Strong Souths up for test

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - 2017 GRAND FINAL -

IN fi­nals football there are games that will de­fine the essence of a club’s spirit and team and that is ex­actly what Im­pe­ri­als dis­played last week as they pre­pare to con­test the 2017 LSWFL Grand Fi­nal this week­end.

Af­ter an in­dif­fer­ent per­for­mance just two weeks ago, they were widely tipped to exit the fi­nals race in straight sets.

But the Mag­pies de­fied the odds to pro­duce ar­guably their best team per­for­mance in re­cent his­tory to turn around their form and mind-set and claim a morale-lift­ing win over the Bull­dogs on Sun­day.

The Mag­pies have achieved what a football sea­son is all about – play for a pre­mier­ship – but they will again have to pull off a mirac­u­lous vic­tory if they are to defy the might of the South­ern­ers.

The mo­men­tum Souths gath­ered in the sec­ond half of the sea­son was sim­ply stag­ger­ing, as they flexed their over­all team strength to take all be­fore them and set them­selves up for the op­por­tu­nity to score back-to-back pre­mier­ships.

What has be­come bla­tantly ob­vi­ous is South­ern­ers’ abil­ity to score big to­tals and in this re­gard David Roche, late re­cruit Alexan­der McLeod, Viv Blur­ton and Mitchell Howlett all head a po­tent for­ward line that can kick a run of goals quickly.

With this in mind, the Mag­pies de­fence is in for a real work­out and al­though Matt Har­beck, Jack Arm­strong and Jarred Stephen have been ser­vice­able,they will need their mid­field to put pres­sure on the Souths’ run­ners if they are any chance of hold­ing back an ex­pected bar­rage of at­tacks.

Adding to Souths’ as­sets, ruck­man Michael Robin­son never fails to de­liver in the big games.

And their de­fen­sive set up has been im­preg­nable through the likes of Thomas Collins, Dale Mcrae and the free-wheel­ing Thomas Hawkins.

For Im­pe­ri­als to stay in the game mid­field­ers Daniel Mcgin­lay, Clin­ton Zabaznow, Jack Waide­man, Tyler Ipsen and Troy Wil­son will sim­ply have to step up to the plate and lead from the front.

Im­pe­ri­als’ Jack Waide­man will have to be one of the play­ers to step up to the plate if his side is to come away with the pre­mier­ship.

South­ern­ers’ Thomas Hawkins and Im­pe­ri­als mid­fielder Daniel McGin­lay will be two valu­able play­ers for their teams.

Tyler Ipsen, from Im­pe­ri­als, spoils Jesse Rudd, from South­ern­ers, in front of goal on July 27.

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