By Matt Fotia
Kinglake’s shock 78 point loss to Powelltown in round 15 was the ‘kick up the bum’ that the Lakers needed according to senior coach Andrew Fairchild, after his side knocked off Yarra Junction by 43 points on Saturday.
Kinglake were out to claim revenge on the Eagles after Yarra Junction dismantled them back in round eight and had planned throughout the week on how they would take down John Holmes side.
But with snow more likely than sun on Saturday, that plan was put aside for a later date as some good old fashioned wet weather rough and tumble became the order of the day.
“We had a plan on Tuesday, but that went out the window come Saturday with the weather,”
“We just spoke about being hard at the footy, numbers at the contest and making it a real contested struggle,”
“And we did that really well.”
Kinglake had registered just two losses and were coming off four straight wins before travelling out to face a desperate Powelltown side in Round 15.
Fairchild believes his side were beginning to get complacent before their clash with the Demons and welcomed the hefty reminder James Iacono’s side gave them.
“We probably got a little bit complacent the weeks leading up to the Powelltown game and I reckon we thought we would just show up and win,”
“It was a nice reminder that you can get beaten on any given day by any opponent, it’s been a very even competition this year and that just shows it,”
“It’s done us the world of good that loss, the boys attitude has done a complete 180 since then.”
Fairchild says that the attitude flip has been player driven after the coach – and division’s leading goal kicker – laid it down for them. He’s been particularly impressed with the younger brigades approach as well.
“They took it upon themselves and have really showed up the last few weeks with a really good attitude,”
“A few of the younger boys really drove it and got the vibe going at the club,”
“I put it on them and said I can give you the gameplan and the structures, but if our attitudes not right, it’s not going to happen,”
“They turned up on the Tuesday after the Powelltown game ready to go and it’s really showed the last couple of weeks.”
The Lakers knocked off Alexandra by 43 points the following week before their win over Yarra Junction as they look to gain momentum on the eve of finals.
With the fixture pitting them against two premiership favourites on the eve of September, Fairchild and his crew will know where they sit come week one of finals.
“At the start of the season, when I saw that we had Junction and Seville last, I thought if we make the finals we’re definitely going to deserve to be there,”
“We want to take some confidence into the next fortnight and to be honest you couldn’t ask for much more heading into finals.”