Reserves’ win a relief: coach
Jubilation has continued at Brunswick Oval in the aftermath of Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault’s thrilling one point grand final victory over Eaton Boomers in the SWFL reserves grand final.
Lions coach John Strano believes the players shed a fair bit of relief following the thrilling final quarter.
“There were a lot of happy people,” he told the Harvey-Waroona Reporter.
“It was a big relief probably for a lot of us. Personally for myself, winning my first grand final and there was a lot of relief for the boys who played as well.
“A lot of those boys played in last year’s losing colts and reserves grand finals so it was just a big weight I believe off the club’s shoulders that we got one after last season’s performances.”
The Lions have been the undisputed kings of the SWFL reserves jungle in recent times.
Prior to the 2017 grand final, the Lions had won 39 matches in a row — however in the grand final inaccuracy plagued them and they fell to a forgettable seven point loss to South Bunbury.
This season, Strano’s men finished 16-2 and again marched defiantly into the grand final.
Some may feel that coaching a successful team is easy – but with reserves football, there are several extra complexities that need to be taken into account.
“You have to be patient,” Strano said.
“You never know your side until Friday night – and you still might not know not until Sunday because you can be waiting on players in the league side who may be under an injury cloud.
“You have to be patient with a lot of reserves players who may make a lot of excuses to not come to training because it is wet or cold.
“It’s just the nature of the game.
“But we’ve been pretty lucky as we’ve got a pretty young reserves side.
“We’ve only got a few older players in there and I think you just have to go with the flow with them.”
How have the Lions sustained their success at reserves level?
“Maybe training with the league players – it just keeps them honest,” Strano said.
“Their skill level has to pick up to a league skill level.
“There’s a lot of players in that squad who have played a bit of league football too.
“I always say to the boys to just enjoy themselves really.”
Strano said he would wait for the dust to settle before committing to coaching in 2019 as the Lions were reviewing applicants for the league coach position.
Lions coach John Strano holds the cup with Shannon Sabourne.
Lions veteran Chris Strano hunts the ball carrier.
Taine Williams scoops up the footy in the forward line.