Lions in fi­nals as favourites

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - HARV-BRUNS-LESCH’S FINALS CAMPAIGN -

THERE is a sense of deja vu around Har­vey-Brunswick-Leschenault’s re­serves side in 2017.

The Lions head into a sec­ond­straight fi­nals cam­paign un­de­feated and will have the first week off be­fore play­ing in the semi-fi­nal for a spot in the grand fi­nal. The reign­ing premiers have taken all be­fore them and de­spite be­ing stripped of tal­ent be­cause of in­juries in the league side, there is no rea­son as to why the Lions can­not go back-to­back.

Lions re­serves coach John Strano said the week’s break was a “good and bad” thing.

“It does suit us in one way, but in oth­ers it doesn’t as we do not get a game for a fort­night,” he said.

“Some play­ers be­cause of se­lec­tion might not get a game for three or four weeks.

“The week off will do us good though for the in­jury prob­lems.”

Strano said a big part of the Lions’ strength was their for­ward line.

Chris Strano (48 goals), Shan­non Sabourne (48 goals) and Matt Bick­nell (43 goals) all fin­ished in­side the top five for re­serve goal­kick­ers af­ter strong sea­sons.

But Strano cred­ited the rest of the team for mak­ing sure they played con­sis­tently this year.

“We also have a good ruck and mid­field divi­sion,” he said.

“Be­cause we have so many mid­field­ers run­ning through dif­fer­ent po­si­tions, we have fresh legs on the field.

“There also has to be a lot of credit to our back­line.”

Strano said be­ing un­de­feated was “wor­ry­ing”.

“I have been in that sit­u­a­tion twice be­fore and lost a grand fi­nal,” he said.

“Com­pla­cency is my only con­cern with my side.

“I think the boys still have a good, level head at the mo­ment.

“We have known we are play­ing in fi­nals, so we just need to keep our feet on the ground.”

Strano said he was not con­cerned about any side be­cause he backed his play­ers.

“No mat­ter what side we play against I back them in,” he said.

Strano said his side would have a set­tled line-up come fi­nals, but be­cause of their strong player num­bers up to seven to nine play­ers could miss out.

“It has been hard for seven or eight weeks to get the right mix,” he said.

“We want to give ev­ery­one some game time in case we have some in­juries come fi­nals.”

Pic­tures: Jon Gell­weiler

Har­vey-Brunswick-Leschenault re­serves team cel­e­brates win­ning the 2016 pre­mier­ship. The un­de­feated Lions are favourites to win it again this year.

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