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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Sharks primed to break flag drought: Bilcich

East Fremantle 1998 premiership captain Stephen Bilcich says he is delighted to see the club return to the grand final stage.

The Sharks will look to lift the cup for the first time since Bilcich and Tony Micale did it 25 years ago with a 43-point win over West Perth when they take on Peel Thunder at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

Bilcich told Sports Breakfast there was a palpable sense of excitement among the club’s former players.

“I’d love to see Juppy and the boys get up there and put some demons behind us and put the club back where it belongs,” Bilcich said.

“We were a very successful club for a long time and I think the board and the players have got it back on track. I reckon we’re going the right way.

“It’d be huge.”

Like the 1998 side, who headed into their season decider on the back of a fifteen-game winning streak, East Fremantle will enter the season decider as the betting favourites.

Bilcich said his team did not pay any attention to the external noise and he believed the current crop will do the same.

“I don’t think we ever got ahead of ourselves,” he said.

“We had a steely resolve from the previous year and a lot of commitment from the players.

“We were very disappointed in ‘97, obviously. It was just determination and a lot of ability, too.”

Bilcich, who will not be at the game due to coaching commitments with Bunbury in the SWFLW grand final, said the Sharks would draw confidence from their semi final win over the Thunder two weeks ago.

“They’ve obviously proven it already, they can do the job,” he said.

“I think they’re a well-balanced, experienced side.

“It looks pretty exciting.”

The WAFL grand final between East Fremantle and Peel Thunder gets underway at 3:20pm and is being broadcast live on 91.3 SportFM.

IMAGE: The West Australian

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