By Matt Fotia
The Officer Kangaroos will be taking a lot from their 29 point victory over Mount Evelyn according to senior coach Doug Koop, as the Roos head into this weekends bye with an even 3-3 record.
Officer were a number of peoples premiership favourites in Division One before the season started, off the back of their finals appearance in the SEFNL last season. Koop believes that the ‘so called experts’ failed to look past that fact, ignoring the Kangaroos negative win loss record and their failure to defeat any of the sides in the top four spots. Their best effort a 44 point loss in the elimination final against Beaconsfield.
Officer started the 2019 season poorly losing their opening three games against Doveton, Pakenham and ladder leaders Monbulk. They’ve since resurrected their form defeating Warburton Millgrove, Belgrave and the fourth placed Mount Evelyn.
“The weekend was a good one for us – we’ve got something in place now so hopefully we can continue to step it up and rattle a few cages.”
Koop believes that this group of players still need to learn how to win and since coming into the role of senior coach he has maintained a focus on setting his system in place, laying the law down and policing the team standards.
Each line has criteria to help define their role in the side and help the team get results.
“If they’re doing it (their role) we get good results, whether it be a good quarter or a good half, you have to point that out to them, that when they do all of this we play well as a team,”
“You can’t just let them go and do their own stuff – we cover around three or four of the oppositions best players each week and try to reduce their efficiency and impact on the game, but we need our players to step up and do what we need to pull that off.”
Considering Officer’s inability to taste victory against any side higher than them on ladder last season, the win over Mount Evelyn could be a watershed moment for the Kangaroos, as they’ve proved they won’t just be making up the numbers in 2019.
“We made finals last year and our closest effort against the other finalists was a 44 point loss in the elimination final – that was out closest effort,”
“To beat a side above us like we did on the weekend and fairly comfortably as well – we won three out of four quarters – thats something to put in our back pockets and build upon.”