Harmonie Attwill wanted to finalise finals preparations with a dominant performance and, as they have done all season, Newcastle Olympic responded with an 8-0 rout of New Lambton on Sunday.
In her first year of coaching in Herald Women's Premier League, the former W-League player has engineered the premiership.
Olympic had all but secured the silverware heading into the final round of the regular season yesterday, but made it official with the win. They finished with 34 points after 10 wins, one draw and only two losses to be three clear of second-placed Broadmeadow (31), who beat Mid Coast 4-2 in Taree.
"They've set an expectation for themselves and every week, whatever we ask of the players, they deliver," Attwill said. "You have to create that high-expectation culture at training, and that's what we've done. It's not a kickaround. It's a planned session that fits into a whole year plan and we're doing it for a purpose.
"At the end of the day, I can't do it for them. Every single player, they expect to play, they expect to start and they're not happy if they're not starting. That generates that competitiveness around training, around the girls understanding the game better and they've shown that in different games this year. We've completely changed our formation in so many games and they've completely responded to that and adapted."
Olympic led 6-0 by half-time at Darling Street Oval after Jemma House bagged four and Georgia Amess scored a brace. Brooke Summers and Keely Gawthrop added goals in the second half.
"We wanted to still remain dominant, that was important to us, and a clean sheet was one of our focus areas," Attwill said yesterday.
"It was important that we put it all together again today, regardless of whether we had the minor premiership or not. We just wanted to have a positive performance leading into the semis, a bit of momentum and everyone feeling confident."
Olympic centre-back Stacey Day made a surprise return to the field against her former club, playing the last 20 minutes. The former W-League player had been sidelined with a knee injury since round four and was not expecting to play again this year. Day and Amess were integral to the Eagles' premiership-championship double last year but left to join Olympic after the COVID-19 break.
"It wasn't ideal for anyone the way it happened and we didn't expect to be leaving halfway through the season, but we weren't enjoying it and it is what it is," Day said.
"Some of the comments we read on social media about that topic was hard but our girls have been unreal. The whole Olympic club has been unreal. I'd challenge anyone to be as professional and as supportive as Olympic have been of the women's program.
"Picking up the injury so early was hard. I haven't contributed a whole lot, which was disappointing for me but I passed all my physio tests to be cleared this weekend."
Olympic also secured the reserve-grade premiership as well as the club championship and club president George Sofianos said the addition of the WPL program this year had "made our club stronger".
They turn their focus to Magic and the major semi-final this week. The winner books passage to the October 18 grand final at Adamstown Oval. Olympic issued a strong statement by beating Magic 4-0 in round 13. The semi-finals will be played at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility. Merewether (30) play Warners Bay (25) in the minor semi-final.
United beat Thornton 5-1 at Arthur Edden Oval yesterday as Warners Bay drew 3-3 with Adamstown at Adamstown Oval.
Round 14 results:
Newcastle Olympic 8 (Jemma House 4, Georgia Amess 2, Brooke Summers, Keely Gawthrop) beat New Lambton 0 at Darling Street Oval. Half-time: Olympic led 6-0.
Broadmeadow 4 (Lucy Jerram, Chelsea Lucas, Maddie Dean, Gemma Harrison) defeated Mid Coast 2 (Courtney Anderson, Jess James) at Taree Zone Field. Half-time: 1-1.
Merewether 5 (Lori Depczynski 3, Rhali Dobson, Nicki Jones) beat Thornton 1 (Sarah Whitley) at Arthur Edden Oval. Half-time: Merewether led 5-0.
Warners Bay 3 (Jen Hoy, Elodie Dagg, Annika D'Amico) drew with Adamstown 3 (Belle Hewitt 2, Ellen Hughes) at Adamstown Oval. Half-time: Warners Bay led 2-1.
Olympic 34, Magic 31, Merewether 30, Warners Bay 25, Mid Coast, 19, Adamstown 17, New Lambton 7, Thornton 0.