It’s been a stop start beginning of the season for the Cranbourne Football Club, but the Eagles are sitting nicely in third position on the Premier Division ladder with a 3-1 record.
The Eagles defeated Beaconsfield in Round One before having a fortnight off due to Easter and a round two bye, playing two weeks of footy prior to another bye thanks to the Interleague break. Their reserves side had an extra week off in the middle of that period as well, with Wandin forfeiting the reserves fixture in Round Four. Senior coach Stephen O’Brien credits his reserves players for not letting their application drop off on the training track despite the genuine lack of football to start the season.
O’Brien has found it hard not being able to play consistent week in week out football in the early stages of the season, but has combatted the issue as best he can.
“You’re never too sure how you’re going so it’s really tough – we played Round One, had two weeks off, played a couple and then had the Interleague bye – we almost went back into pre-season after Round One.”
The Eagles are accustomed to uncertainty at the moment. They were the last side to come across as part of the merger and faced a mini exodus of players at the end of 2018. In just his second year as Eagles coach, O’Brien was forced to press pause on his vision for the club rather than adding extra layers this season.
“We went back to phase one and the boys have responded fantastically – we’ve found some really good young talent this year as well.”
Speaking about where the Eagles are sitting at this stage of the season, O’Brien is pleased with the strong start to the season but won’t be getting ahead of himself, knowing his boys have plenty more trips ‘up the hill’ ahead of them.
“It’s still a little bit up in the air (this season), it’s going to be very difficult when we have to head up the hill again – we really felt we let the Woori Yallock game slip and I think away wins are going to be so crucial this year,”
“There’s a massive difference in how the game is played, two completely different styles of footy – the challenge for those guys (Ranges Clubs) is adapting to the spread and ball movement and going up there is a bit of a balance – you don’t want to be caught just banging it in there,”
“It’s the adjustment all sides are going to have to make and it’s going to be interesting.”