Smith: A new era of dom­i­nance

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGILLIVR­AY

Wim­mera in­ter­league foot­ball coach Guy Smith be­lieves Satur­day’s re­sound­ing win against Mur­ray Foot­ball League could usher in a new era of dom­i­nance for the Big W.

Play­ing on the road in Shep­par­ton, the vis­i­tors came out fir­ing with 12 scor­ing shots to three in the first quar­ter, and had amassed a 44-point lead by the main break.

From there they cruised to the line, win­ning 18.19 (127) to 12.10 (82).

Smith praised the per­for­mances of all his charges.

“We went in with a re­ally good game plan that every­one could fol­low and un­der­stand, and then be­cause of the tal­ent in the side, they could adapt to what was hap­pen­ing,” he said.

“It was an awe­some ef­fort; they worked to­gether as if they’d been play­ing to­gether for sea­sons, not just one day.”

Smaller, fleeter play­ers did most of the Wim­mera’s score­board dam­age, with Deek Roberts, Luke Fisher and Sam Jasper boot­ing three goals apiece.

But Smith said tall mark­ing tar­gets such as Jae Mcgrath, Tom Mills and Billy Car­berry had aided their con­tri­bu­tions.

“We knew those guys were go­ing to com­pete strongly in the air,” he said.

“Jae Mcgrath took about 20 marks. The other talls were com­pet­ing re­ally well, and some of our smaller for­wards were the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of that and fin­ished the job off.”

Cole­man Schache kicked one goal in a best-on-ground per­for­mance and was part of a dev­as­tat­ing Wim­mera mid­field ro­ta­tion.

“We went into the game with two mid­field teams that ro­tated on and off the bench,” Smith said.

“Cole­man Schache, Luke Fisher and Deek Roberts were prob­a­bly our top three and they only played about 60 per­cent of the game.

“They were go­ing on and off the bench and they would go hard for short bursts of seven min­utes at a time, then they would rest.

“It goes to show it’s not nec­es­sar­ily how long you’re out there for, it’s the qual­ity of the min­utes you play that changes the game.”

Smith also praised the ef­forts of his dour back­line, which con­ceded just five goals in the first half.

“The back six just had to do it the old fash­ioned way, one on one,” he said.

“They out­marked and out­pres­sured their op­po­nents ev­ery time and we were able to re­bound it and con­trol the footy back out.”

Smith, in his first year helm­ing the Wim­mera in­ter­league team, said the league had plenty of ex­cit­ing young tal­ent that could take it much higher than its cur­rent rank­ing of 17th in the AFL Vic­to­ria Com­mu­nity Cham­pi­onships stand­ings.

He said he was ex­cited and mo­ti­vated to keep coach­ing the side.

“I’ve seen a lot of good Wim­mera league games in my time, but with­out toot­ing my own horn, I reckon it was prob­a­bly the best I’ve ever seen,” he said.

“I want to get back on board for a few years. I think this side that played is a new gen­er­a­tion of play­ers.

“There were 10 debu­tants who got their chance and took it by the scruff of the neck.

“They proved their worth, so the next era is com­ing through now.

“If it can stay like that it will be awe­some to see how far up the lad­der we can get.”

Smith thanked the Wim­mera league com­mis­sion, AFL Wim­mera-mallee gen­eral man­ager Stephen Mcqueen and his as­sis­tant coaches Shane Fisher, Tim Wade, Cole­man Schache and Luke Fisher for their as­sis­tance.

The Wim­mera league un­der-18 side was also vic­to­ri­ous on Satur­day, eas­ily over­com­ing Mur­ray af­ter a shaky open­ing quar­ter.

The Big W trailed by 12 at the first break but re­stricted their op­po­nents to 4.3 for the rest of the match while kick­ing 12.9 to run out 42-point win­ners, 14.9 (93) to 7.9 (51).

Cooper Heard was the Wim­mera’s best player, while three goals to Thomas O’dwyer led an even spread of goal-kickers.

Round five

When the Wim­mera league fix­ture re­sumes on Satur­day, Stawell and Minyip-mur­toa will meet in an im­por­tant top-five clash at Stawell’s Cen­tral Park.

Southern Mallee Giants can keep them­selves in the fi­nals race with a win against strug­gling Nhill, Dim­boola faces the un­en­vi­able task of host­ing reign­ing pre­mier Hor­sham and Hor­sham Saints will travel to face War­rack Ea­gles. Lad­der leader Ararat has the bye.

TRI­UMPHANT: From left, Wim­mera Foot­ball League chief com­mis­sioner Trevor Al­brecht, in­ter­league cap­tain Luke Cham­ber­lain and in­ter­league coach Guy Smith cel­e­brate a win.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.