By Matt Fotia
Head down, bum up.
That’s been the mantra of the Woori Yallock Football Club for a number of years now and it remains a big focus for the side in 2019, according to midfielder Kane Thompson, as the third placed Tigers look to take it up to much fancied Berwick and Narre Warren in the upcoming Finals Series.
The Tigers consolidated their position in the top three on the weekend with a 75 point win over lowly Healesville, looking to exploit the full width of the ground, rather than taking the easy kill through the corridor on a fairly miserable day for football.
Thompson explained that the Tigers gameplan was in place to ensure they weren’t caught out in transition against the top sides, as well as giving them multiple avenues to goal against the stronger sides.
“It’s the gameplan we want to play, try and get the ball to the outside a bit more,”
“Against the better sides we need to be better skilled on the outside to create more scoring opportunities,
“We’ve still got license to pull the trigger and go through the corridor, but if you miss the kick through the middle against the top sides they cut you up,”
“Once you turn the ball over, they’re so quick and so clean, so if we can keep the ball to ourselves as much as we can, the game is played on our terms.”
The Tigers are the only side from the defunct AFL Yarra Ranges in the Premier Division top five after the weekends surprising results, which saw Cranbourne firm as likely fifth placed side despite Wandin’s impressive return to calculations in recent weeks.
Thompson, is enjoying the increased competition and has learnt a fair bit from playing against the likes of Berwick’s Travis Tuck, Madi Andrews and James Magner as well as Narre Warren pair Dylan Quirk and Trent Cody, with their running abilities the main takeaway for the Woori Yallock ball magnet.
“Their work rate is unreal, if you get caught watching the ball for one second suddenly they’ve got two or three metres on you and you’ve got no hope of catching them,” the Tigers number 32 said coming off the back of another impressive performance.
The speedy on baller has been named in the Tigers best on nine occasions in 2019, missing out just four times. Six of those occasions came in consecutive weeks through the middle of the season and included two best on ground efforts, against Upwey-Tecoma and Wandin.
Whilst the make up of the Premier Division has been cause for much conjecture this season, with a number of the Tigers local rivals losing their guarantee over a finals berth, Thompson says the Tigers have ignored the noise and just worked hard at their games.
“We’ve just tried to put our heads down because it (the competition) is what it is and we just have to try our best – there’s no point standing around whinging about it,”
“That’s the club and our culture, I reckon we’ve got a pretty good culture down here at Woori Yallock, we don’t go sooking about much.”
Woori Yallock host Upwey-Tecoma this weekend before taking on fellow top five counterparts Narre Warren and Beaconsfield to finish off the home and away season.