Young Lions – From Wooden Spoon to the Grand Final

This is the inspirational story of how Young Lions have developed wooden spooners in 2017 to now being just one game away from being crowned champions in 2018.

The only difference between the two seasons has been the change of coach with Mark Mellish taking the reigns.

The Lions finished 4th in the regular season, scoring 26 goals along the way whilst conceding 28. Not something you’d normally expect from a team that has made the grand final.

The team has an average age of just 19 years old.

Their opposition this weekend is Lake Albert who are the undefeated premiers, winning 16 games with 2 draws. Lake Albert has only conceded 11 goals during the regular season.

The last two meetings between the sides ended 1-0 then 0-0. The Lions will be looking to improve on their results once again whilst Lake Albert will be looking to close out the season undefeated.

Young will be playing this weekend without their star player Duncan Cameron after he was ruled ineligible for the finals due to his dual registration with Wagga City Wanderers.

It is a huge loss for the side as Cameron was named player of the year in the competition for 2017, but there is no doubt the team can get it done without him. They have already shown they can,  earning a gritty 2-1 over Henwood Park to book their spot in the decider.

McCaffery scores for Young to lead 2-1

Cameron has been relishing in his role as assistant coach alongside Mellish for the finals whilst his teammates have been stepping up to fill the hole left by his absence on the field.

One such player is Patrick Hislop who at only 16 years old earned a nomination for player of the year and team of the year.

Full credit has to go to the entire side however, going from the wooden spoon in 2017 to now challenging for the Championship.

For a Rugby League dominated town, it is a great achievement. Win or lose on the weekend, the team should feel proud of their efforts throughout the year.

As coach Mark Mellish told us “it’s all up to the lads”.

The Pascoe Cup Final is being played this Sunday 3.30pm at Mcdonald Park in Wagga between Lake Albert and Young Lions.

Will Young complete their fairy tale journey? Or will Lake Albert close out their undefeated season?

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