Wimmera Football League fans expected competition newcomer Southern Mallee Giants to quickly make an impression and become a pacesetter – and they have proven as much.
In fact the Giants, after a highly competitive year, are the only side to finish where 3WM’S Local Football Live commentary team predicted at the start of the season. The overall picture provided by the Giants in the competition is that they have added new faces and fresh spice to the league and now even rival Horsham as the team everyone else wants to beat.
Early season form suggested the Giants might only be simply competitive without being outstanding – but quickly spurred on, perhaps awakened, to what Wimmera football was all about.
As the year progressed, the Giants adjusted their structures and intensity to be, overall, the best team on paper in the competition. The Giants, when opposition sides let them play the way they want, move the ball better than any other side in the league. As a result they can score freely and often.
What some of us have noticed is that when the Giants have come up against teams that structure up strongly and slow them down, they become vulnerable.
This has never been more evident than in the two games the team has lost against Horsham Saints.
The advantage the Giants have over other top five sides in the finals is the ability to be able to change their structures on the fly. The team has an abundance of versatile utility players who appear at home in various positions and roles. This flexibility is the envy of most other teams in the competition and is a significant advantage in finals football.