By Matt Fotia
Powelltown Football coach James Icano says that his side will continue to improve as the season goes on, with a number of returning players and recruits taking some time to gel with the rest of the squad.
The Towners currently sit in fifth position on the ATC Traffic Division Two ladder with a 3-2 record, having knocked off reigning premier Yarra Junction in the opening round as well as victories over Northern clubs Thornton Eildon and Alexandra.
Division Two is shaping up as the most even division with just two games separating first (Kinglake) and seventh (Gembrook-Cockatoo) position on the ladder at this stage of the season.
“Anyone can win any game between the top seven teams in our division, because everyone came into the season knowing what they were coming up against and what they needed to do to improve and to everyone’s credit they’ve all gone out and done exactly that.” said Icano speaking to AFLOEMedia earlier today.
The Division is also home to some attacking football with the top four leading goal kickers in the AFL Outer East all coming from Division Two. Whilst Powelltown don’t have a player within those rankings they do have plenty of options in the forward half.
Eight Powelltown players have over four goals for the season to date, and four players have kicked eight goals thus far.
One of those players is 2018 Division Two Team of the Year fullback Jack Garthwaite who has developed into a more than handy swingman for the Towners this season, kicking five goals in last weekends win over Alexandra.
“He (Garthwaite) played a few games forward for us last year and was impressive down there and we’ve also added some defensive cover in Willam Dore,”
“So that has released Jack to go forward and create a mismatch or take a key defender which has in turn released other forwards like James Rohan who popped up with three goals on the weekend as a flow on effect,”
“So if we can cover our bases defensively we can throw him down there more often.”
Garthwaite will most likely play down back this weekend however as Powelltown take on the ladder leaders Kinglake away from home. The Lakers are doing ‘grouse things at the moment’ according to Icano and house the potent duo of Chris Horman and Andrew Fairchild in their forward line.
This provides Powelltown with another chance to prove themselves against a possible premiership contender, after a topsy turvy start to the season. Icano expects his group to find more consistency over the coming weeks as they continue to warm into the season.
‘We had a big influx of players this season, both returning players and new players, and the more we get to play with each other, the more we will improve as a unit and get that continuity and team chemistry going,”
“That’ll start to pay dividends in the second half of the year.”