Re­serves’ win a relief: coach

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - SPORT - Justin Fris

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.

Pic­ture: Jon Gell­weiler

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.

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