Midfield the key focus
WOODVILLE-West Torrens coach Michael Godden has emphatically backed his midfield to get the job done against its high-quality Sturt counterpart in the preliminary final at Adelaide Oval today.
Godden said his midfield, led by gun Jared Petrenko, was not as bullocking as the Double Blues’ at the stoppages, but no less potent.
Petrenko will have backing from James Boyd and veteran Scott Lewis on the ball in the imposing challenge against James Battersby, Aidan Riley and Zane Kirkwood.
The Double Blues also have the talents of Patrick Wilson to throw into the engine room, while Godden can use Sam Rowland and Jake Johansen.
“At this time of the year you rely on your good players and I absolutely back my blokes to get the job done,” Godden said.
“We are a different-shaped midfield to them, but no less potent. I’d expect they would have to put work into some of our better players, as we will to them.”
Battersby has taken his game to another level this season, according to Double Blues coach Marty Mattner, while Kirkwood is a dual Magarey Medallist and Riley a tough nut. They feed off experienced ruckman Jack Osborn.
Petrenko is the ace in Godden’s midfield pack, although he was down in the loss to Port Adelaide in the second semifinal last weekend.
Godden is in no doubt there will be an overwhelming response from Petrenko and the Eagles after the lacklustre effort against Port.
“Pup (Petrenko) did not get the numbers we would have liked last week, but he was feeling a million dollars this week and trained the best I have seen from him for a long time,” Godden said. “I’m expecting a typical Jared Petrenko performance.
“And I have no doubt there will be a response (from the team) to last week, there is not even a hesitation when I think about the performance they will put out there.
“We’ve had some down days during the year, as everyone does, and last week was below what we expect.
“One thing I know - the competitiveness will be right up. I trust them, I’ve got a core group of blokes I’ve trusted for years.”
Godden mentioned Geelong coach Chris Scott’s words after the Cats smashed Sydney in the AFL on Friday night and how he had not had to rant and rave in the week following the Cats’ poor effort against Richmond because he knew the players would respond.
“It doesn’t give you the right to win, but what it does give you is, you know you are going to get an effort,” Godden said.