YOU either believe in it or you don't.
Eastcoast Eagles most certainly did believe there were external factors at play at Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre last weekend.
And it could be associated with their much-loved teammate Paul Andrews which resulted in the Eagles claiming their third All Abilities national futsal title.
Playing in their first tournament since Mr Andrews' passing 12 months ago, the Eagles overcame early nerves to belt Queensland 9-1 in the division one grand final on Saturday (April 10).
They also claimed the division two grand final with a 12-6 win after trailing 3-0 after five minutes.
The final was two days before Mr Andrews would have celebrated his birthday.
It capped off four wins from four starts for their division one team with team member Mathew Newman admitting it was a fitting tribute.
"We made our brother Paulie proud over the week; all the boys grew closer, opened up, learned a lot and gained valuable experience in the game," he said.
"We hope to continue building opportunities for athletes with disabilities to shine consistently at the highest level."
Throughout their tournament charge, the Eagles saved a spot on the bench where a photograph of Mr Andrews sat throughout their matches.
Coach Chris Whitfield admitted all the players needed to do was have a quick glance towards the sideline and they immediately felt Paulie's presence.
When he wasn't on the bench, he was in the middle of their huddle.
"The bonding we did as a unit and particularly around Paulie was pretty special," Whitfield said.
"Not having him there was sad for everyone, but as far as we were concerned ... he was with us.
"His photo was in all in the team huddles and it was really special; we all miss him incredibly, but it wasn't like he wasn't there."
The Eagles trailed 1-0 early in the final before they settled into their groove and once they did it was all one-way traffic.
"The biggest thing I noticed was how far they've come because in the first year we played however we play, but this year we were trying different formations and attacking teams from different edges of the court," the coach said.
"We were using different defensive strategies and everyone was adapting so well to that."
Their lead-up to the tournament was far from ideal with a number of players losing everything during the flood crisis that hit the Mid-North Coast.
But despite the hurdles and challenges which were thrown in front of them throughout their soggy preparations, not competing simply wasn't an option.
"Even though we had the floods and all the horrible situations that were happening before we left, when the coaches suggested it was all too hard, the players still wanted to go," Whitfield said.
"They drove the whole thing and all the coaches needed to do was ensure the players were in the best possible space they could be and they did the rest.
"It was a real coming of age tournament for them and a real credit to all the work they put in throughout the year."
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