War­riors

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Wfl Finals - BY COLIN MACGIL­LIVRAY

It has been seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble for Stawell to build any momentum in 2019.

The War­riors, de­spite com­fort­ably seal­ing a fi­nals spot with a 10-6 record, are yet to win more than two con­sec­u­tive games this sea­son.

The side’s in­con­sis­tent per­for­mances have frus­trated coach Damian Joiner, who be­lieves his side is more than ca­pa­ble of tak­ing on the league’s elite.

“It’s been an up-and-down sea­son, but when we’re at our best I think we can mix it with any of the sides in the league for sure,” he said.

“We’ve been a lit­tle bit in­con­sis­tent and our poorer games have been against good op­po­si­tion, which prob­a­bly makes them look worse than what they have been.

“We’re still con­fi­dent go­ing into ev­ery week and no mat­ter who is on the other side of the field, we give our­selves a red-hot chance of win­ning.”

It is this con­fi­dence that could prove vi­tal in the pres­sure cooker of Wim­mera Foot­ball League fi­nals.

De­spite its in­con­sis­tency the side has shown marked im­prove­ment

on last year, when it missed the post-sea­son with seven wins and nine losses.

Help­ing the team turn its form around has been Tom Eckel, a Stawell star who de­parted last sea­son to try his hand with Glenelg in the South Aus­tralian Na­tional Foot­ball League.

Eckel’s re­turned pres­ence in the mid­field has given the War­riors a shot in the arm.

An­other ad­di­tion for 2019 has been for­mer Port­land player Jay Moody.

Moody has ex­pe­ri­ence at VFL level with Gee­long and North Bal­larat and has been a versatile pres­ence for the War­riors, play­ing for­ward, back or in the mid­field.

Stawell’s back­line has been an­other strength this sea­son, an­chored by two Jack­sons – Dark and Tau­rau.

The dy­namic Dark is vi­tal to the team’s struc­ture at cen­tre half back, fly­ing for in­ter­cept marks and cre­at­ing plenty of play while Tau­rau holds down the full back po­si­tion.

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