K rock Football

Centrals focused on Eagles

Werribee Centrals coach Nick Smith. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

WERRIBEE Centrals coach Nick Smith has labelled last week’s shock loss to Bell Post Hill an anomaly as it looks to bounce back against East Geelong on Saturday.

The Centurions were jumped by the Panthers, got their noses in front in the last quarter, before being overrun to miss the chance to snatch third spot from Round 17 opponent Inverleigh.

However, Smith isn’t too concerned at the result.

“I’m just trying to reframe them back to the footy we played in the six weeks leading up to it,” he said.

“My point of reference is that it doesn’t matter who you play; you should be able to produce the same footy consistently.

“Then if they bring up something on the day that requires adjustment, then you need to be able to do that.

“But, generally speaking, I don’t prepare specifically for the opposition, I’m more concentrating on what we do.”

Centrals now face East Geelong, which remains a slim chance of playing finals after overrunning North Geelong to win by three points last week.

If Smith’s men can see off the Eagles, it will turn the clash Inverleigh into a play-off for the right to meet Bannockburn in the qualifying final.

“The only positive we took from the weekend was that Inverleigh lost, that does keep us in with a chance for top three if we finish with three wins,” he said.

“That’s about as far I’ve gone, in terms of looking ahead.

“But, I’m really just trying to focus on East Geelong; they’re playing good footy.

“Before (last) Saturday, so were we. So, we’re still confident that our best footy should be enough to get over the top of East Geelong.

“But, we’ve got to roll that out.”

Werribee Centrals will be boosted by the return of Brayden Smith, Matt Miller, David Sablich and Josh Sutton.

“Coaching’s a lot easier when you’ve got all your players available, so it’ll certainly make a big difference to our team.

“To be honest, I was a bit disappointed in some of the players we brought up (against Bell Post Hill)

“They got a real genuine opportunity to step up and grab a spot in a possible finals campaign, and they really didn’t step up to it.”

The Centurions are still hopeful of seeing star midfielder Jackson Smith again in 2019.

He hasn’t played since Round 5 as he recovers from a fractured scaphoid.

“If we can secure finals, that might change how we bring him back because he’s already qualified,” Nick Smith said.

“But if we don’t, we might roll the dice with him and see how he goes.

“It’s been 13 weeks. Doctors say that he’s healed, but they keep telling him he’s not quite ready. It might be one of those ones where he just has to bite the bullet.

“At the moment, we’re thinking Corio (in Round 18) and having a look at it there, and if he doesn’t get through, then it’s season over.

“If he does, it’ll be a nice little bonus running into the finals.”

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