In Aker, Hawks be­lieve

Brown­low Medal­list to help Hawks break los­ing streak

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport - BY CAM POT­TER cpot­ter@ne­me­dia.com.au

FIFTY losses in a row could come to an end for North Wan­garatta, but Hawks’ co-coach Dar­ryn White said his side isn’t over the hump yet.

Over three sea­sons with­out a win but buoyed by the ser­vices of Brown­low Medal­list and three time AFL premier­ship player Ja­son Ak­er­ma­nis, North Wan­garatta will start favourites in tomorrow’s match against Bon­nie Doon.

“You couldn’t ask for a bet­ter per­son to come on board for such an im­por­tant game,” White said.

“He’s played in three prem- ier­ships and won a Brown­low Medal, his ex­pe­ri­ence and wealth of knowl­edge that he will bring to the side and es­pe­cially what he can bring to the younger boys.”

North Wan­garatta was rep­re­sented by the com­mit­tee of the last three years at the AFL Footy Show on Wed­nes­day night where club pres­i­dent Gary O’Keefe spun Billy’s (Brown­less) Wheel land­ing on $4000.

A TWO-game skid is noth­ing to be con­cerned about, King Val­ley coach Si­mon Pat­ter­son said ahead of the Roos’ clash with Bright tomorrow.

But that doesn’t mean he thinks his side is com­fort­able with where they are.

The Roos have lost just three games this sea­son, their first com­ing in round three against Tar­rawingee, but have sus­tained back to back losses to Mi­lawa and Be­nalla in the past fort­night to sit fifth on the lad­der.

All three sides are above them, and Pat­ter­son said the club is aware of where they are at.

“We are clear with where we are at as a club,” he said.

“We have played some tough games, but in the past cou­ple of years, or at least since I have been at the club, we are beat­ing the teams around us.

“We are still search­ing for that con­sis­tent brand of footy.

“A win this week­end would be great; we need to con­tinue to tick off the boxes that we can in the lead up to fi­nals.”

The Roos travel to Bright, an al­ways dif­fi­cult road trip, to tackle the Moun­tain Men at Pi­o­neer Park.

The Moun­tain Men sit in sev­enth spot on the lad­der and are fresh off a 282-point thump­ing of Bon­nie Doon and with Paul Har­ri­son and Jar­rod Hayse pa­trolling the for­ward line it will be a tough day for King Val­ley’s back line.

Har­ri­son and Hayse booted 25 goals be­tween them against the Bombers last week.

But Pat­ter­son is a lit­tle more op­ti­mistic in terms of keep­ing Har­ri­son and Hayse un­der con­trol.

“It all de­pends on the mid­field, Be­nalla set up re­ally well through their mid­field and al­lowed a clear 40 me­tres of space for their for­wards to lead in to; if we are able to pres­sure the ball user around the ground it makes it eas­ier for our de­fend­ers,” Pat­ter­son said.

“Our best back­man will go to their best for­ward and ev­ery week they will need to work hard to not al­low their op­po­nent off the hook.”

Pat­ter­son said tomorrow’s match will also be a good chance for the Roos to get back to their style of play.

“We have done enough, we’ve beaten the sides around us and we have taken it right up to the sides above us, but un­der the higher pres­sure of the good sides we have fallen away,” Pat­ter­son said.

“We have fallen away a bit in terms of how we move the foot­ball and slipped back into some bad habits.

“If we get back on track with the things we have put in place and made sure we are ready to go then that will put us in good stead to win the game.”

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