Tough op­po­nents

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Wfl Finals -

Aperen­nial

Wim­mera Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pow­er­house, Hor­sham has such a rep­u­ta­tion that it is the team ev­ery­one else loves to beat.

But his­tor­i­cally those op­por­tu­ni­ties have been far and few be­tween, with the Demons con­sis­tently pro­duc­ing qual­ity flag­ship teams.

This year the Demons have snapped close at the heels of com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers War­rack Ea­gles, win­ning all but two home-and-away games. The Weekly Ad­ver­tiser asked coach Pauline But­ler how the sea­son had un­folded and what she ex­pected come fi­nals.

At what stage did you be­lieve you had an A Grade team ca­pa­ble of play­ing fi­nals? But­ler: “At the end of our team se­lec­tion process, I thought we had a pretty good side and a lot of flex­i­bil­ity with girls be­ing able to play mul­ti­ple po­si­tions. With­out know­ing what other sides had re­cruited like in the off sea­son you just never know, but af­ter the first round I was con­fi­dent that we would make the fi­nal five.”

What do you con­sider have been the ma­jor hur­dles in get­ting your team to the fi­nals and how did you over­come them? What are the big­gest hur­dles now you are in the fi­nals? But­ler: “Prob­a­bly the big­gest hur­dle for us with such a flex­i­ble side was find­ing out which com­bi­na­tions were re­quired to win cer­tain games. Ob­vi­ously in­jury is al­ways a con­cern but I am con­fi­dent we have the depth to cover this.”

What does your team have to do to get into a po­si­tion to play off in a grand fi­nal? But­ler: “We will need to bring our A game and play out four con­sis­tent quar­ters. Our ap­proach will be the same. With each team we play we will need to look at how we shut down key play­ers and this will dif­fer from side to side.”

Who have been your key play­ers, lead­ers, men­tors and so on who have helped you get to the fi­nals? But­ler: “All play­ers have im­pressed me this year. Each player has stood up when re­quired. They all have the abil­ity to play mul­ti­ple po­si­tions and they ad­just well to changes very quickly. I will be look­ing at all my play­ers to stand up in the fi­nals and will ex­pect them to play their role and work to­gether as a team.”

From struc­tural, phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal points of view, what are the strengths you can ex­ploit in your team and what are the weak­nesses you have to over­come to be suc­cess­ful in the fi­nals? But­ler: “We will need to look at each op­po­si­tion each week and look at how we can shut down their game plan. We will be look­ing at how we can ex­ploit weak­nesses and adapt to change. I am con­fi­dent our team will ad­just when re­quired.”

How do you see the short and long-term fu­ture of net­ball at your club? But­ler: “I be­lieve our club has one of the best ju­nior devel­op­ment pro­grams go­ing around. Our coaches all work to­gether to en­sure girls tran­si­tion­ing through to the next grade or who are called upon to play in a higher grade are equipped with the rel­e­vant knowl­edge and skills to be suc­cess­ful.”

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