THE eyes of past players will be on the Hillmen when they host Trafalgar this weekend in Mid Gippsland football.
Hill End coach Phil Town said it would be a big game for the club in its ‘past players round’ with many former greats set to attend.
Town emphasised the importance of the clash, fully aware “if we want to make finals, we have to knock off one of the top sides”.
“Especially as it gets to mid season, it gets colder and harder to get to training, you need a win to keep up morale, so beating a top side is what we’re focusing on,” Town said.
“We just need to clean up a couple of areas. I believe, if we can just be a bit more dangerous on the scoreboard we can really be up there.”
Trafalgar coach Chris Kyriacou said the biggest challenge for his side was being mentally prepared to face each team in the order dictated by the draw.
“We sort of play the top teams in one half of the draw then the teams below us in the second half of the draw. So mentally it’s about getting ready for those sort of teams,” Kyriacou said.
“And everyone sort of rises when they play us so we’re playing the best of everyone. So we’ve got to be on our toes every week.”
YYN v Thorpdale
BOTH Thorpdale and Yallourn North have had disappointing seasons so far but have an opportunity for some redemption this weekend.
If YYN is to have a win this season it will most likely come against Thorpdale or Yarragon.
Meanwhile the Blues, who have had some shocking losses, will not want this match to follow that trend.
Blues coach Brett Sherriff said he hoped his side did the “right things” during the week to take another step forward to make improvements and score a win.
Morwell East v Yinnar
AFTER a competitive showing against Trafalgar, Morwell East is in for another tough match against Yinnar this weekend.
Morwell East coach Paul Henry said there were two big holes to fill, with Brandon Francis out with a hamstring injury and fellow forward Shaun Barnes to miss the clash as well. With these omissions, the Hawks’ challenge will be to find an avenue to goal and put a winning score on the board.
Yinnar coach Sam McCulloch said the Magpies, who have had a bad run with injuries, were getting closer to having their full list available to play.
McCulloch hoped the side could continue to build momentum on the back of its recent success with a win going into the second half of the season, but knew it would not be easy. “I think no doubt (Morwell East) is going to be tough opposition. They’ve got some really good players. So if we go in with the wrong attitude we’ll get done,” McCulloch said.
Mirboo North v Yarragon
YARRAGON has its work cut out for it against Mirboo North this weekend.
Spectators and players alike have seen a fearsome Mirboo North this season and few would dispute its premiership credentials.
The Tigers lead the ladder and, with an impressive percentage carved out, look unlikely to tumble from the top any time soon.
Yarragon will need to put its best side forward, but coach Anthony Pavey said the Panthers had been relying on reserves players with seniors missing through injury.
Pavey hoped to have a few players back, but said it would be weeks before they reached full strength.
“We’re starting to play some decent footy and that’s why we were able to stick with Yinnar in that first half even with the blokes we’d brought in,” Pavey said.
“(When) you get your better players in, they don’t turn the ball over so much, you don’t lose so many of the clearances, you keep the rotations through the middle, and keep them fresh in there instead of running them into the ground.
“We’ve just got to keep our noses to the grindstone and keep battling away, work with what we’ve got and hopefully improve along the way.”
Boolarra v Newborough
FOURTH placed Boolarra takes on third placed Newborough at the Demons’ home ground this weekend.
Both sides were challenged last week, but managed to fight off their round eight opponents and will go into this clash in high spirits.
Boolarra has been slowly strengthening towards a full side and with more inclusions will only get more dangerous to the rest of the competition.
Similarly, Newborough is yet to reach full strength and coach Allan Chandler said the side is only approaching its best.