By Matt Fotia
Doveton are taking nothing for granted for this season according to skipper Matt Stapleton as they cast one eye towards the finals after their victory over Mount Evelyn on Saturday, 12.11(83) to 6.5(41), on a blustery afternoon at AJ Robinson Oval.
The Doves moved two games clear of fourth placed Officer and the fifth placed Rovers with the 41 point win, which was the same margin they lost to the Rovers by when the two sides met earlier in round five of the Division One season.
Stapleton said the Doves were caught on the hop by the size of Mount Evelyn’s ground and were still adjusting to the differing surfaces.
“Going to Mount Evelyn the first time it was a bit of a surprise, the size of the ground took a bit of adjusting too,”
“Obviously we feel pretty comfortable on our home deck.”
The Doves are embracing the new challenges that they’ve encountered in the first season of the AFL Outer East, with all of the new variables just a part of football – and sport in general – as the captain explained on Yarra Valley FM 99.1 post his sides win on Saturday.
“It’s something different that we haven’t experienced before in this neck of the woods(small grounds),”
“It does have its challenges, but you have to adapt and that’s what footy is all about – adapting to the conditions, learning about the opposition and seeing if you can break them down.”
Whilst the Doves sit two games clear of Officer and Mount Evelyn they’re also two games behind second placed Pakenham and a further game behind ladder leaders Monbulk. Stapleton isn’t too fussed with where his side finishes as the Doves will just keep their heads down and continue to work hard.
“It’s a pretty close season to be honest and anything can happen from here,”
“From our point of view we just have to keep working hard and then who knows.”
Doveton are in the mix for the Division One Premiership which would see one of the all time great turnarounds in club fortunes after their winless 2018, albeit with a change in competition. Stapleton and the Doves are taking nothing for granted in 2019 and are just focusing on winnings games of football.
“Obviously last year was such a tough year for us, so we haven’t been taking any wins for granted this year that’s for sure, we just have to keep working,”
“Our destiny is in our own hands, so if we keep winning games of football we’ll give ourselves a chance.”