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Nick Pekin confident in ‘fast-footed’ Horsham District squad

Nick Pekin, HDFNL vs Colac and District FL, interleague.

Nick Pekin representing HDFNL interleague.

By Colin MacGillivray
Horsham District interleague football coach Nick Pekin believes this year’s squad is well placed to arrest its slide down AFL Victoria Community Championships standings when it hosts Loddon Valley on Saturday.
Horsham District achieved its highest ranking of 19th in the standings when it beat Loddon Valley by 30 points in a 2013 interleague clash, but has lost four of its past five interleague games to slump to 29th.
Last year’s team was dealt a 60-point defeat at the hands of Ellinbank District league.
Pekin, who was also coach of the 2018 side, said players were keen to atone for last year’s performance and had been turning up to training in huge numbers.
“I’m really excited at the enthusiasm and positivity in the training runs we’ve had,” he said.
“It’s 10 times better than last year.
“Credit to the boys that have been rocking up, because they’ve put in the effort and spread the word that we’ve got a pretty handy side.
That makes good players want to get on board, so it’s been good to have that morale.
“There certainly is a bit of fire in the belly after last year.”
Pekin said he would need to cull about 25 players from the squad when he selected the final team tonight, describing it as a ‘good problem’ for a coach to have.
Among the players expected to be picked in the side are Natimuk United goal-kickers Nathan Koenig and Jaydon Stiles, Swifts coach Scott Carey and brothers Damon and Ryan Folkes, Harrow-Balmoral on-baller Eric Guthrie and forward Simon Close, and Edenhope-Apsley ruckman Jak Ryan.
“There’s a good even spread across the board of talent,” Pekin said.
“We’re not going in with 25 midfielders – we’re going in with guys who play roles in home-and-away games.”
Pekin said Horsham District would use its knowledge of Horsham City Oval to its advantage.
“It’ll be a fast-footed side,” he said.
“I think we’ll be able to bring a fast style of football to city oval, having a bit of experience there.
“We’d like to get it through the corridor – you can’t play too wide, otherwise you’ll kick it out on the full.
“We’ll try to play fast footy through the gaps and kick a big score.
“Being a home game, we hope we get a good home-crowd advantage and we can just get out there and enjoy it.”
Pekin thanked players who tried out for the interleague team for their efforts.
The Horsham District seniors will play Loddon Valley at Horsham City Oval at 2pm, with an under-18 side playing a curtain raiser at noon.
• In results at the weekend, undefeated teams Harrow-Balmoral and Natimuk United flexed their muscles with huge wins against Laharum and Pimpinio respectively.
Edenhope-Apsley beat Rupanyup by 42 points, Swifts were too good at home for Kalkee in a 38-point win and Jeparit-Rainbow beat Taylors Lake comfortably.

The entire May 8, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on May 15 2019

Posted by on May 15 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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