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Close and hard game in reserves

Saturday, 7th September, 2019

Reserves captains South’s Nathan Agius and West’s Gary Edge getting ready to face off today. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling Reserves captains South’s Nathan Agius and West’s Gary Edge getting ready to face off today. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling

By Emily McInerney

South are going in as favourites for the Reserves final but West could give them a run for their money.

The final will begin at 12.30pm today at the Jubilee Oval.

South went through as minor premiers and West finished third on the ladder. They got the win over North in the preliminary final to get them through to the grand final.

Supporters will be out in force to watch West play in a grand final.

West coach Phil Bell said they were aiming to stick to the plan they had been implementing.

“We’ve stuck to our plan for the last six to seven weeks,” he said.

“We’ve been able to set ourselves up and get to the stage that we wanted.”

Bell said he was impressed with the numbers at training.

“We had a squad of 30 blokes to pick from.”

He said it would be a close match as they had South pretty evenly pegged through the season.

“We’ve beaten South twice and they’ve beaten us three times,” Bell said.

“The last game was no indication as we were light on. We were at full strength last week.

“It’s been about 15 years since West won a flag in reserves.

“South are probably favourites, but we are confident that what we do, when it is all put together, will secure a win but it won’t be easy.”

Bell said there were a several players he expected a great deal from today.

“Players like Tim Nicholson, Peter Christos and Jack Burke in the middle, Lachlan Bell and Gary Edge on half back will stand up and perform.

“Ash Bates, Simon Matten in the forward line and a number of the young blokes will really help get us over the line.”

Bell said ultimately it was up to the players to focus on the game.

“It’s always hard work, but you can only do so much as a coach; once the players are on the ground it is up to them.

“Whoever settles down first will be able to focus on the win.”

South coach Anthony Farquhar said his team was travelling well.

“It’s the first time all year we’ve had a full squad to choose from.

“We had been struggling, but now we’ve got a good 22.

“It’s a good position to be in.”

Farquhar said he didn’t believe South would go in as favourites.

“It’s been a real tight season - there is only one game separating West and South.

“I think if all 22 players stand up, we should get the win.

“We will have a few A grade players come in, but it will be up to the second tier boys to stand up.”

Farquhar said it wasn’t about having a strategy to win.

“It’s reserves footy, you go out there and get the ball without turning it over.

“We’ve had a hard year with ins and outs, this is now the only time we get a stable team to work with.

“It will be a close contest, a hard contest.”

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