Warriors can build dynasty: Katich
Steve Smith and Adam Voges with the Sheffield Shield. Pic: Getty

Simon Katich has urged WA to use the Sheffield Shield final as a stepping stone to further success over the coming seasons.

Referring to the Warriors as "we" despite his decade with NSW, Katich harked back to his pivotal role the last time WA won the shield as a valuable lesson in the harsh reality of professional sport.

Katich's first-innings century set up WA's win over Queensland at the Gabba in 1998-99 but the Warriors have since endured a 15-year shield drought.

That barren period could end in the final against the Blues in Canberra starting tomorrow.

Katich won another two shield finals with NSW but displayed his black-and-gold blood when he considered WA's prospects against the Blues.

"It comes as a bit of a surprise that it has been 15 years since we played in a shield final," said Katich, who retired from State first-class cricket in 2012 but played five one-day games for WA in this season's Ryobi Cup.

"That's the way cricket goes but one lesson from that is never to take the final for granted.

"It is the first one and the players should make the most of it because they never know when it will come around again.

"But after you have got one under your belt, make sure that you are hungry to keep getting more year after year.

"You never know when you will play in the last one."

Former Test opener Mike Hussey, who also played in that 1999 match as WA completed four straight shield final appearances, warned that the game would be played at a high intensity.

"It is important not to look at the result but to stay in the present and focus on the now," he said.

Tom Moody, who was captain when WA won by an innings and 31 runs at the Gabba and also beat Tasmania the previous season, underlined the value of victory.

Moody won five shield finals and four one-day titles to be WA's most successful player.

"Winning shield finals will provide memories that you will cherish for a lifetime," Moody said.

"It is the most important domestic game of the season and it is a chance for you as a team and individually to step up and find that extra gear that your opponent is not able to do under pressure."

Katich said WA's experience in playing in Canberra last week was an advantage and that NSW could battle to replicate their success after winning that tough encounter by just three wickets.

"You couldn't ask for a better preparation given you had a look at the conditions in Canberra last week," Katich said.

The Blues have lost paceman Doug Bollinger to the Australian Twenty20 team and while they have regained all-rounder Moises Henriques, he will not be able to replace the burly left-armer.

Mitch Marsh will play for WA after a recent side strain, with opener Cam Bancroft likely to make way for him.

"It comes as a bit of a surprise that it has been 15 years since we played in a shield final."" *Simon Katich *

The West Australian

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