Albany coach Jamie Ramm believes his side’s continued improvement in 2023 will be a key factor in their bid to win a maiden Great Southern Football League premiership when they do battle with Railways in the grand final at Sounness Park on Saturday. The Sharks had never beaten the Tigers in a league encounter when the two teams met in the 2022 GSFL grand final but have since secured victory on two occasions. A 29-point triumph in round four broke the hoodoo and they doubled that win tally with a thrilling two-point result in round 14 this season. The Tigers advanced directly to the grand final after prevailing over the Sharks by 30 points in the qualifying final a fortnight ago. “I think we’ve really improved as a side this year,” Ramm said. “To have actually beaten Railways in a game before gives us that extra bit of confidence this time around but it will be no small task. “Going in last year having never beaten them, we were really up against it. “It was also the first time the club featured in a grand final, there was a lot of hype around that, too. “Not all of the players who played last year were involved but I think some of them may be a little more relaxed this time around. “Everyone’s excited as they should be, having three teams in grand finals across the grades is great.” Ramm believes a consistent four-quarter display will be pivotal if they are to quell the Tigers’ hopes of securing an elusive three-peat. “We’ve had some lapses against them on two occasions this year and when you have those moments, they make you pay massively. “They’re a very skilful side that are well drilled and have played together for a long time, they’ve also been here a few times. “Railways have played in grand finals and won them, they certainly know what they’re doing. “They have a lot of different forwards as well as some that go through the midfield. “We’ll do our best to work that out but it’s probably not too different to the first final and that’s what the players have to realise which we spoke about. “As much as we have match-ups, they’re going to play on different players purely on both side’s changing around on the ground. “At the end of the day we can only do so much in setting it up and getting them out there, it’s all down to the 22 blokes out there.” The fourth-year coach expects a largely unchanged side that played in their 12-point preliminary final win against Royals. “I believe we’ll be pretty close to unchanged,” he said. “There are a couple of young guys that are more than capable, it’s something we will weigh up this week whether they make the best 22. “Considering it was a pretty bruising game on the weekend, it could have gone either way but we’ve actually come out of it OK as far as injuries. “Railways have the luxury of getting their side really ripe with an extra week off, that’s what you earn when you win that second semi.” The Sharks made five changes from round 15 to the qualifying final with youngsters Aiden Clark, Kaleb Germain, Gus Bockman, Harvey Taylor and David Arthur coming out for Fraser Eaton, Harrison Hordacre, George Bockman, Kane Pinney and Connor McCandless. They went into the preliminary final against the Lions entirely unchanged. Clark was named among the best players in the Sharks colts’ preliminary final loss to the Tigers on the weekend and also played a key role in their round 14 league win against the Tigers.