By Matt Fotia
Kinglake’s playing coach Andrew Fairchild is confident that his side can match it with the top two in the ATC Traffic Division Two, after the Lakers ran away with a 28 point victory over Yarra Glen on the weekend.
The win saw Kinglake complete the double over Yarra Glen for season 2019 and climb two games clear of the RiverPigs on the Division Two ladder.
Fairchild, who added six more goals to his season tally on Saturday, said his side treated the top four clash as a ‘mini final’ as they looked to all but confirm the double chance for their first foray into finals since 2016.
Much like a final the Lakers didn’t have it all their own way, with Yarra Glen owning parts of the day, particularly the second quarter where they had 20 inside fifties to four.
Kinglake held firm throughout the period though, conceding just 3.7, despite the RiverPigs dominance, leaving Fairchild very content with the victory.
“Really pleased with the win, we toughed it out and found a way to win, I’m really happy with that,”
“Our back six were phenomenal all day and if it wasn’t for them we would’ve found ourselves in a pretty bad situation come half time,”
“They’ve been fantastic all year (the back six), even the games against Junction and Seville they actually held up pretty well.”
The Lakers started the season in incredible fashion, winning their first seven fixtures before suffering successive defeats at the hands of last seasons grand finalists and this seasons top two, Yarra Junction and Seville, to the collective tune of 164 points.
Fairchild still believes the Lakers best is good enough though, citing the periods of play in which they were able to control play against both sides, but knows their inability to maintain the level was fallible.
“In periods we played well against Junction and Seville,”
“We’re confident that what we can do stacks up, but only if we are prepared to do it for four quarters and we definitely didn’t do that against them,”
“We need 21 contributors to play the way we want to play and win games.”
Fairchild continued to praise the strength of his side at either end of the ground, with likes of Horman, Burns and Fairchild himself providing more than adequate firepower up forward and Butterworth, Hannah and Douglas leading the defensive end well all season.
He believes that if his side can manage a breakeven in the middle of the ground they can take it up to anyone.
However creating a midfield breakeven is an enviable task against the likes of Yarra Junction and Seville.
“I’m very confident in our back six, I know Seville’s forwards are fantastic, but our back six has been equally impressive,”
“But if sides can get 50 plus entries (inside 50) it’s going to be hard for them (the back six),”
“So we have to rely on our midfield to breakeven at the very least and if we can do that we are confident that our forward line will perform and of course our back six is strong enough,”
“We’ll be putting a bit of effort into them (Yarra Junction and Seville) that’s for sure.”