TIM Barry is preparing for not one Central West AFL grand final, but two.
Barry (pictured) will have two roles to play during Saturday’s grand finals at George Park in Bathurst.
He’ll start the day as the Orange Tigers under 18s coach.
The 24-year-old will then pull on the boots to play for Tigers’ first grade team, which takes on Bathurst in Saturday’s decider.
“It makes it a pretty long day,” Barry said.
But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
He’s enjoyed both of his roles this year, although his playing season has been interrupted by injury.
“It’s my first year of coaching and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the boys grow during the year and develop as footballers,” he said.
“It gives you something else to think about instead of just your own game. I’ve been frustrated with injury this year, so coaching keeps me level-headed.”
The Orange 18s finished the regular season in third on the competition ladder before accounting for Dubbo in the minor semi-final.
Last Saturday the Tigers downed minor premiers Young 11.8 (74) to 2.4 (16) to book a place in the grand final against Bathurst.
The first grade side finished second behind defending champions Bathurst Bushrangers in the regular season.
The Tigers are yet to beat the Bushrangers this year, so a victory this Saturday would be a massive achievement.
Barry said while he’s excited about Saturday’s grand finals, he’s nervous about each for different reasons.
“The 18s have come a long way this year. The seniors had an up-and-down year,” he explained.
“It’s all been worthwhile. Especially the 18s. They’re jumping out of their skins. They didn’t think they’d get anything close to a grand final, so this is a good reward for hard work.”
The full-forward is second on the first grade goal-kicking list with 52 goals from 11 games, including a game best eight-goal haul.
Saturday’s under 18s decider kicks off at 11am in Bathurst, and first grade is scheduled to start at 2.30pm.