Pakenam Football Club are on a roll, with four wins on the trot since its Round One loss to Narre Warren, to position themselves as one of the teams to beat in premier division.
Strong performances over the last month have seen them knock off Officer, Olinda Ferny Creek, Mount Evelyn and Upwey Tecoma since the Easter break, where accountability and an emphasis on moving the ball quickly have been at the front of senior coach Ash Green’s philosophies.
“The instruction to my players has been to keep the game very basic,” he said.
“My role as senior coach is to make sure they are continuing their development, whether that be marking, kicking or running.
“I am fortunate to have a great bunch of guys who listen and want to improve not only as footballers but the club as well.”
The Lions are fortunate to have both the reserves and under 19’s sides up and about too, with players ready for their shot in the senior side when the opportunity presents itself.
“There’s pressure from underneath with players knocking on the door to get a go in the seniors which keeps my players honest with their performances and making sure they’re on top of what they need to do,” Green explained.
“We have one eye on winning and another on making sure we get some good development in not only our kids but the wider group aswell.
“There is an opportunity for players across the club to get a go in the seniors, but when my group are playing well and winning, it can be that little more difficult.”
The restructure of premier division has provided positive challenges for clubs who compete within it and the Lions have enjoyed the contests against its opposition but are still working out their capabilities.
For that, Green is under no illusions that his club need to continue improving if they are to remain relevant and a leading contender against its rivals.
“Our opponents are working as hard as we are to improve, so we’re not sitting back and getting comfortable, but instead we’re continuing to make tracks,” he said.
With a bye this weekend, the Lions will keep things as normal as possible but are conscious not to take its foot off completely for the fear of it working against them.
While sore bodies will take it easy and rest where possible, Green will keep his players focussed and ensure they remain focussed and motivated, ready to go when they play Wandin in Round Seven.
“I don’t believe a lot will change when we return from the bye,” Green explained.
“I believe one of our strengths as a team is the flexibility of being able to play in different positions.
“It’s about making sure we do the little things right, improve the things we aren’t doing so well on and rectify them when we return in a couple of weeks.”