By Matt Fotia
Powelltown have to win all of their remaining Division Two fixtures to make the finals in their centenary year according to Senior Coach James Iacono, ahead of the Towner’s crucial clash with third placed Kinglake at home this weekend.
The Towners are coming off a hard fought 14 point away win against Alexandra and are just one game and .43% behind fifth placed Gembrook-Cockatoo.
Iacono praised the efforts of his back six on the weekend, who kept the Rebels at bay throughout the day and says that Powelltown only have themselves to blame for their current predicament.
“We set the game up before half time but just didn’t show up in the third quarter,”
“We’ve got a pretty good back line with Garthwaite, Stokes and (Rhys) Johnson back there and they really held up in the third quarter when Alexandra were really pumping it in,”
“We’ve gotten ourselves in this situation (ladder position) we’re in at the moment so to keep the dream alive we’ve just got to keep winning – we have to win all our games.”
Powelltown have accrued six wins this season, the same as last season where they missed out on the finals due to their lowly percentage, finishing seventh behind Alexandra and Yea.
Iacono believes the benchmark is somewhere between eight and nine wins this season and says the increased number of wins required is proof that standard of Division Two has improved in 2019.
“Six wins was enough to make finals last year, so it’s a testament to our division that everyone has improved,”
“I think it’ll be minimum eight or nine wins that’ll get you in (finals) this year, so we’ve just got to win – every game is a final for us now.”
Powelltown have been impressive all season, kicking off the year with an upset victory over reigning premier Yarra Junction and they have been mere seconds away from knocking off Yarra Glen (one point loss) and Gembrook-Cockatoo (three point loss) away from home, with both games decided by late goals to their opponents.
Powelltown’s run home sees them host the third placed Lakers, fourth placed Yarra Glen and travel to bottom side Yea for what should be a comfortable four points. If they’re still in the race come the final round they’ll have to patiently wait upon news from around the grounds, with the fixture handing them a bye – and four points – to finish the year.
Whilst many would be left thinking of what could’ve been, Iacono remains philosophical about his sides fortunes.
“We’ve had a couple of heart breaking losses against Yarra Glen and Gembrook-Cockatoo which proved the boys are up to to it (the level),”
“And if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”