In Aker, Hawks believe
Brownlow Medallist to help Hawks break losing streak
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.”