By Matt Fotia
Despite having a poor record against Narre Warren in recent years, Beaconsfield went into their crucial Premier Division clash with the Magpies confident they would be able to shake off their hoodoo according to senior coach Leigh McQuillen.
The Eagles have spent most of their recent history as the little brother of Narre Warren and Berwick in the senior competitions, but McQuillen said the Eagles drew confidence from their success against the two clubs in the Underage competitions.
Beaconsfield have won back to back Under 19 Premierships, defeating Berwick in 2018 and Narre Warren in 2017.
“The kids in this side who are coming up to 30-40 games played, they’re used to beating Narre Warren and Berwick in the Under 19s, so for them it’s just about saying – we used to beat them in the Under 19’s, so why can’t we beat them in the seniors,”
“Mentally we knew our game stacked up.”
In spite of that confidence, Narre Warren were able to get the jump on the Eagles kicking the first four goals of the game before Beaconsfield steadied through a goal of their own from Matthew Johnson late in the quarter.
McQuillen said that late steadier was crucial for the Eagles as it grabbed the momentum.
“When we steadied and kicked one late in the quarter we felt like the momentum had swung our way, especially in the last ten minutes of the quarter,”
“We’ve been focusing all year on momentum – there’s no way you can have it for 120 minutes – so for us it’s all about making the most of it when it swings our way.”
The Eagles are a well drilled unit under the guidance of McQuillen, who leaves no stoned unturned when it comes to achieving success each weekend, diligently planning for unique challenge that the Premier Division has to offer.
“We put a lot of work into Narre Warren, we cut up a lot of footage and developed a solid game plan going in.”
“Planning to play Narre Warren is completely different to planning for Woori Yallock, so when we train on Tuesday and Thursday we change our defence behind the football based on our opposition,”
“We’ve had to go from playing the (ex) Yarra Ranges sides where our defence had to be streamlined, to when we played Narre Warren, where they can really open you up if you’re not willing to gut run and get into the right positions.”
McQuillen is excited about his sides upcoming match up with arch rivals and premiership favourites Berwick, but is wary of their round 12 encounter against Wandin beforehand.
“That’s the biggest challenge (Berwick), we all know Narre Warren are good, but Berwick have got the job done when they’ve needed too,”
“The proof in our pudding is going to be whether we are able to replicate (their round four effort) that at their home ground, that’ll be a big challenge.”
“But before we can worry about that we’ve got Wandin, they’ll be a huge challenge for us, they’re a totally different side on that small ground at home,”
“We’ll cut up a heap of footage and talk about how Wandin play on that ground and make sure we get all our match-ups right.”
Beaconsfield sit third on the Totally Workwear Berwick and Knoxfield Premier Division Ladder, just percentage above Woori Yallock and a game behind Narre Warren.
All Premier Division sides will have the bye this weekend as Vic Country take on the VAFA.