K rock Football

Blues look to bounce back

Can Winchelsea overcome a poor record at Myers Reserve to snap a two-game losing streak? (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

WINCHELSEA coach Brendan Forssman has been impressed by the leadership shown by his senior players as they look to put a disappointing June behind them.

The Blues entered the month unbeaten, but lost four of five matches, including to Belmont Lions by six points last week, to be just half-a-game clear of sixth-placed East Geelong.

“The players have been great, to be honest,” Forssman said ahead of Saturday’s clash with Bell Post Hill at Myers Reserve.

“They had a player meeting through the week, and it was to go over those little bits and piece we got right earlier in the season.

“It’s good from a coach’s point-of-view when the players take ownership of it. The leadership’s been great in that regard.”

Winchelsea also started the 2018 season well – they were 8-1 after Round 9 – before fading in the second half of the season to miss the finals by percentage.

However, Forssman has played down the similarities with last year.

“Last year there were different circumstances – a little bit to do with my health,” Forssman, who battled bowel cancer in 2018, said.

“If we get back on the horse and get a couple of wins, we’re back in it.

“I think we’ve learnt a lot from last year as well.

“We’re actually training a little bit different through this time of the year compared to what we did last year; we’ve got a couple of different things in place to try and keep guys on the park.

“This was the time we started to see a lot of injuries last year.”

Myers Reserve hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Blues, who have won there just twice from 15 attempts since joining the GDFL in 2002.

However, they did roll Bell Post Hill to the tune of 97 points in Round 1.

“It’s always a hard ground to play on,” Forssman said of the Panthers’ home ground. “No doubt it will be pretty wet and boggy in the middle, but I think the forecast’s pretty decent, so, potentially, the rest of the ground should be OK.

“They’re coming off a couple of wins as well, so they’re starting to jell.

“We got them earlier in the year when they were a brand new team, basically.

“Obviously it was going to take time for ‘Tarry’ (Justin Tarr) and ‘Cubby’ (Caleb Bacely) to get the boys up-and-running and jelling together.

“Clearly over the last month they’ve started to play some really good footy.”

The Blues will again be without co-captain Alex Gubbins (ankle), while Matt Costello (calf) and Bailey Kahle (jarred knee) will be missing from the team beaten by the Lions.

They’ve been replaced by Michael Bourdouvalis and Lachlan King, who has been named for his first senior game in more than 12 months.

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