By Jesse Busacca
Gembrook-Cockatoo Football Club travelled to Alexandra last week to produce their most damaging half for the year, with the Brookers outscoring the Rebels by a whopping 65 points.
The youthful core of the club showed their blistering pace and gut running game style as they produced what coach Brad Coller considered their “best half of football for the year”.
Whilst Coller believes the Brookers first half was indeed impressive, he and his coaching team know their side need to become more consistent across four quarters of a game, with the Brookers unable to build on their promising start in the second half against Alexandra.
“That’s definitely been one of our focal points this year and I think we’ve shown glimpses of the level at which we can we play, but we need to find a way to do it across four quarters,” Coller explained.
Gembrook-Cockatoo have shown throughout the year that they can compete with the best, however it is their consistency that continues to plague them on Saturday afternoons.
“We have quite a young group of guys and that consistency will come with time, but it comes back to the leaders of our group to lift the team when we really need a kick,” said the coach.
The Brookers face an ‘eight point game’ this week against Powelltown, who are their main contenders for the fifth and what seems final spot in the top five. Both sides have recorded five wins and six losses, divided by a mere 0.5 % on the ladder.
The winner of this game will most likely go on to play in the finals, which is why Coller has put a heavy focus on training this week and sharpening the Gembrook player’s attitude towards the game
“I’d like to say we’re pretty confident going into this week. We’ve strung together some really decent play in the last month and we recognise Powelltown is a real danger game, so we’ve made a conscious effort to really train hard this week and give ourselves the best chance at winning and keeping our finals hopes alive,”.
A loss for the men in green this week could almost end their chances of a finals berth, however coach Coller remains confident that his side still have plenty left in the tank when it comes to the second half of this season.
“l think we’ve shown good signs, particularly against Yarra Junction, where again we were in the game but just failed to finish it off in that last quarter,”
“We believe that it’s all on the way up for us and we’re hoping that our shocking run of injuries is finally over,”
“We hope to get Tarks (Tarkyn Lockyer), Hank (Hamish Mcintosh) and Volts (Damien Volta) all back in the coming weeks and get our best side on the park, to show the league what we’re capable of.”
With the season’s pointy end drawing closer each side’s overall fitness becomes key and Gembrook-Cockatoo certainly believe they’ve got the legs to run with the best.
“It’s been really great for us as a coaching staff to have so many young and energetic players who are willing to learn from the best,”
“It’s been great to see the boys embracing Spud (Firrito) Tarks and Hank as one of the boys and not as ‘former AFL player’ I think that’s what our group really prides themselves on – just how connected we all are as a group”.