. Bingera progressed to the grand final and will start as favourites after belting Brothers Aston Villa 5-0 with Madelyn McCracken scoring three goals and Jackie Thurston two.
Sunbury will play Bingera after beating Moore Park 5-4 on penalties. The two teams were locked at 1-1 after full time and couldn't add to their score in extra time.
Both grand finals will be played Saturday at Martens Oval and the woman's game kicks off at 5pm and the men's at 7pm.