PORT United winger Andy Collins has no problem stepping up to the spot on Saturday night if he is required to.
In what looms as an intriguing Football Mid North Coast Premier League grand final, Collins was no certainty to play again this season four weeks ago.
On that occasion he only had himself to blame after a mix-up with his dates.
Since then he has been to Officeworks and bought himself a diary so he doesn’t make the same mistake again.
“I thought my brother’s wedding was the first week of the finals, so Happy (coach Nathan Wade) left me on the park, I got my dates mixed up and got a yellow,” Collins said.
“I didn’t realise until the end of the game and then at training the following Tuesday.”
It was his fourth yellow card of the season which meant a two-week break and then United missed last weekend’s action as the first side to progress into the grand final.
“In the first final I was out with suspension, then the second week of finals was my brother’s wedding and then the third week we didn’t play,” he said.
I thought my brother’s wedding was the first week of the finals, so Happy (coach Nathan Wade) left me on the park, I got my dates mixed up and got a yellow.
“I was hoping the boys won the next two because if they didn’t we would have gotten a second chance last weekend.
“Because they won we went straight into the grand final which is a good thing.”
Collins has had some success at reserve grade level, but the one and only first grade grand final he lost was to Saturday’s opponents Wallis Lake in 2014.
“We lost that one in extra-time so this year it’s payback,” he said.
Coach Nathan Wade’s mind games with his own side has paid dividends after he declared they weren’t good enough to win the competition six weeks ago.
Collins said that had provided them with motivation.
“Happy gave us a bit of a spray a few weeks ago, but you’ve got to take it on board,” he said.
“It certainly has added motivation because it gave us enthusiasm to help each other out.”
United finished the regular competition in third position after an up-and-down season which Collins admitted had been due to fielding different sides.
“A lot of our boys work Saturdays so we chopped and changed the team a bit so there were a few draws we should have won,” he said.
Happy gave us a bit of a spray a few weeks ago, but you’ve got to take it on board.
Penalty shootouts could be required to determine this year’s premiers.
While Collins would prefer the game to be decided in normal time, he was looking forward to the challenge if required.
“I certainly will step up and take a penalty; I’ll look forward to it,” he said.
“I’m ready to go. We’ve all been there, it’s just about having confidence.
“We can only turn up on the day and do our best, see what comes of it but we’ll give it a good crack.”