Coach calls for Demonic effort
Shepparton United coach Rob Osborne is sounding the klaxons to his men for one reason alone; for them to lift.
The Demons held plenty of promise at the beginning of this year’s Goulburn Valley League football season, but find themselves languishing in ninth with two consolation games on the cards.
And though pride is all that is left to play for, Osborne is far from ready to mail it in.
“Our effort has been okay, but it has been our skills and decision making which has killed us the whole season,” Osborne said.
“At the level the boys are at, they should have the skills to execute, but I don’t think it has been up to the competition standard — and COVID-19 has a part to play in that.
“The entire team needs to step up, there are too many passengers in the side.”
United steps out at Deakin Reserve to face Benalla tomorrow with a number of fires burning in the belly; one seeking redemption after last week’s 11-goal loss to Kyabram, another to prove it can live up to the expectations placed upon it in pre-season.
“This week has been a bit disappointing off the back of last week’s performance, but we’re trying to make the mood happy and enjoyable heading into the last two games,” Osborne said.
“We are working away at a couple of small team goals, that is what we want to get out of the weekend.”
Benalla will not be rolling over, nor will it let United achieve those goals without a fight.
A five-goal haul from Nick Warnock carried the Saints to a massive 13.17 (95) to 5.9 (39) triumph over Tatura in the previous round, meaning the side is still in with a sniff of a finals spot.
Take into account the fact United runs out with an almost identical line-up to the one which was trounced by Kyabram — minus David Gillespie through suspension — and Benalla poses as a steep assignment for Osborne’s soldiers.
But he isn’t asking for miracles — simply improvement across all areas of the ground.
“We can’t have it that just 10 per cent of the team is firing,” he said.
“Doug Wren, Kade Chalcraft and Adam Fichera have worked their backsides off, and we need more people to follow suit.”