Congratulations on win number one – must be nice to get one on the board?
It’s great. It’s been a tough season. It’s not a win for me, it’s a win for our footy club. We’ve done a lot of heavy lifting early in the season, clearly we haven’t played a home game yet but all our staff and players have been so positive and trying to constantly improve so they deserve this.
After recent weeks, you must have been pretty proud of that last quarter effort?
Yes. Clearly there are some inconsistencies in our game still but the way they responded, especially our mids at centre bounce in particular, got the game played in our font half and I couldn’t have asked for much more in that last quarter.
That attacking style, is that how you want to play?
We’d like that to be a part of our game. The most important aspect of our game’s got to be winning the contest and playing the game in our front half. The second quarter we just went away from that brand of football and we got beaten around clearances and their good midfielders got on top of us and we were forced to do it from out back half and that’s been the issue – our inconsistent moments in games. I thought we took some steps forward with our ball movement today, we had over 10 marks, we’re not going to do that every week clearly but I felt like we backed ourselves with ball in hand a bit more and that’s what we’ve got to do.
Andrew Brayshaw really stepped up today?
Yes. I thought we shared the load pretty well to be honest. Andy had a terrific game, played in a different role in the first quarter and then played him in a different role for the rest of the game. His first quarter was fantastic and he was probably, along with David Mundy, our most consistent player across the four quarters so it was terrific for him but I thought we shared the load among a lot of players today.
How have you seen his (Brayshaw’s) approach over the pre-season and start of the year?
He’s a terrific trainer. He’s got a terrific attitude around the club. His connections within the group are fantastic. He’s probably been a little bit inconsistent, quarter in quarter out, as has a lot of players. I thought today was clearly his best four quarter performance and it’s great reward for effort because everything he does he does at a hundred mile an hour and he does it with a real purpose so it was great to see him get the rewards today.
What does his performance do for your midfield?
It builds belief. A lot of our players should have got a lot of belief out of today, as should from every game we’ve played because there’ve been moment s where we’ve been able to beat the opposition, we just haven’t been able to do it for long enough.
Adam Cerra was great as well. Is that what you want to see from those young guys now?
Absolutely, but it wasn’t just our young guys. We shared the load, David Mundy was outstanding at centre bounce. (Darcy) Tucker finished with two goals, our mid-team possessions, Sonny (Walters) had a quite first half but really got going in the second half and then ‘Cez’ (Adam Cerra) played a really good game as well. We can’t rely on too few, we need a consistent performance across the field and we got that through the midfield.
What about the backline, obviously some big names missing but they’re starting to look settled.
That’s what it’s about for us, as a back six and a team we have to do it as a collective. We can’t rely on one-on-one match ups, we’ve got to be able to help each other defend. Luke Ryan has been a big part of that, he’s fighting out of his weight division with who he’s playing on, I thought Griffin Logue was one of our best players in that last quarter with some of his contests, (Stephen) Hilly, Nathan Wilson are clearly getting up to speed with their match fitness and their touch so that’s good for them. I’ve just been really impressed with how they’ve done it as a group.
Reece Conca’s injury, what do you know?
It looks like it’s a hamstring, we’ll get it scanned. He didn’t seem to think it was too bad so hopefully we get a good result like we did with Nathan.
A few hamstring’s coming from the hub teams, do you think it has anything to do with being up here?
I’m not sure it’s just the hub teams, I think there’s some injuries coming in from all across the league and that’s going to come with the short prep. Fingers crossed we don’t get any more but I don’t know if it’s just the hub teams, I’ll have to look into that a bit deeper.
How did Blake Acres go in the scratch match this morning?
I thought he had a real solid hit out, he looks fit. Clearly, he’s been out for 17 weeks of that first incident when he did his hamstring, so it’s been a long time off, but I thought he got through really well, he knows how to find the footy. I’m probably most impressed with his voice and communication with his teammates so he’ll come into consideration this week.
What about Connor Blakely, where does he fit in?
He’s challenging for positions like a lot of our players are. Mitch Crowden played well today, Luke Valente, Tom North, we’ve got a solid batch of young midfielders putting pressure on and Connor fits into that category. From what I’ve seen from Connor in the last three or four weeks, he’s been really strong, he’s training with real presence, he’s bringing his brand to every session we do, and he was another solid performer today. He just needs to bide his time, keep putting the runs on the board and opportunity will come. I thought with the team we selected today we clearly got it done but I thought it was a nice even contribution from our mids. Connor fits into the category of a lot of our mids.
What happened with Travis Colyer, it was a really late change?
It was a funny one, I was talking to him as we were boarding the bus and by the time we got here, he got a migraine so I’m not sure whether I contributed to that. He gets them from time to time and they come on quickly, he improved but he didn’t improve enough to want to get out there. He tried, he went out and warmed up but he just didn’t feel right, so it was just one of those things. We had to re-shuffle the deck chairs pretty quick but we managed to put our guys in roles that they’d played a bit, so it all worked out pretty well.
Is that why Brayshaw started forward?
We’d planned for Brayshaw to start forward and come up from that position. We’d planned for Bewley to be on the wing and he started forward so you do have to shuffle the team around a little bit when you do get that late news so I thought our players handled it really well and starting the game wasn’t an issue.
Will you take any time to enjoy this?
It’s really important that our players enjoy the journey that we’re on and there’s no better feeling than a feeling after a win, so we need to enjoy but we need to move on pretty quick. We’ve got a six-day break and we’ve got a red hot St Kilda to come so we’ll enjoy it tonight and get to work tomorrow.