The Cooma Tigers are confident they can win their first grand final in seven years despite captain Mark Shields having his bid to play squashed days before the game.
Shields had hoped to have a suspension overturned after receiving two controversial yellow cards for time wasting and simulation in the semi-final two weeks ago.
The veteran has scored 11 goals this season, including the winner against Canberra Olympic before he was sent off when he picked up his second yellow card.
The Tigers appealed the suspension given the nature of the yellow cards, but the request was denied and he will miss the championship match against Gungahlin United on Saturday night.
"I think it's no reflection on Mark. He's not deserving of two yellow cards," said Cooma coach Gaby Wilk.
The Tigers will be without two of their regular starts, with left-back Darren Bailey also suspended because he accumulated seven yellow cards during the season.
Wilk said left-midfielder Hussain Fureje will take on the captaincy duties in the blockbuster clash in Shields' absence.
It will be the first time that 31-year-old Fureje will captain the club and the stand-in skipper believes the team can claim the championship trophy.
"Mark and Darren are important for the team but I believe we can do it even without them," Fureje said.
"Gaby always has different formations and will find the right mix to fill those positions."
Wilk is confident his side can cover the holes of two experienced players against a Gungahlin club playing in its first grand final.
The Tigers won their last grand final in 2012 and haven't played in a championship match since 2014.
"There's no problem, we can defeat Gungahlin," Wilk said.
"It's about how the other players can do their job. If everyone works hard, then we can win."
Gungahlin beat Cooma twice in the regular season, winning 3-0 and 3-1 in their previous encounters.
Gungahlin made its run to the final with an astonishing late comeback to defeat Olympic 2-1 in the preliminary final.
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"We're going to be a lot more compact defensively this time and will play Gungahlin completely differently," Fureje said.
Cooma will take confidence with the return of injured centre-back Laurence Redmond.
Redmond missed the qualifying final due to an ankle injury but will be fit and raring to go come Saturday's grand final.
"The energy around the camp is really high at the moment," Redmond said.
"Having the week off was good and we're all well rested now."
Cooma will have fond memories playing at Deakin Stadium having won the club's inaugural Federation Cup there earlier this season, while also facing Hume City in the FFA Cup at the same venue.
"The Fed Cup gave us a chance to play in a final already this year. The experience will hold us in good stead," Redmond said.
Meanwhile, Belconnen United will be aiming for back to back women's titles when they play Canberra FC in the decider.
CAPITAL FOOTBALL GRAND FINALS
Women: Belconnen United v Canberra FC at 3pm.
Men: Cooma Tigers v Gungahlin United at 6pm.
* Both games at Deakin Stadium on Saturday.