K rock Football

Raids ready to feed his hunger

Torquay star Ben Raidme. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

JUST over two years ago, Ben Raidme could only watch on with a tinge of jealousy as his Torquay teammates lifted the BFL premiership cup by beating Geelong Amateur.

The star skipper ruptured his anterior cruciate in Round 5 of the 2017 season and played no further on-field role as the Tigers snapped an 11-year premiership drought.

On Saturday against Barwon Heads, Raidme will finally get the chance to add to the flag he won as a teenager in 2006.

“Although it was disappointing not to be involved in a playing capacity, I certainly got a lot out of it from the coaching side of things,” Raidme reflected this week.

“I was the midfield coach that year, and it was a different preparation for a grand final; the nerves were really different.

“But what it did do was create a bit of hunger for me, personally, for this year to have another go at it.

“I’m jealous of the 2017 squad. Happy for them, but hoping to join them.”

And like 2017, Torquay will enter the final match of the season as the underdog.

“They beat us in the first final, then we watched them dismantle Geelong Amateur last week,” Raidme said.

“They’re playing a really good brand of football at the right time of year. It’s a credit to them. They’ve been able to back up last year’s grand final appearance and get back in to have a crack again.

“I’d like to say we’re the underdogs. I think everyone likes to say they’re the underdogs to put the pressure on the opposition.

“Their recent form’s been really, really good.”

Raidme and playing coach Dom Gleeson both watched from the sidelines as the Tigers succumbed to the Seagulls by 35 points in the qualifying final.

He says Barwon Heads was “simply too good” that day at Portarlington Recreation Reserve.

“They were really strong, they played the conditions well, they played 22 match-ups really, really well,” Raidme said

“They obviously put in a lot of homework into how to beat us, and they executed it well.

Personnel changes, there’s a couple between then and now. We’ve also reflected and picked apart that game for areas for improvement for us.

“And also what we did well because at the end of the day, we still played some pretty good footy in the qualifying final. We got well beaten in the last quarter.”

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