The boys were looking forward to the contest against top-of-the-table Glenelg at Stratarama Stadium. On a cold and wet Saturday afternoon our focus areas for the day were simplified – consistency with effort at the contest, consistency with our defensive system and consistency with our method of ball use.
I was proud of our contest work. The boys competed strongly all over the ground as consistently as we have for the year, led by our fearless young gun Kobe Ryan (21 contested possessions & 15 tackles). Kobe was well supported inside by Mick Mattingly, Joel Stevens, debutant Jesse Thackeray and 19yo Ned Stevens who was our First Ruck for the day. The boys worked tirelessly and managed to win Clearances (+3) against a premier midfield group. There was a clear lift in intensity at the ground level by Glenelg in the second half, lead by Snook, Lyons and Gerloff. I felt off the back of this effort, Glenelg were able to generate forward momentum and scoring opportunities. Something we will learn from.
Our Defensive System worked well, particularly in the first half. We were able to slow Glenelg’s ball movement on several occasions, and when Glenelg were able to take a shot on goal it was generally wide or from distance. To Glenelg’s credit, a change in offensive tactics in the second half was a winning one. Glenelg were able to generate speed on the ball which led to fast and deep entries, putting our Defence under pressure.
Our ball movement is a work in progress. I felt that given the conditions and Glenelg’s intensity around the ball, there were instances we overplayed by hand which left opportunities to go forward and inside 50 begging. To only kick 1 goal from 12 entries in the second half means there’s an area of growth for us. Understanding when to play fast as to when to play slow. Understanding when to take territory as to when to give an extra handball. Understanding the detail on where we kick the ball, based on where our teammates are positioned structurally in various moments. This is all areas of growth for us from an offensive perspective.
Post-game my message was that; this is all part of our journey together. We can only feel sorry for ourselves for so long; what we need to do is reflect on the game, learn from the key moments and execute them better the next time we are put in a similar situation. We will look back on the last four weeks of football and reflect on how important this moment was in our development for where we want to get too.
The lads are resilient, they are a tight group and they will show up this week eager to learn and get better in preparation for Sunday’s game v South Adelaide.
To give our Supporters, Members, even the Players some perspective on our improvement over the past 12-months; after 14 Rounds last season we were -164 points against from stoppages, we are +35 on that number this year. After 14 Rounds last season we were -225 points against from turnover, we are +207 on that number this year. This tells me that our Players are buying in, and that we are on the right track. With continued reflection and education and correct training methods, we’ll start seeing some consistently positive results.
Congrats to JT on his debut, I thought he acquitted himself very well to the contest and displayed his composure and class when given the opportunities.
Best: K. Ryan, M. Mattingly, C. Park
Adam Hartlett – League Coach