By Matt Fotia
That’s what Upwey-Tecoma have to do after they lost to Narre Warren by 126 points in Round Three of the Premier Division according to first year coach David Bell.
The Tigers have had almost three weeks to stew on and learn from the massive loss to the Magpies, given their Round Four bye before the divisional bye due to Interleague last weekend. They have used the break to nurse some niggling injuries amongst the squad and to put into place some of the observations from the Round Three thrashing.
The coach has a glass half full view of the defeat, stating that his troops now have a clear example of what is required to play finals football at this level.
“Yeah it (the loss) was disappointing, but at the same time it was a good lesson and shows us what the yardstick is and where we need to get to,” said Bell.
“At one end you can look at the result and say it’s disappointing, but it should be driving us to get better and really compete.”
Bell said that his side found it harder to create pressure around the ball on the bigger ground and that some players were found out for being a little too offensively minded.
“Out of the midfield they were really able to spread on us and thats a lot harder to defend on the bigger grounds – on smaller grounds blokes that drift forward can get away with it.”
Narre Warren on-ballers Nathan Foote, Dylan Quirk and Trent Cody all had a day out when the two sides met, exploiting the Tigers midfield naivety. Foote was especially impressive kicking three goals in his best afield performance.
“It (the style) is pretty foreign to us and we’ve just got to work towards it and adapt to it going forward.”
Upwey host Beaconsfield this weekend and the Tigers’s ruckman Liam Beacom has an idea of what to expect from the 1-3 Eagles.
“If they’re anything like Narre Warren they’re going to want to play on the outside and use the space, hopefully we can bottle it up on our ground and create a more contested style,” said Beacom.
The Tigers have limited space down at Chosen Avenue, but have been getting creative to better prepare themselves for their next trip to the South East – Round Nine against Cranbourne.
They used last weekends bye to play a 12 v 12 simulation which gave players more space to operate in and for the ruckman it highlighted a few areas for him to focus on.
“You’ve got to work a lot harder and try to get to as many contests as you can on the bigger ground and read the play, which is something I think I’m pretty good at.”
Overall the Tigers are content with their current sitting in the new competition, one they’ve been embracing according to the mobile big man.
“We like the excitement the new teams and new challenges, we’re just working on our game, making sure it’s the best it can be,”
“And we’ll see where we finish.”