Ac­cu­racy the key

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Wfl Finals - BY COURT­NEY CLOUGH

When it comes to win­ning fi­nals, it of­ten sim­ply boils down to get­ting the ball through the hoop as many times as pos­si­ble. If this sounds ob­vi­ous, it is. But in the case of War­rack Ea­gles, shoot­ing enough goals to top­ple qual­ity op­po­nents has been an achilles heel and some­thing it must ad­dress in the fi­nals. It is a chal­lenge the Ea­gles have toiled over for much of the sea­son, am­pli­fied by the loss of joint coach and goal at­tack Sarah Spicer in the third round of the sea­son.

But the per­ceived weak­ness might ac­tu­ally evolve into a strength dur­ing the in­tense at­mos­phere gen­er­ated in fi­nals ac­tion.

Goals gen­er­ally be­come harder to come by dur­ing fi­nals and this is where the Ea­gles might have an op­por­tu­nity to swoop.

In try­ing to fill the ab­sence of Spicer, the Ea­gles have had to be cre­ative in team set-up, struc­ture and se­lec­tion. This has gen­er­ated a sig­nif­i­cant need for play­ers to share a va­ri­ety of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paigner Me­gan Werner has slipped back into a shoot­ing role this sea­son and Bri­odi Mcken­zie, el­e­vated from B Grade ranks, has set­tled in be­side her.

Mcken­zie, who has great net­ball aware­ness and smarts, might be the crit­i­cal con­nec­tion in at­tack and a barom­e­ter in how far the Ea­gles progress in the fi­nals.

Of course what any­one fol­low­ing Wim­mera net­ball knows, is the Ea­gles, while per­haps hav­ing a few is­sues up front, have a sen­sa­tional de­fence.

The name Penny Fisher is syn­ony­mous with sheer net­ball ta­lent in the re­gion and she is the linch­pin and gen­eral in the Ea­gles’ de­fen­sive half.

She stands in the way of op­po­si­tion teams in the fi­nals, but also has plenty of sup­port from Jess Kelly, Jenny Schulz and odd-jobs spe­cial­ist Zan­dria Malone.

The Ea­gles also have a good book-end player, at home in at­tack or de­fence, in Brite­nie Power.

Work­ing off this dom­i­nance out of de­fence is a run­ning mid­court out­fit led by Emma Kos­chitzke and Pe­tah Win­sall.

Third place at the end of the home-an­d­away sea­son is an hon­est re­flec­tion of the sea­son the Ea­gles have ex­pe­ri­enced.

They have the po­ten­tial to go deeply into the fi­nals, hav­ing beaten premier­ship as­pi­rant Minyip-mur­toa and have the added bonus of a fi­nals dou­ble chance, which pre­sents an op­por­tu­nity to change up their struc­tures. They can also re­group if they have a hic­cup.

The Ea­gles have won sev­eral games where the re­sult could have gone ei­ther way, sug­gest­ing there is plenty of fight and char­ac­ter in the ranks.

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