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Wimmera Football League set for Murray showdown

DIRECTION: Big W coach Guy Smith, centre, provides input in his role as bench coach in discussions with Horsham joint coach Tim Wade. Picture: LYNTON BROWN

DIRECTION: Big W coach Guy Smith, centre, provides input in his role as bench coach in discussions with Horsham joint coach Tim Wade. Picture: LYNTON BROWN

By Colin MacGillivray
Wimmera Football League faces a daunting showdown against Murray Football Netball League in Saturday’s interleague match in Shepparton.
The Big W is coming off a 12.11 (83) to 6.10 (46) loss to Bellarine Football Netball League last year.
New interleague coach Guy Smith believes his side is in for another tough test when it takes on Murray.
“I do know a little bit about Murray and we’re going up against a league that has 14 teams,” he said.
“Obviously their depth is probably pretty awesome, and I know they have a couple of former Vic Country representatives in their team.
“We can’t go in with huge expectations, we’ll just go in with a game plan that will allow us to assess and see what their team is like, and then we can make adjustments as the game goes on.
“It’s a bit of a hard thing with interleague footy, not knowing exactly what to go in with.
“I think if we go in matching them man for man for a start and then analysing the way they play, we can adapt to their game plan once we know what we’re up against.”
Smith said he expected the Big W’s midfielders to play a crucial role in the contest.
“Our midfield is really top line, and our onballers have been really good ball movers, so I’m hoping we can match them and hopefully get on top of them at stoppages,” he said.
“Our back six has some good quality players who are in some good form.
“Whether they can match Murray’s forwards is yet to be seen, but I’m probably going to rely heavily on our midfield to carry the ball and use it best.”
Smith admitted some of the league’s best players were unavailable for selection, but praised the efforts of those who had put up their hands.
“It’s been a little bit hit and miss with the availability of players unfortunately,” he said.
“But there have been a lot of positives with certain players who live and work away coming to every training.
“They’ve really committed and put their hand up to play, which has been great for us.
“In a nutshell, are we going in with the best team? Probably not, but we have some great players in the side who have all been in good form leading up to the game.”
Smith said the likes of Horsham utility Rhona Conboy, Minyip-Murtoa defender Luke Chamberlain and Ararat forward Tom Mills were all in excellent form and expected to play big roles in the match.
The Wimmera defenders are likely to have their hands full, with Murray forwards Ashley Saunders and Josh Mellington each averaging more than five goals a game this season.
Smith also praised the efforts of assistant coaches Shane Fisher, Ararat; Tim Wade, Horsham; Luke Fisher, Horsham Saints; and Colemen Schache, Southern Mallee Giants.
“They’ve been fantastic at making sure players are making themselves available and they’ve been 100 percent behind everything, which is great,” he said.
• At the weekend, previously undefeated teams Horsham and Ararat both suffered losses, the Rats by three points to Horsham Saints and the Demons by 24 to Stawell.
Minyip-Murtoa was good enough to fend off a challenge from Southern Mallee Giants, 11.8 (74) to 9.9 (63) and is now the sole undefeated team in the competition.
Warrack Eagles kickstarted their season with a win against Dimboola, 15.13 (103) to 13.10 (88).

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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