Doggies charge into finals
Friday, 16th August, 2019
By Emily Ferguson
North had a massive win over an undermanned Central side in the last minor round of the Under 18 season to progress to the Preliminary Final next week.
North coaches Shayne Staker and Wayne Slater said their “whole plan went out the window” when Central only had 14 players, so they had to organise the board again before the start of play.
Their aim for the game was to keep up the level of intensity for the entirety of the game.
“We just wanted to play four quarters of footy which we have only done probably three or four times this year, and we did that last night.
“We also wanted to make sure the guys had fun, which is basically what we’ll be planning next week as well.
“We can take confidence from the game and we tried a few players in different positions, some worked and some didn’t, so it gives us a bit of flexibility if needed next week,” they said.
Central coach John Campbell said his Central side were outplayed on the night but he was proud of the effort given by the team.
“(It was a) disappointing start to the game and North were consistently better all night, however as we only had the bare minimum 14 players, they must be congratulated on playing the game out without ever giving up.”
The tough loss saw Central play their final game for the season and despite a mostly unsuccessful year, the team has seen improvement.
“As for our season overall, we set out to win three games for the year and came up one short,” he said.
“This grade had not won any games last year so we thought that goal was achievable.”
John believed that picking up new players to the game improved the side’s competitive edge.
“Players like Steven Newman from Menindee and Dylan Schweikert had never played before and were a revelation later in the season.”
Injuries have plagued the Central side and made their season more difficult, with key players being sidelined. John is optimistic that the group can improve again next season.
“I am hoping we can improve our numbers in this grade, whether that’s from being able to tap into the Menindee boys who came in every week to play or attract players from other areas.
“We further need to develop players coming up from Under 15s as the age gap between the grades is quite significant.”
North are now gearing up to take on a strong and ambitious South side in the Preliminary Final at 6.30pm next Wednesday.
North 20.11 (131) def Central 1.2 (8)
North: K. Ellis 5, D. Kennedy 3, B. Adams 3, B. Gebhardt 3, T. McRae 2, P. Slater 2, L. Hall 2
Central: D. Ryan
North: K. Ellis, D. Kennedy, B. Gebhardt, T. Lihou, R. Turner, B. Adams
Central:D. Schweikert, A. Thomas, D. Ryan, N. Devoy, E, Callegher, A, Druitt