Beaten Tigers look to fu­ture

Geelong Advertiser - - FOOTY FIX - JOSH CON­WAY

CO­LAC coach Kane Leersen be­lieves his side is on the right track to con­tinue its up­ward curve, de­spite fall­ing to St Joseph’s by 74 points in Satur­day’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

Af­ter a sev­enth-place fin­ish last year, Co­lac placed enor­mous trust in younger play­ers such as Zach Zdy­bel, Leigh Gor­well, Ge­orge Steven, Luke Hill­man and Liam McCarthy, which paid div­i­dends.

The growth has been more dra­matic than even Leersen ex­pected.

“You look at last year, we (across re­serves and se­niors) won 11 games as a se­nior group and lost 25,” Leersen said.

“This year we’ve won close to 30 games as a group and lost only eight to 10, so our over­all per­cent­age as a club went from 60 per cent to 140 per cent in 12 months.

“We’ve im­proved that much this year, but now the chal­lenge is to find that last 10 per cent so we can com­pete with St Joseph’s and St Mary’s.

“You can only do that with strong be­hav­iours over a long time. We want to be a club who’s hard to beat.”

Leersen con­ceded Co­lac “just lost to a bet­ter side” and lauded St Joseph’s skills as the Tigers were held to just four goals for the af­ter­noon.

“I just think over­all they’re a qual­ity side,” Leer­son said.

“There’s so much com­po­sure, clean ball use and a lot of ma­ture foot­ballers and they were 18-0 for a rea­son.”

Leersen con­firmed vet­eran ruck­man Lochie Veale would be given time to work out what his play­ing fu­ture looked like.

Leer­son said he didn’t want to veer too far away from the suc­cess­ful for­mula of this sea­son.

“We want it to be lo­cal boys, and do it in a sus­tain­able way,” he said.

“It’s not about money or ego. It’s about want­ing to be a part of some­thing that’s more im­por­tant than your­self.”

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