No rest for Eagles
Full steam ahead as coach seeks match fitness
NEW NORFOLK coach Matt Smith won’t be letting his top players rest before a big finals campaign.
The Eagles have two games left of the home-and-away season before finals start and given they are yet to lose a game they could use the next two weeks to rest some better players but Smith will not have a bar of that approach.
Instead he will be keeping his stars on the park to ensure the side keeps top spot and gains a home preliminary final.
New Norfolk take on Dodges Ferry and Lindisfarne in the final two rounds and Smith will be using the games to prepare for the finals campaign.
“With the bye last weekend we will be looking to try and get games into the guys before finals,” Smith said.
New Norfolk take on Dodges Ferry this Saturday at Shark Park and Smith considers the game will be a good way to wake up his team after the bye.
“This week at Shark Park will be a real physical test for the team,” Smith said.
The last game of the homeand-away season is a blockbuster home game against second placed Lindisfarne.
“Playing them [Lindisfarne] before finals allows us to try a few things and see what we need to fine tune before finals,” Smith said. “Given we are both guaranteed first and second it will be interesting but we will go out there and play our normal footy.”
Undefeated New Norfolk has dominated so far this season and Smith is happy for his team to be considered as premiership favourites.
“I’m happy for us to wear the favourites tag,” Smith said.
“If teams think that we are the favourites and the best team then we will wear that.”
Although he is happy to be labelled as the favourites, Smith knows there are a few sides who can win the premiership this year.
“The finals will be pretty even this year,” Smith said.
“Lindisfarne and Claremont played in the grand final last year so they are dangerous.”
“I think there is a sleeping giant in Cygnet. They could really shock some teams in the finals. We played them a few weeks ago and they were really hard at the ball.”